After our whirlwind of festivities in Napa Valley came to an end, we continued our vacation in nearby Sonoma Valley. I enjoyed staying in Napa but in truth, Sonoma is much more my pace. A little more country, a little more relaxing. We stayed at an Airbnb close to Sonoma Plaza, the historic downtown center lined with artisan boutiques among relics of the past.

In 1835 General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo established the plaza to serve as a Mexican military base until it was occupied and declared a Republic of California, in 1846. One of the original counties since California achieved statehood in 1850, Sonoma has since grown into a legendary winery destination.

Within the plaza lies Sonoma State Historic Park, where visitors can view the Mission San Francisco Solano, Sonoma Barracks, and the Toscano Hotel & Kitchen.

Welcome to Sonoma Valley sign
Downtown Sonoma buildings

Many of the building in Sonoma retain their early American architectural appeal.

A bottle of Old Weller Original 107 Barrel Proof

Staged items inside Toscano Hotel tell a story of an era long passed. The hotel was known for its unpretentious offerings and was a local hotspot for Italian immigrants.

Inside the Toscano Hotel
Beautiful alley with lanterns and a fountain in Sonoma Plaza
The Sebastiani Theater 1933
Autumnal trees
Sonoma Hills
Our Airbnb

Photos from our bright and cheery Airbnb.

After enjoying the Sonoma Plaza and its inner park grounds, it was time to check into our Airbnb. After a quick stop to grab a hot bar dinner at Whole Foods, we settled in for the night.

A coffee at Sonoma's Best coffee house

Traveling with my sister in law means I have a dedicated early morning walking partner. Our husbands both tend to sleep in, so it is nice to have someone to enjoy my morning walks with! We met up for coffee at Sonoma’s Best and spent the next hour or so wandering around the countryside.

Sunrise over a vineyard

Vineyards are literally everywhere in Sonoma, and during our walk we passed by several. Along the way, we visited the stunning entrance of Buena Vista Winery to admire its grand, mid-1800s architecture. Touted as the state’s first premium winery, Buena Vista is a California Historic Landmark. Visit their website to see a timeline of Buena Vista’s fantastical history.

Entrance to Buena Vista Winery

The grand entrance into the Buena Vista Winery courtyard.

A historic stone building at Buena Vista Winery
Very tall trees
A hen in a chicken coop

Lindsay and Caleb stayed in an incredible farmhouse Airbnb on the other side of town. We visited several times to feed the locals some apples and other available treats.

Various animals and plants at a nice farm Airbnb

We loved visiting the resident chickens, goats, and mini horse.

Up next, I’ll share a little bit about our visits to Duckhorn and Nickel & Nickel Wineries.