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DRIVE TRIP

Inspired by Samantha Brown: Sonoma County, California

Sonoma County, located in Northern California, gives us an amazing wine region, prominent California history, a stunning Pacific Coastline and more! Just an hour’s drive from San Francisco, this destination offers rustic charm and incredible dining options that make it a haven for foodies.

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Day 1: Road-tripping on the Coastline

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Follow Samantha’s path on a road trip along the Sonoma coastline, stopping off at various beaches on the way. Be sure to pull off at Schoolhouse Beach, part of Sonoma Coast State Park in Bodega Bay, California. One of the widest beaches along this stretch of the coast, Schoolhouse Beach is a popular place for fishing. A must-eat for visitors and locals alike is a tiny café called Spud Point Crab Company. This roadside crab shack is known for tasty clam chowder and amazing views. Go hungry—their clam chowder is said to be among the best on the Sonoma coast!

Recommended Stops

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Day 2: Discover Mainland Sonoma County

Samantha Brown Media

Turning to mainland Sonoma County, Samantha learns plants can also be meat eaters at California Carnivores, as she is marveled by the beauty and appetite of pitcher plants and Venus flytraps. Samantha then has a cider tasting in wine country at Devoto Gardens & Orchards, where ciders are made from heirloom apples. Treat yourself to K & L Bistro, a neighborhood Parisian-style bistro offering gourmet French cuisine in an intimate, sophisticated venue.

Recommended Stops

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Day 3: Getting Wild – Santa Rosa

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In an unexpected twist on a zoo, Samantha goes on an African safari at Safari West and gets the chance to go face-to-face with a rhinoceros. Samantha is delighted when she visits the Charles M. Schulz Museum and talks “Peanuts”—a personal favorite—with Charles’ widow, Jean. Earning the AAA Inspector’s “Best of: Personal Favorite” designation, The Spinster Sisters is known for creative dishes and showcasing the works of local artists.

Recommended Stops

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Day 4: Experience Historic Sonoma

Samantha Brown Media

Pick the adventure that is right for you at Sonoma Adventures. From self-guided experiences to guided bike tours—the options are plentiful for every style of traveler. Sonoma State Historic Park is centered around Sonoma Plaza. More than a dozen buildings important to early California history can be explored during your visit. Tthe girl & the fig, a must-eat favorite for French cuisine, features cheese and charcuterie platters, an outdoor garden with patio seating and an antique bar serving French aperitifs, cocktails and Rhône Valley wines.

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Day 5: Enjoy the Fun and Flavors of Sonoma

Samantha Brown Media

Learn firsthand, as Samantha did, how to make cheese at the Achadinha Cheese Company, a family-operated ranch in Petaluma, California. Experience all the flavors of the Robledo Family Winery. Taste some of their flawless vintages and learn about the Robledo family’s Mexican heritage and the winery’s roots. Cornerstone Sonoma is a wine country marketplace featuring a collection of boutique wineries and tasting rooms, artisanal foods, shops, art-inspired gardens and live music. It’s also home to Sunset Magazine's test gardens and outdoor kitchen.

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