About Sonoma County

About Sonoma County

What should you know about Sonoma County? Well, here are just a few of the many reasons people love to visit, AND to move here:

The Natural Beauty of Sonoma County

The Natural Beauty of Sonoma County-image via offering on Etsy

The Basics

  • We are located 45 minutes north of San Francisco
  • We are in fact bigger then the state of Rhode Island
  • Our population is about 500,000
  • We are considered part of the North Bay of San Francisco
  • Our major city is Santa Rosa
  • Not only is our county called Sonoma, so is one of our incorporated towns
  • We have two mountain ranges, the Mayacamas and the Sonoma Mountains
  • Distinct habitat areas within the county include oak woodland, redwood forest, northern coastal scrub, grassland, marshland, oak savanna and riparian woodland
  • We have some of the best air quality in the United States
  • We also have a very low crime rate
  • Major Highways here in Sonoma County are 101, 1, 12, 37, 116, 121, 128
  • Our main Sonoma County Airport is the Charles M. Schultz airport servicing jets to Seattle, LAX and San Diego. We have 5 smaller municipal airports making flying into Sonoma County pretty easy

    Charles Schultz Airport in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County

    Charles Schultz Airport in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County via SonomaCounty.com

  • The county’s progressive political environment have made the Guerneville area along the Russian River the home of a number of gay and lesbian resorts
  • More than 7.4 million tourists visit each year

Sonoma County History

  • The Pomo, Coast Miwok and Wappo peoples were the earliest human settlers here, between 8000 and 5000 BC

    Pomo girl, by Edward S. Curtis from The North American Indian

    Sonoma County Pomo girl, by Edward S. Curtis
    via wikipedia

  • According to Indian tribes, Sonoma translates “valley of the moon” or “many moons”
  • Spaniards,Russians, and other Europeans claimed and settled in the county from the late 16th to mid 19th century, seeking timber, fur, and farmland.
  • The Russians were the first newcomers to establish a permanent foothold here, settling in Fort Ross in 1812
  • The Russians abandoned Fort Ross in 1841 and sold the fort to John Sutter, settler and Mexican land grantee of Sacramento.
  • The Mission San Francisco Solano was founded in 1823 in what is now known as the town of Sonoma, and is the northernmost of the famous 21 California missions

    the Mission San Francisco Solano, Sonoma County

    the Mission San Francisco Solano, Sonoma County-image via SomethingAboutSonoma.com

  • Sonoma was one of the original counties formed when California became a state in 1850
  • Six nations have claimed Sonoma County from 1542 to the present: Spanish Empire, English Empire, Russian Empire, Mexican Empire twice, and the Californian Empire.


  • We are known to have a Mediterranean Climate
  • As is often the case with coastal counties in California, has a great degree of climatic variation and numerous, often very different, microclimates
  • The coast itself is typically cool and moist throughout summer, often foggy, with fog generally blowing in during the late afternoon and evening until it clears in the later morning to be sunny
  • Coastal summer highs are typically in the mid to high 60s, warming to the low 70s further from the ocean.
  • Certain inland areas, including the Petaluma area and the Santa Rosa Plain, are also prone to this normal fog pattern in general
  • Temperatures are significantly higher than they are on the coast, typically in the low 80s F
  • Healdsburg to the north of Windsor is less foggy and much warmer, with summer highs typically in the higher 80s to about 90 °F
  • Sonoma and the Sonoma Valley, east of Petaluma, are similar, with highs typically in the very high 70s F to 80 °F
  • Generally, all of Sonoma County receives a fair amount of rain, with much of the county receiving between about 25 inches.
  • We are however currently experiencing a drought
  • Snow is exceedingly rare in Sonoma County except in the higher elevations on and around the Mayacamas Mountains
  • Average high /low in July is 82 F  / 52 F
  • Average high/low in January is 50 F  / 40 F

Coastal Sonoma County and other Water Ways

  • Sonoma County is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and in fact have 76 miles of coastline

    Sonoma County Coastline

    Sonoma County Coastline-image via EveryTrail.com

  • The Russian River which springs from Mendocino County, is one of the best known rivers in California due to it’s wine appellation and empties into the Pacific Ocean at Jenner.
  • The Laguna de Santa Rosa is the largest tributary of the Russian River
  • It runs north from Cotati to the Russian River near Forestville, its flood plain is more than 7,500 acres and it covers more than 30,000 acres
  • The Laguna de Santa Rosa is Sonoma County’s richest area of wildlife habitat, and the most biologically diverse region of Sonoma County
  • The southern edge of Sonoma County comprises the northern shore of San Pablo Bay
  • There are many other smaller rivers, lakes and reservoirs in our fertile county

Wine Facts

  • Both the growing of the grapes and their vinting—is an important part of the economic and cultural life of Sonoma County
  • We are the largest producer of California’s Wine Country region which also includes Napa, Mendocino, and Lake County
  • We have 15 approved American Viticultural Areas

    Sonoma County AVAs

    Sonoma County AVAs-image via SomethingAboutSonoma.com

  • Sonoma County is the most diverse premium winegrape growing region in the United States
  • Sonoma County produces more than 72 varieties of winegrapes, but seven varieties comprise nearly 94 percent of the tons crushed
  • With over 370 wineries
  • We ranked as the 32nd county in the United States in agricultural production
  • Also including 100 organic farms included
  • 59,219 acres of bearing and non-bearing acres of grapes
  • 1,800 grape growers
  • 267,062 tons of grapes harvested per year, at an average price of $2,183 per ton
  • Sonoma County grape value is $582,942,100
  • We are the number 1 wine destination in the US according to Trip Advisor

    Jordan Winery in Sonoma County

    Jordan Winery in Sonoma County-image via Food & Wine Magazine

  • With great wine, comes great food. We have highly acclaimed restaurants and culinary institutes, Chefs of Wine Country cuisine use freshly-harvested, locally-grown produce
  • We are the Slow Food capital of the United States
  • Besides wine, the agricultural culture has cultivated many other locally produced goods such as brewing beer, organic distilleries, fantastic cheese, locally grass fed meats and fantastic sea food
  • For more information


  • Culinary schools and classes
  • 500-plus restaurants featuring cuisine from every region of the world, and ranging from casual to five-star.
  • Wineries and Wine Tasting Rooms
  • More than 8,300 rooms and 2,700 recreational spaces available for overnight guests-for more information
  • Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve
  • Sonoma Raceway with NASCAR, IndyCar, motorcycle and drag racing
  • Safari West Wildlife Preserve
  • River Rock Casino in Alexander Valley
  • The Pacific Coast Air Museum
  • Green Music Center
  • Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
  • Charles M. Schulz Museum of Peanuts characters
  • Hot Air Ballooning over some of the prettiest countryside

    Hot Air Ballooning in Sonoma County

    Hot Air Ballooning in Sonoma County-image via Archi-Nature on Tumbler

  • Cornerstone Sonoma on Hwy. 121
  • the Barlow in Sebastopol
  • Town square in the towns of Sonoma and Healdsburg
  • 27 California State Historical Landmarks
  • 11 California State Parks; 50 regional parks; 20 coastal beaches
  • The Russian River; Lake Sonoma
  • 20 golf courses open to the public
  • Bike tours
  • Horseback riding along vineyards, through the forest and parks, and along the Pacific coast
  • 40 spas — Natural thermal springs and the only Japanese-style cedar enzyme bath in the United States
  • Many art galleries and art studios with art walks scheduled at least twice a year
  • For more things to do

Facts from Wikipedia and SonomaCounty.com.

All in all, Sonoma County offers something for everyone. It’s this quality of daily life that brings people to visit, and to want to re-locate or retire here. At the end of the day, I put together five core values that I feel depict our quality of life here in Sonoma County. Click the video below to find out what they are.

Cheers from Sonoma County!

For a free visitors guide or information on hotels, wineries, events, spas, attractions, and dining in Sonoma County, visit www.sonomacounty.com or call +001-707-522-5800.

And for more information about living here, or if you are thinking of moving here, give me a call, I’d love to help you find IT !