Filed under : United States, Wine Trips

Seniors Enjoy The Sonoma Valley

img_2651bThis senior was watching a race on TV and noted that it was taking place in Sonoma, California on Sonoma Raceway.

This 2.52-mile (4.06 km) road course and drag strip is located on the landform known as Sears Point in the southern Sonoma Mountains in Sonoma.

Sonoma is a historic city in northern California in the heart of the renowned Sonoma Valley winemaking region. It’s known for its many art galleries and the colonial-era Sonoma Plaza.

oSurrounding this plaza are significant 19th-century adobe buildings including Mission San Francisco Solano and the Sonoma Barracks, once used by the Mexican military. Seasonally, the square hosts a popular weekly farmer’s market.

Seniors Love “The Valley of the Moon”

According to Jack London, who had a ranch there, the Native American word Sonoma means “valley of the moon.” He used it for his book of the same name (1913). The Valley of the Moon remains the mythic and romantic name for the wine-growing Sonoma Valley of California.


Count Agoston Haraszthy, the father of California viticulture, created the first winery west of the Mississippi. He tried many locations but settled in Sonoma with General Vallejo’s assistance. His first winery, Buena Vista, still exists today.

There are more than 300 Sonoma wineries in Sonoma County that are regularly open to the public, just 30 miles from San Francisco. Many of TripAdvisor’s suggestions for senior visitors deal with vineyards, however a hot air balloon ride might better suit your interests or a food tour or a bike tour.

Seniors Stop At The Blue Wing Inn

I’d want to put the Sonoma Barracks, El Cuartel de Sonoma -1836, high on my “must see list.” This two-story, wide-balconied, adobe building faces the central plaza of Sonoma.


The Sonoma Barracks are directly across the street from the Mission that is in the Sonoma State Historical Park.  In 1824, Sonoma became home to the last–and most northerly–link in a chain of 21 Spanish missions built in California by Franciscan padres.

Senior visitors, don’t miss The Blue Wing Inn, one of the first hotels built in the state, north of San Francisco.

What began as a simple adobe residence, transformed with time and the addition of more rooms into a storied landmark. During the California Gold Rush it was used by miners going to and from the gold fields and by the U.S. Army soldiers stationed in Sonoma.


 Senior oenophiles, wine country doesn’t get more real than Sonoma Valley, whose rich soils mark the birthplace of California’s wine industry.

Cradled between the Mayacamas and the Sonoma Mountain ranges, Sonoma Valley encompasses a rolling patchwork of vineyards, quaint farms and 13,000 acres of scenic parkland just waiting for your visit.  -jeb

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