Weekend getaways for couples: 48 hours in Sonoma
By Jennifer Kelly Geddes, Jun 2020
Weekend getaways for couples are exciting to plan, especially when you choose the picturesque countryside of Sonoma, California. Nestled just 45 miles north of San Francisco, the Sonoma Valley is the heart of California wine country; it's one of the largest wine-producing regions in Northern California, with more than 425 wineries. When you arrive among the green hills and twisting vines, you'll realize that romance is practically infused into the air.
Here's how to spend 48 hours basking in Sonoma's glow.
Get lost in the vineyards at Sonoma's esteemed wineries.
Begin by checking into a gorgeous hotel, and the luxurious Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa is the perfect spot. Upgrade to a cottage with a romantic fireplace, schedule a massage for two, then dip your toes in the heated pool. Or consider the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel and Spa, an 8-acre property that oozes rustic Tuscan charm. Cozy up to the fireplace under the lobby's soaring ceiling, relax on your room's balcony or channel your inner camper with s'mores by the fire pit.
Nothing is dreamier than a castle, except maybe a castle with a winery. Start your tasting with chardonnays and pinot noirs at Ledson Winery, a fifth-generation winery in a 16,000-square-foot French Normandy castle. Break for a lunch of burrata with olive pesto and crab Louie on the patio at nearby Salt & Stone, then continue the wine tour with sips of zinfandels and cabernets at St. Francis Winery, a sustainable, family-run operation with a Mission-style tasting room and magnificent valley views.
Have a special dinner at John Ash + Co. inside the aptly named Vintners Resort, where seasonal dishes include scallops with acorn squash and lentils and short ribs with polenta and pearl onions. You'll sleep extra well if you try the maple pot de crème with bourbon cream for dessert. If you're after a hipper vibe, check out the creative cocktails and inventive fare at Barndiva, where chevre croquettes with lavender honey, pan-seared salmon with forbidden rice and crispy duck leg confit dot the menu.
Enjoy your second day in Sonoma riding gentle horses on beaches, past pretty overlooks and along grassy trails atop sandy bluffs. If you want to stick to a culinary theme, sign up for a cooking class at Ramekins where you can learn how to make focaccia or red snapper a la nicoise. You could also head to The Olive Press to see how olive oil is made (and taste dozens of varieties while you're there).
More wine is in order, but this time why not combine the sampling with a picnic lunch and a little bocce? Landmark Winery has all that plus a tasting room that's set up inside the original kilns where you can try small-production chardonnays and pinot noirs. Order the picnic lunch of local cheeses and charcuterie, which pairs perfectly with Landmark's wines.
For your final dinner in Sonoma, choose a setting that's worthy of your love. Lucas Wharf and River's End are charming restaurants on sparkling waterways that show off the sunset. The patio at Lucas Wharf overlooks Bodega Bay, where you might spy sea lions and pelicans; favorite dishes here include mango ceviche, coconut prawns and local rockfish. If freshwater is more your speed, River's End commands sweeping views of the Russian River from a high hilltop. Choose from specialties such as Alaskan halibut with baby kale and roasted turnips and elk with wild mushroom spaetzle.
The wine county of Sonoma is the epitome of romance. Take in the landscape, dine on delicious fare and taste world-class wines with your loved one.
Ready to get your adventure started? Browse our California vacation packages today!