I booked a weekend in Sonoma County with friends to – what else? – go wine-tasting. Wine is what it’s all about here, and we definitely enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. While it was a great time, it was also somewhat disappointing that we were so busy tasting the local product that I never really had a chance to see the area outside of the wineries and our hotel. I would’ve liked at least one day to just drive around and see what life is like here for residents, as that’s what I prefer to do when I’m traveling. Luckily for me, I got a text on the morning I was supposed to fly home telling me that my flight was canceled and that I’d be in Sonoma County until early the next morning. The only somewhat stressful thought for me involved how I was going to find a Sonoma County hotel.
That’s when I grabbed my phone and searched for Sonoma County hotels on the HotelTonight app. Within a matter of a few minutes, I had found a nice hotel room in Sonoma County. I had booked the room almost effortlessly and was all set for my day exploring the area. I drove to the new hotel and asked the staff where to go and what to see. They gave me some great answers, so off I went on my day in Sonoma County.
Most people have not heard of Healdsburg, and I’m not sure if that’s great or if that’s too bad. It’s great because it seemed as though I was the only visitor that day in a town of around 10,000 people. It’s too bad because the world is missing out on a beautiful place. Think of a bucolic town surrounded by gorgeous rolling hills. Think of incredibly friendly people, quaint shops and even an interesting museum to visit. I did not expect this kind of a place, but then again that’s why I wanted to explore the area for a day or so.
You’d better not blink, as they say, when you’re driving through Geyserville, as you may miss the whole town. Fewer than 1,000 people live here on a full-time basis, so it really is a small town. The good news is that it’s easy to find your way around, and it’s a very pretty little place. I decided this was a good place to do some gift shopping for my loved ones, and I was more than accommodated with the shops that were here. I enjoy these types of small towns, and talking to the friendly people I encountered here only reinforced that belief.
Compared to Geyserville, Santa Rosa, my next stop, seemed like New York, Tokyo and Mexico City combined. This city of 174,000 is still a relatively small community, but it’s certainly bigger than my previous stop. This is a community whose economy is based on wine as well, but there were other sights and sounds in the area. The biggest sound I heard, though, was coming from my stomach. It was lunchtime and I was ravenous. I asked around a bit and was pointed in the direction of a local restaurant that served all local foods. It was fantastic. It hit the spot. I was ready for my next stop on my journey.
Who knew I’d come to another small town in California that seemed nowhere near any beach only to find a slew of beaches? That’s one of the first things you notice about Forestville, a city of barely more than 3,000 residents. I walked off lunch a bit down by the Russian River, and there were people kayaking, people swimming and of course people simply basking in the sun on the beach. Once again, I was surprised by what I had encountered on my journey, and I was glad I made the decision to pull over here.
My final stop at Bodega Bay was another small town of around 1,000 people. This was also a stunning place, as it sits near the sea. I found a trail that ran along the water and took in the ocean for quite some time. I did that for so long that I realized I was once again starving and that it was dinnertime. What was someone to do here for dinner? Why, have some local seafood, of course. That’s what I did and you could tell immediately that this was as fresh as anything you’ll ever eat out of any sea. It was delicious and even visually satisfying. I really liked this little town.
As I drove back to the hotel, I reflected on the day. It was filled with surprises, unexpected turns and pleasantries that I think I will remember for quite some time. I also realized that without HotelTonight, I may have had a hard time finding a Sonoma County hotel. I didn’t, and it was such an easy process that I had forgotten all about it by the time I reached my first destination of the day. I will be back here someday to experience more things, but I will only do so with HotelTonight.