(Closed) Sonoma v. Napa

posted 6 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
1427 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@wrkbrk:  Both are super close to each other…. Napa is more “touristy” nowadays, and Sonoma still has the “old Napa” feel. You’ll get better award winning restaurants in Napa area. I’d say that you can stay in either location, explore each area in a day and even throw San Francisco into the mix!

Post # 4
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’ve been to both fairly recently, and like @missporkchops:  said, they’re so close together it’s not really even necessary to make a distinction, I don’t think.  I went in the spring to Napa for my sister’s bachelorette, and then in the fall with another girl friend just for fun, and we decided to go to Sonoma hoping it was more off the beaten path.  I think we ended up going to wineries in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, St. Helena, etc. very easily– everything is really close.  The whole area is so so beautiful, you guys will have a great time!!!

Post # 5
7437 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

I prefer Sonoma. It has such a cute, small town feel.

Post # 6
5494 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2011

I agree with the PPs.  They’re right next to each other so there’s really no need to decide between the two.  Go with whichever hotel you like best and visit both areas.

Post # 7
12 posts
  • Wedding: October 2013

I live in the San Francsico and we are getting married in Sonoma, but most of my time visiting has been spent in Napa. You really can’t go wrong with either – and as others have mentioned, they are very close to each other. I will recommend a bed and breakfast in Yountville (small town next to Napa) called Oleander House. We stayed here the night we got engaged. It is so charming and quaint, and the breakfast was amazing! Our favorite restaurant in the area is called Bottega, it’s also in Yountville. Highly recommend you check it out!

Post # 9
165 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@wrkbrk:  If you are looking for quiet low key then stay in Sonoma, the coast can be a bit chilly in the winter though, if you want things to do see and great places to eat then stay in Napa. But they are not far from eachother driving distance wise. Both places are beautiful and both have great wineries if wine tasting is on your agenda, may I reccomend going to Ledson Winery, beautiful place

here’s a couple links to the visitors bureau for Napa and Sonoma



Post # 10
452 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Napa is nowhere near as pretty as Sonoma until you get all the way up to the northern parts of the valley. I’d choose Sonoma every time for a romantic getaway, and if you want to spend an afternoon in Napa as well, checking out the wineries there, it’s just over the hill.

The Sonoma wine areas are more spread out across different microclimates so you see more variation in scenery – including some really gorgeous redwood forests. Plus, you can easily drive out to the beautiful Sonoma coast.

Was he interested in the Santa Barbara wine areas? Some really nice wines made there (land of Sideways) and you have the advantage of some nice beaches as well . . . and Santa Barbara (the town) is always a fun place to visit.

Still, I’d vote for Sonoma. Or even Mendocino!

Post # 13
228 posts
Helper bee

I typically prefer to go to Sonoma over Napa…it’s more affordable and just as pretty, and I have to say I generally prefer Sonoma wines.  Also, from Sonoma you can easily get to both Napa and northern Sonoma (Healdsburg, Russian River, Anderson Valley, etc.)  Northern Sonoma wineries are even more reasonably priced, and the region has some great pinots!

Pretty much everything should still be open in December, although hours might be slightly more limited at some wineries.  I would recommend making a list of places to visit in order of location to save driving time, and check to see if you need an appointment or not (some places are appointment only).  Also plan on packing lunch or finding a place to eat to put in the schedule, as once you get away from the downtown areas, food options become a bit more scarce.

Also, check online for tasting deals (free or 2-for-1 tastings).  Try the Winery Finder app if you have an iPhone; that can save you some money on tasting fees.

I love Sonoma and Napa.  Have fun!  And plan on coming back sometime in the summer when everything is green and beautiful! 🙂

Post # 14
165 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@wrkbrk:  Certain places may close for weddings if the ceremony site is outsideand they don’t have other options (which is rare), but there are a few sites that have beatiful wine caves that people get married in (http://www.gloriaferrer.com/private-events-weddings), and others have indoor facilities incase of weather.

If you are talking about just driving around for tastings, I don’t think anyone in that area closes.

Post # 15
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

 Hi @wrkbrk:

I am a travel nut… so maybe I can give you some pointers on Trip Planning and resources you might find useful.

First and foremost check out Wikipedia… I find it is a great place to get a General Overview of a place you are considering but never been to before… start with the entry for California and go from there… (Napa-Sonoma-Santa   Barbara)

Wikipedia – California= http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California

Also you’ll need a good map to figure out where things are and distances… I like GOOGLE MAPS for this… as you can also see things in Satellite & Street View… or ask it to find things like Hotels, Restaurants etc.

GOOGLE MAPS – California= http://goo.gl/maps/6crOX

Next check out the various Official Tourism Websites… almost every Country – Region / State / Province … and City have them nowadays

California Tourism = http://www.visitcalifornia.com

Napa Tourism = http://www.nappavalley.com

Sonoma Tourism = http://www.sonomacounty.com

Santa Barbara Tourism = http://www.santabarbaraca.com

As well as some for the California Wine industry…

Discover California Wines = http://www.discovercaliforniawines.com

You will also find that when it comes to Regions… that there are usually a wide variety of websites with info on what to see and do… certainly true for the California Wine Regions… you can put in Napa, Sonoma, or California Wine and find a whole bunch of stuff in GOOGLE

Lastly, be sure and check in with TripAdvisor.  The internets foremost Travel Planning Website.  Lots of great stuff on there.  Be it their Travel Guide Pages (link below)… OR their Reviews on Accommodations, Restaurants and Attractions.  Or their fabulous Forums (like the Boards here on WBee) where you can chat with Destination Experts and Locals to ask specific Questions about visiting an area
(or just read thru active and past topics for ideas / info).  Personally, I won’t plan any sort of Vacation / Getaway without consulting TA first !!

TripAdvisor – California Tourism Pages = http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Tourism-g28926-California-Vacations.html

Hope this helps,

PS… Winery Touring can be a very romantic thing to do.  Mr TTR and I haven’t been fortunate enough to get to California yet… but we’ve done our share of Vineyard & Winery Touring in Canada and the Northern USA… and LOVE it, and am sure you guys will to… just remember to pace yourselves if you are self-driving… otherwise look into organized touring where someone else does the driving, and you guys get to enjoy all the more.  Touring Groups are usually a lot of fun in that you get to meet other people, get more of a “wine education” (at least on the good ones) and often they include things like meals, or special things that the person who just walks up to a Winery won’t get.


Post # 16
741 posts
Busy bee

I live in SF and my bestie is from Napa – I agree with Sonoma as the way to go!!! Way prettier, less touristy and generic!

The topic ‘Sonoma v. Napa’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors