Get Outdoors In Sonoma County This Fall

Hidden Beaches, Redwoods, and Zipline Treehouse Stay in Sonoma County

From hidden hike-in beaches and picnic spots to sensational redwoods, sunsets, and sweeping views, along with a brand new zipline-to-treehouse stay, here are five of the best ways to explore outdoors in Sonoma County.

Redwoods Rendezvous

Shhh … it’s so quiet among 33 hidden acres of towering redwoods tucked just west of Occidental. Bring a picnic and hike a 1-mile loop among redwoods reaching 225 feet. The Grove of Old Trees is sublime, with autumn’s sunlight filtering through the trees and covering the gnarled roots of the old redwoods. Keep an eye out for great horned owls nestled in branches. Bonus Treehouse Adventure Stay: Nearby get your adrenaline flowing with a brand-new Sonoma Treehouses Adventure, and other fun ways to “zip” through the outdoors day … and night!

Sonoma County Trip Ideas

Santa Rosa on a Roll

Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake and Howarth Park border each other to make more than 500 acres of open space, encircled by trails, dotted in picnic spots, and featuring two shimmering lakes. Enjoy it all on an easygoing 4-mile bike ride. Start from Spring Lake Regional Park’s main parking area and within 2 miles you’ll arrive at Lake Ralphine, a good spot to relax and watch kayakers and paddleboats glide across the lake. Keep riding; you’re halfway done. It’s just a short climb before heading back down to Spring Lake. Eat & Drink Bonus: Santa Rosa’s Historic Fourth Street is closed to vehicles in favor of plentiful outdoors strolling and dining. See muralists working on beautiful creations as you pass by local artisan shops and eateries. Grab a patio table at Russian River Brewing or any number of restaurants offering al fresco dining and drinks.

Sonoma County Trip Ideas

Make Time for Tolay

Hidden in the hills south of Petaluma, Tolay Regional Park is 3,400 acres of wide-open space, with a network of hiking and biking trails. Thank the co-management efforts of Sonoma County and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria for preserving and protecting this land. There’s a lovely 5-mile (round-trip) hike or mountain bike ride connecting the Causeway Trail to East Ridge Trail and ascending to a beautiful panorama of the North Bay, including Mount Tam, San Pablo Bay, and the Richmond Bridge.

Sonoma County Trip Ideas

Hidden Hike-In Beach

Hike in to Pinnacle Gulch Beach in Sonoma County

Bodega Bay has all kinds of hidden gems, including beaches. One of the best is reached via a half-mile hike tucked in the quiet Bodega Harbor golf course community. The Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail leads to its namesake beach, with soft sands and sea stacks that soak in late-day sunlight. This is a nice beach towards sunset when the shore takes on a periwinkle glow.

Sonoma County Trip Ideas

Picnic by the Pacific

Bodega Head Trail is a 2-mile coastal loop trail along hulking cliffs overlooking the drama of the Pacific Ocean, with spiky sea stacks and distant fishing boats. It also has a tranquil side, with views of the placid and pristine Tomales Bay and Bodega Harbor. Lone benches dot the landscape. At about a quarter of a mile on the trail, find a solo picnic table for a front-row view of the scenery. Tip: Pick up provisions at the Tides Wharf Fish Market, the Birds Café, Spud Point Crab Co., or Ginochio’s Kitchen (best brisket sandwich you’ll ever eat).

Sonoma County Trip Ideas

Where to Lodge

From boutique hotels and inns to tent-cabins, lodges, and more, find places to stay in Sonoma County (Farmhouse Inn and Boon Hotel + Spa pictured above).

Where to Stay

Safe, Happy , and Kind Travels!

Sonoma County outdoors safe travel

Sonoma County Tourism is committed to a safe travel experience. Local businesses follow strict health and safety protocols, and visitors are encouraged to review the Safe Travels Promise: Be Smart. Be Kind. Stay Healthy. Keep Safe. As a Destination Stewardship Organization, Sonoma County welcomes all visitors and invites them to make a positive impact on the well-being of its thriving local communities, abundant experiences, and stunning natural landscapes. Consider signing the Travel Kindly pledge to share your love of Sonoma County.

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  1. Ridgetop Rolling

    Tilden Regional Park is the flagship of the East Bay Regional Parks system. And its best views? Find them along Nimitz Way, a paved, multi-use ridgetop trail. We recommend biking this trail for about 4 miles.

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  2. Wide-Open Wildcat

    Sure, peak-bagging hikes are great, but ridge trails? Well, those might be the best. The East Bay’s Wildcat Canyon Regional Park is home to a fantastic ridgetop rolling trail.

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  3. Bird Rock

    Other than the Birdman of Alcatraz, Robert Stroud, birds aren’t typically the first thing you think of with Alcatraz. When it was a working prison there wasn’t much bird life. But now? Well, the birds are back!

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  4. Forest Bathe Under the Redwoods

    Giant Douglas firs and a peaceful madrone- and tanoak-studded forest make the hiking at Sanborn County Park sublime, but there’s an added majesty here thanks to the Todd Creek Redwoods Grove.

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    Monterey Bay Aquarium Reopens!

    The wildlife has been waiting patiently … and now, at long last, they’re ready for their close-ups! As California reopens make new memories at the reopened Monterey Bay Aquarium!

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  3. Hodges and Hodgee Monster

    Escondido’s Lake Hodges is one of the most beautiful lake settings in San Diego, with Kumeyaay history, phenomenal birdwatching, a world-record-holding bridge, and a resident lake monster!  Do a 5.5-mile shoreline hike here ...  

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  4. Go For Guajome

    Head to Guajome County Park in Oceanside for a hidden lake twofer hike via a 4-mile loop trail traversing most of the 394-acre haven.

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