Discover California Wine Country: Sonoma's Hidden Gems

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Curated By

Kristyne Wada (Enriched Travels)

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Curator’s statement

When some think of California wine country, Napa is often the first bucket-list destination that comes to mind, and rightfully so, with its renowned wineries, luxurious accommodations and stellar restaurant scene. However, Sonoma has its own unique charm with under-the-radar wineries, charming boutique hotels and hidden gem restaurants, making it the perfect year-round weekend getaway for a girls’ trip or a relaxing couples’ vacation. And while there’s plenty to do right in Sonoma Plaza, make sure to make a visit to neighboring Glen Ellen for a Japanese zen-inspired stay at Gaige House and a spectacular meal at Glen Ellen Star.

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Where to stay in Sonoma, California

MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa

Set in an 1850s manor house, this Victorian-style luxury hotel is surrounded by lush gardens and appointed with spacious and comfortable rooms.

Gaige House

Set on one acre near the Benziger Family Winery, this sophisticated B&B offers modern rooms with Asian accents, an evening wine and cheese reception, an outdoor pool and an onsite spa.

The Lodge at Sonoma Resort, Autograph Collection

Located one mile from Sonoma Plaza, this luxury resort boasts an Italian-inspired design, warm rooms and an outdoor heated pool.

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  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

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  • Breakfast daily.

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Things to do in Sonoma, California

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You're probably here for the wine, so make sure to have your tasting reservations booked in advance! Delight your palettes with a stop at these boutique tasting rooms:

  • Pangloss Cellars: A staple centrally located on the Sonoma Plaza serving a variety of grape varieties grown in the area, coupled with enticing charcuterie boards.

  • Texture Wines: For an exceptional, intimate food and wine pairing experience, Pinot and Chardonnay enthusiasts should inquire about Texture Wines, paired with seasonal bites curated to perfection by their executive chef. The Texture private tasting room is hidden in the back on Pangloss Cellars.

  • Auteur: A charming family-owned winery serving their small-lot Pinot tastings in a cozy bungalow, under the olive groves, or in a private carriage house in the backyard.

Chocolate tasting

After wine tasting, treat yourself to something sweet with a chocolate tasting at Wine Country Chocolates or Chocolate Cow.


Seek out a souvenir or gifts at the local boutiques and galleries bordering Sonoma Plaza.

Spa at MacArthur

Unwind and treat yourself to a spa treatment at MacArthur. The newly reimagined Spa at MacArthur is set to debut in Summer 2023 with refreshed spa treatments, a new pool area and new spa suites.

Places to eat & drink in Sonoma, California

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  • The Porch - Made-to-order coffee and specialty drink beverages and small bites from local purveyors at MacArthur’s coffee bar and marketplace.

  • El Coyote Food Truck - Breakfast burritos that hit the spot after a day of wine tasting.


  • Salumeria Ovello - Fresh panini sandwiches, charcuterie, and other ready-made dishes perfect for a picnic on the lawn at Sonoma Plaza


  • Glen Ellen Star - Cozy restaurant serving house-baked bread, wood-fired pizzas, pastas, and hearty main courses. Grab a seat at the chef’s counter and watch your dinner being prepared!

  • El Dorado Kitchen - Another staple along the Sonoma Plaza. Order the truffle fries, but don't let it spoil your dinner appetite!


  • The Bar at MacArthur - Order the perfect night cap at MacArthur's elegant, modern bar. (Psst: they make an exceptional espresso martini!)

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out my Foodie's Guide to Luxury on Hawai’i's Kohala Coast.

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Travel Advisor

Kristyne Wada (Enriched Travels)

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.