Numerous people travel to scenic wine country in Northern California every year. There are plenty of wineries and tasting rooms to visit in this area, but you can make a real vacation out of it by taking in all of the sights. Here are some things you and your entire family can partake in. Whether you are staying for a couple days or a few weeks, you will never end up saying, “I am bored.”
1. Go Whale Watching
If you do not live by the sea, then you should use this opportunity to go whale watching. There are plenty of services nearby that will take you on a boat to try to see some whales. At certain times of the years, you will find volunteers around the coast who can answer all of your whale-related questions. You want to make sure you have your binoculars and camera with you because you never know when a whale will appear.
2. Hang Out at the Beach
For people who get seasick easily, they may prefer just staying on the shore. There are plenty of beaches around Wine Country you can take a walk on. You can bring a picnic and enjoy a lovely meal while looking at the waves crash upon the shore. You may even be able to see some sea life from here. Some beaches in the area even have hiking trails and tidal pools. There are also plenty of restaurants along the coast that will give you a one-of-a-kind view.
3. Go Hiking
Northern California has over 50 regional parks in Sonoma County and 11 state parks. This results in miles of hiking trails if you consider yourself to be an outdoor enthusiast. There are plenty of self-guided, free tours you can take. There are all kinds of terrain in the vicinity. Whether you prefer coastal trails with rocky bluffs or simpler terrain, there is something here for people of all experience levels.
4. Head Out on a Safari
Many people would not expect to run into giraffes while in California. Luckily, you can see giraffes, zebras, gazelles and much more at the Safari West Wildlife Preserve. It is located in Santa Rosa, and over 700 animals are housed here. The conditions closely match their natural African environment, so they eat, play and socialize like normal. You can go on a tour to get up close with the animals, making this one excursion people of all ages will love.
5. Check Out Some Live Performances
Plenty of concerts take place around Wine Country. If you will be in the area for a while, then you should definitely go to one if you can. There are large and small venues alike. You can look up who is playing at the Green Music Center, which is a world-class performing arts center located in the heart of Wine Country. You can also head over to the 6th Street Playhouse, which offers live theater performances and music.
6. Go to One of the Many Art Galleries
For people who prefer paintings over music, there are dozens of galleries in the area you can enjoy. Plenty of these art galleries are within walking distance to one another. This allows you to check out a bunch at once. Additionally, the town of Guerneville has an Art Walk on the first Friday of every month. You can see artwork from various merchants, and you may just find the perfect piece to buy to take home with you to remind you of your time in Wine Country.
7. Visit the Wonderful Charles M. Schulz Museum
No matter what kind of art you are into, anyone can get a kick out of the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Schulz is the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. Here, you will find artwork featuring Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy and the entire Peanuts gang. You can even watch some of the animated “Peanuts” specials here. It is a great experience worth checking out.
8. Visit All the Wineries
Naturally, no trip to Wine Country would be complete without checking out some of the wineries. In particular, the Alexander Valley Wineries are true sights to behold, and you can try some wines you may not have the chance to sip otherwise. While tasting the wines, you can also enjoy a sample plate of expertly-paired foods. You can also enjoy some stunning views. There is no other way to really partake in the Sonoma Wine Country lifestyle.
You should plan out all your activities in Northern California well in advance, so you get to do everything that sparks your fancy. There is certainly no shortage of activities. Regardless if you are traveling with your children or a group of friends, you can all find something to do. Wine Country is a unique area, and you should absolutely take in everything the cities have to offer.