Sonoma Valley Travel Guide

Sonoma Valley is the birthplace of the California wine industry and often called The Valley of the Moon. Sonoma Valley is home to some of the earliest vineyards and wineries in the state, some of which survived the phylloxera epidemic of the 1870s and the impact of Prohibition. Its wineries are generally well prepared for receiving tourists, and Sonoma Valley offers a wide range of year round festivals and events, including the prestigious Sonoma Valley Film Festival. Today, this small valley’s wines are protected by the US federal government’s Sonoma Valley and Carneros AVAs (or American Viticultural Areas).

The valley is located in southeastern Sonoma County between the Mayacamas Mountains and Sonoma Mountains. It stretches from San Pablo Bay in the south to the city of Santa Rosa in the north. Sonoma Creek flows down the valley to the bay. It includes the incorporated city of Sonoma and part of the City of Santa Rosa, as well as numerous unincorporated communities, including Kenwood and Glen Ellen near Santa Rosa and, near Sonoma, El Verano, Boyes Hot Springs, Fetters Hot Springs, and Agua Caliente.

PLACE TO VISIT

The Quarryhill Botanical Garden is a research botanical garden housing one of the largest collections of temperate Asian plants in North America. Plantings began in 1990. It is located near Glen Ellen, California, USA in Sonoma Valley, and is open to the public. The garden is devoted to plants from temperate China, Japan and the Himalayas, with more than 90 percent grown from wild-collected, scientifically documented seed. The collection includes rare varieties such as Cornus capitata, Holboellia coriacea, Illicium simonsii, Rosa chinensis var. spontanea, native to Sichuan, as well as extensive collections of various wild Asian dogwoods, lilies, magnolias, maples, oaks, roses, and rhododendrons.

Jack London National State Park, also known as Jack London Home and Ranch, is a California State Historic Park near Glen Ellen, California, United States situated on the eastern slope of Sonoma Mountain. It includes the ruins of a house burned a few months before Jack London and family were to move in, a cottage in which they had lived, another house built later, and the graves of Jack London and his wife. The property is a National Historic Landmark.

Sonoma State Historic Park is a state park located in the center of Sonoma, California. The park is comprised of six sites in Sonoma: the Mission San Francisco Solano, the Presidio of Sonoma or Sonoma Barracks, the Toscano Hotel, the Blue Wing Inn, and La Casa Grande and Lachryma Montis, the homes of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Military Commander and Director of Colonization of the Northern Frontier.

Sonoma Creek is a stream in Northern California. It is one of two principal drainages of Southern Sonoma County, California, with headwaters rising in the rugged hills of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and discharge to San Pablo Bay, the northern arm of San Francisco Bay. The watershed drained by Sonoma Creek is roughly equivalent to the wine region of Sonoma Valley, an area of about 170 square miles (435 square kilometers). The State of California has designated the Sonoma Creek watershed as a “Critical Coastal Water Resource”. To the east of this generally rectangular watershed is the Napa River watershed, and to the west are the Petaluma River and Tolay Creek watersheds.

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