For many people, the main objective for their California Wine Country vacation or weekend getaway is to enjoy the area’s fabulous food and wine offerings, but you may want to consider adding a few Wine Country tourist attractions to the mix, as well. (You may be all set with just the food and wine, too, and that’s certainly okay!)
In addition to the lure of Wine Country spas, golf courses, shopping and other activities, the attractions discussed below can enhance your visit by providing you with a bit of history and a better “sense of place” for the area. As you investigate the alternatives, you will likely conclude there is a whole lot more to do in Wine Country than you imagined!
Since there are three distinct sub-areas in our California Wine Country area – Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley and Western Sonoma (which includes the Wine Country beaches and its coastal activities and attractions) – it makes sense to use these geographic categories to guide our investigation. A general discussion of all Wine Country tourist attractions follows, but you can use the links to proceed to the more detailed discussion of a particular Wine Country locale. (You also may want to refer to this California Wine Country map and/or this list of California cities to help you get your bearings and plan your itinerary.)
Napa Valley Tourist Attractions – The 1976 “Judgment of Paris” may have put Napa Valley on the map in terms of international acclaim for its wines, but the area has a deep and rich history which you can learn about at the area’s enjoyable museums. If museums aren’t “your thing,” perhaps the luxury of traveling in a vintage rail car while sampling gourmet foods and superb wines or investigating down-to-earth sightseeing opportunities like the Old Faithful Geyser and the Petrified Forest will be more to your liking. Napa Valley certainly has something to excite and entertain, no matter your interests.
Sonoma Valley Tourist Attractions – Sonoma is an Indian word meaning “many moons,” and hopefully your visit to the area will include enough “suns” and “moons” to enjoy everything thing this lovely area has to offer. Whether your interests lean toward history or hiking – or even NASCAR or gardens – the Sonoma Valley has you covered. If you’re traveling with young children, don’t miss Train Town, and photographers will likely enjoy the moody lighting at Mission San Francisco Solano and Cornerstone’s quirky “garden art.”
Western Sonoma and Sonoma Coast Tourist Attractions – Can you think of another place where you can enjoy an African safari on one day and a factory tour for a popular sticker manufacturer on the next? How about an almost 8.5-mile paved trail on which you can walk, roller skate or ride bicycles and horses? Even the Sonoma Coast, known primarily for its whale-watching and hiking opportunities, offers you a chance to eat dinner in an iconic film location. Sonoma County is roughly the size of the State of Rhode Island, and it makes the most of every splendidly scenic inch!
As you can tell, there are A LOT of things to do in Wine Country. It’s not just wonderful wineries and irresistible restaurants! Whether you’re headed here for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, there is quite likely a Wine Country tourist attraction that has your number. Don’t miss it!
Note: Information in this article was accurate
when it was published, but hours, prices, etc.
change constantly. Please confirm details
with local contacts before traveling.