Drown yourself in love, wine, and delicious California cuisine with a romantic getaway to Sonoma, CA — located an hour north of San Francisco. Napa's sister city in the California wine country boasts a historic town square, relaxing spas, picturesque wineries, and restaurants rich with some of the best food and wine the world has to offer. Start planning your sensual trip now with these tips.
There are various wineries within walking — or biking — distance from the downtown Sonoma Plaza. On the square, you can rent a bike for $50 a day. Or save a little by opting for a bicycle built for two ($70 per day); it'll make for a memorable bonding experience.
Once you ditch your car, hop on the nearby bike path, and follow the signs for the wineries. It's the perfect way to balance your bacchic adventures with a little exercise and fresh air.
Can I interest you in some — OK a lot — of cheese? Yes? Then stop in The Sonoma Cheese Factory where you can sample an endless assortment of jack cheese flavored with the likes of lavender, pesto, or habanero peppers. Pick your favorites, along with some cold cuts, blue-cheese stuffed olives, bread, wine, and plastic cups, and head to the park that anchors the Sonoma square.
If it's a warm day, find some shade on the ground under a tree, or get comfy on one of the picnic benches. Just make sure you save some bread crumbs for the ducks who call the park's pond home.
Drive about an hour north of the town of Sonoma to the Indian Springs resort in the sleepy town of Calistoga. The spa offers tons of treatment services, from a volcanic ash mud bath to a rejuvenating oxygen infusion facial, but the best perk is the pool.
You can keep it simple with a 50-minute massage for $125. Then spend the rest of the day enveloped by the Olympic-size mineral pool filled with warm geyser water — it's 102 degrees in the Winter and 92 degrees in the Summer.
After a day of wine tastings, eating, and swimming, continue the relaxation in Healdsburg at the recently opened eco-chic h2hotel. CasaSugar says that "each studio room at this new boutique hotel features private patios or balconies that overlook beautifully landscaped courtyards and the incredible natural scenery."
If you want to keep things close to the Sonoma town center, check out the centrally located Sonoma Hotel, a charming 16-room 19th century inn.
The food in California wine country is almost as special as its namesake beverage, perhaps because good wine and good food complement each other so well. If you want to indulge in Michelin-star quality, check out single-starred Santé at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn or two-star winner Cyrus in Healdsburg.
For a more rustic taste of California cuisine, make a reservation at The Girl and the Fig, conveniently located on the corner of the Sonoma town square. On a nice night, try to snag a seat on the outdoor patio, where you can enjoy a $32 three-course meal of roasted baby beets salad, scallops in brown butter, and strawberry-vanilla panna cotta under romantic lighting.