Gay Sonoma is a tiny, charming town nestled in the rolling hills and sweeping valleys of the Valley of the Moon. It’s the chic place to go for a relaxing vacation.
Our LGBT travel guide will show that there’s plenty to do here: History buffs can tour the Spanish mission, nineteenth-century barracks, and historical landmark buildings. These are clustered around the grassy central plaza of Sonoma’s historic downtown, which is lined with boutiques, cafes and restaurants. People-watchers can fill a picnic basket with fresh baguettes, fine cheeses and world-class wine from the shops, and sprawl on a blanket in the grassy square, which boasts a picturesque duck pond. There are also many spas in Sonoma, fully equipped to pamper luxury-seekers from head to toe. For an exciting day activity, fly over the magnificent Pacific Coast and Sonoma County’s legendary vineyards in the Vintage Aircraft Company’s restored vintage airplanes. In the evening, make reservations at one of the upscale restaurants, get all dressed up, and savor the outstanding cuisine. The townspeople are very Gay-friendly, so don’t be shy to hold your partner close.
There are a number of fabulous festivals year-round in Sonoma. April offers the Sonoma International Film Festival, and The Sonoma Jazz Festival takes place over Memorial Day weekend. Labor Day weekend brings the Sonoma County Wine Weekend, or follow the grapes from vineyard to bottle during September’s Sonoma Grape Camp.
While the town of Sonoma is a highlight of the area, the entire Sonoma County has an abundance of incredible offerings for travelers no matter what time of year! Within the County there are nine towns all of which have their own unique perosnality: Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Rohnert Park are a few of the more bustling favorites. The County also features extensive state parks, gardens, historical sites, hot springs, wineries, and farms. The county's progressive political flavor has made it home to many events and hotspots for the LGBT community, including the Guerneville area along the Russian River. Sonoma County offers tons of unique experiences, sites, and events in all of its quaint towns so when in the city of Sonoma be sure to get out and explore!
Mornings can be foggy in Sonoma, requiring a light coat or sweater and long pants, and due to the slightly unpredictable weather, you may need shorts by mid-day and then long pants and a jacket at night. Pack for balmy, warm days, and cooler nighttimes. December, January, and early February are the rainiest months. Many of the restaurants are closed between the last week of December and the second week of January, so don’t plan your vacation during those weeks. The scenery is most beautiful during and leading up to Harvest Time from June through October, and these are also the area’s warmest months.
Getting to Sonoma is a little tricky. The closest airport is Santa Rosa (22 miles away from Sonoma) or you can also fly into one of three nearby international airports: San Francisco, Oakland or Sacramento. Even though San Francisco and Oakland are closer than Sacramento we still recommend flying into Sacramento because it cuts down on the frustrating traffic and interchanges. Regardless, there are plenty of shuttles, taxis, buses and limousine services to take you from the airport to your hotel, vacation home, spa, or bed-and-breakfast.
There are plenty of quaint and stylish hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and vacation rental homes to choose from, all within walking distance of Downtown. Check out some of the options at our Sonoma lodging list.
The Gay Scene in Sonoma
The town of Sonoma is filled with open-minded, well-educated people, making the gay scene welcomed with open arms. You and your partner will feel comfortable amongst the townspeople, who tend to be well-established and classy.
Restaurants in Sonoma
Wine and cheese please! Sonoma has plenty of gayfriendly restaurants that are filled with great food and even better wine.