Sonoma. That’s Wine Country – or a big part of it, at least. Located only 45 minutes north of the busy hills of the San Franciscan metropolis, there is no shortage of places to see or things to do. The bustling city and its famed Golden Gate Bridge, Pacific Coast, Redwood Forest, hiking and biking the many trails throughout the valleys, soaking in hot springs, hot air ballooning, and over 425 wineries – the list of activities available to both visitors and locals is seemingly bottomless. Of course, with so many amazing things all in one area, you might not have time to see – or buy – it all. Here’s a short list of what we think are the best spots to shop in Sonoma…
WINE AND FOOD
Photo Credit: Sonoma Wine Shop Facebook
As simply stated as can be, Sonoma Wine Shop is beloved by locals and visitors alike.
The Wine Shop itself is based in a historic building in downtown Sonoma and offers a wide selection of local wines and cheeses. Meanwhile, the cozy Bodega in Sebastopol is open daily for dinner, brunch on weekends, and the occasional sponsored culinary event. The cuisine is rather creative, as the menu changes almost daily; the Bodega tries to stay on top of seasonal availability of local ingredients, as well as featuring different local wines and cheeses every day.
Sonoma Address: 412 First Street East, Sonoma, CA 95476
Sebastopol Address:2295 Hwy 116 South, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Photo Credit: Karina Ioffee at patch.com
Boasting a 5-year streak as top spot in Petaluma’s People’s Choice Awards, Wilibees has two Sonoma County locations. Wilibees Wine and Spirits in Petaluma is known for great prices, excellent service, and knowledgeable staff who can help customers navigate their enormous stock of both local and imported liquors. Meanwhile, the Wilibees bar in Santa Rosa serves gourmet sandwiches and salads with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and features a wide selection of wine, craft beers on tap, and cigars. Stop by on a Thursday for the weekly wine tasting event, or on a Friday for premium spirit tastings, or attend a Petaluma pairing session with local chefs!
Petaluma Address: 309 Lakeville Street, Petaluma, CA 94952
Santa Rosa Address: 700 3rd Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Originally one business begun by founding friends Celso Viviani and Gaetano “Tom” Vella, these two cheese producers have made a lasting mark on Sonoma – it helps, of course, that cheese is a must-have accessory to many a wine. Though specializing in Jack, Sonoma Cheese Factory has expanded its repertoire quite a bit since the businesses split in 1945, now also producing gourmet chocolate and providing deli and catering services, and – you guessed it – a selection of locally made wines. Meanwhile, Vella Cheese Company has stuck mostly to their signature, all-natural hard and semi-hard cheeses (with the sole addition of salami), but hasn’t suffered for it a bit. They both cost a bit more than what you might find at a store, but hey, that’s the price you pay for handmade and gourmet.
Sonoma Cheese Factory Address: 2 Spain Street, Sonoma, CA 95476
Vella Cheese Company Address: 315 2nd St E, Sonoma, CA 95476
Photo Credit: Sonoma-Cheese-Factory Facebook
The best way to experience a region and get your shopping done at the same time is to visit an outdoor flea or farmers’ market. And being such an agriculturally renowned area, it stands to reason that Sonoma County would have a few; in fact, every town in the country has one. The city of Windsor actually has two: one on Sunday mornings, April through December, and one on Thursday evenings, June to August. Both are located on the Windsor Town Green, featuring local produce, much of which is organic, and artisan products and accessories. Both seasonal markets provide live concert entertainment and invite local restaurants to set up food booths; the Thursday market features international al frescos, while the Sunday market does brunch and barbeque.
Address: 701 McClelland Dr, Windsor, CA 95492
GIFTS, CLOTHING, SOUVENIRS & MORE!
While a good gift or souvenir is sure to be found at any of our previously mentioned features, there’s no place with more shopping potential than a good antique shop. Modern Antiquarium is the place to go for antiques and collectibles of all kinds filled with history and character at reasonable prices. With a collective of 35 vendors advertising rare, vintage, and one-of-a-kind items in one location, you never known what treasures you might find.
Address: 452 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Photo Credit: Clutch
A two-location boutique unique to Sonoma County, Clutch specializes in men and women’s luggage, carrying everything from briefcases, to backpacks, to coin purses. The majority of Clutch products are handcrafted from designers and artisans working primarily with leather, although the store does sell a small selection of luxury women’s clothing as well. Most notably, Clutch features accessories by A.Healdsburg, a collaboration of local artisans inspired by Sonoma’s iconic imagery.
Healdsburg Address: 307 Healdsburg Ave, Historic Square, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Santa Rosa Address: 2321 Magowan Dr, Montgomery Village, Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Photo Credit: E Spencer Toy – cornerstonesonoma
Yet another collaborative marketplace, Cornerstone seems to have everything you could want from Sonoma all in one location. The extensive grounds feature beautiful gallery-style gardens, an outdoor kitchen, a cafe, three wineries with tasting rooms, and no less than 25 autonomous apparel, antique, and decor shops. Cornerstone also hosts a plethora of events, from cooking classes, to book signings, to terrarium workshops.
Address: 23570 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476
Want to know more about Sonoma? Check out our piece on the best restaurants in Sonoma, best gay friendly spots in Sonoma and of course, here are our wine and food tour experiences available in Sonoma! Cheers.