Charming Sonoma Valley is often overshadowed by its more prominent Wine Country sister, Napa Valley. While Napa certainly deserves its reputation and respect, Sonoma has carved out its own niche in the competitive sphere of winemaking, tasting experiences and sightseeing.

Having trouble deciding which one to visit? Fortunately, Green Dream Tours runs small-group public tours to Sonoma and Napa, in addition to a Combo tour that visits both regions on the same day.

green vines of vineyardFor those wanting to spend a full day in Sonoma and a full day in Napa, consider taking advantage of our 15% discount when you book a second public tour back-to-back. (Or consider taking a private tour which allows more freedom in selecting wineries, while still affording you the chance to visit one or both regions, in the same day or back-to-back days.)

As wine connoisseurs ourselves, we adore the small, family-owned wineries of Sonoma Valley. There’s also a homey vibe, reminiscent of the way things used to be before Napa got so damn popular.

Here are 5 reasons we love tours and sightseeing in Sonoma Valley:

1. Proximity: Most of our wine tours begin and end in San Francisco. Sonoma Valley vineyards are about 45 minutes from San Francisco and are the first ones you reach. This means you are tasting sooner and driving less.

sonoma mission2. Sightseeing: One of the must-see places in all of Wine Country is historic Sonoma Square. Our public tour includes free time and lunch on your own in the plaza, which features more than 25 restaurants and 30 tasting rooms. After lunch, have fun exploring the square’s ice cream, cheese, and chocolate shops. There’s also a mission that was built in 1824 and still stands as a museum to honor the role this village has played for thousands of years dating to indigenous tribes.

3. The Food: Some of our favorite restaurants surround Sonoma Square. The Girl & The Fig, located in historic Sonoma Hotel, features Provence-inspired food with seasonal vegetables. El Dorado Kitchen is an upscale restaurant offering California cuisine. Basque Boulangerie Cafe, which provides food for our catered picnics, is great for a quick bite so you can spend less time eating and more time exploring.

larson family winery4. Wine Country Experience: The variety of wineries that dot Sonoma Valley combine for an amazing Wine Country experience: Robledo Family Winery is a success story written by a former Mexican vineyard worker; rustic Larson Family Winery, located in the heart of the Carneros region, was once home to the largest rodeo in Northern California; Nicholson Ranch is perched at the intersection of Sonoma and Napa where four appellations meet and boasts sweeping vineyard views; Cline Family Cellars is family-friendly with a cute tasting room, beautiful vineyards and a picnic area; Homewood Winery is owned by winemaker Dave Homewood, who has been blending wine for nearly 40 years. And these are just a few of our friends.

welcome to sonoma valley5. Wine History: The sign greeting guests to Sonoma Valley says it all: Welcome to Sonoma Valley—Real Wine Country. Sonoma Valley is recognized as the birthplace of California’s premium wine industry. There are vines nearly 200 years old, first planted by Franciscan fathers inhabiting the mission. Located minutes from Sonoma Square, Buena Vista Winery dates to 1857 and is regarded as the state’s first premium winery.

Find out more about tours and sightseeing in Sonoma Valley:

Sonoma Valley Wine Tour

Half-Day Tour of Sonoma Valley

Alcatraz and Wine Combo Tour

Established in 2008, Green Dream Tours is proud to have provided tours for more than 60,000 guests while earning TripAdvisor Hall of Fame honors. There are many options to enjoy Wine Country and we are here to help you choose the right one.