Sonoma is situated on the coast of California and is located north of the San Francisco Bay Area. There are almost 500,000 people living in Sonoma County, and many of them work in the wine industry. Indeed, one of the best things about vacation homes in Sonoma is the opportunity to tour wineries, many of which offer wine tastings to interested tourists. Some of these wine tastings are even free of charge, since the winery is hoping that visitors will like their product enough to buy a bottle or two in the gift shop.
In all, there are more than 250 different wineries in the "Wine Country" region of northern California, an area that encompasses Lake, Mendocino, and Napa counties as well as Sonoma. The entire region is easily traveled by car on California's excellent paved highways. More than seven million visitors flock to Sonoma County every year in search of the excellent vintages produced in this region.
San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Wine is a primary reason to visit Sonoma, but by no means the only one. Nearby stands a national wildlife refuge area that serves to preserve the tidal marsh habitat endemic to the northern reaches of San Francisco Bay. Here, visitors can hike trails through the marshes and see literally millions of migratory birds in season including canvasbacks that winter here for the season. Also native to the habitat is the salt marsh harvest mouse.