Sonoma County Has a New Music Writer - Yup, ME

A few months ago I started working with the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau again (I taught classes on Social Media for hospitality businesses back in 2009). This time I am taking on a new topic I haven't really explored before - MUSIC in Sonoma County.  

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE going to a show. Much of my younger 20's was spent seeing shows in the bay area (fave show back then was Stone Temple Pilots, Scott Weiland was magical on stage) and my early 30's were spent at local shows at wineries, Healdsburg on the Square, West End Farmers Market, etc - enjoying a glass of wine or beer and friends. 

Then Rye came along and my time is pretty much taken up by baby stuff (thankfully Rye did get to see his first concert - WEIRD AL at the Green Center when he was 7 months old). Now, I have an excuse to catch a show and stay out past 8pm... Yup, it's my job. :) :) 

Each month I will be doing an overview of upcoming shows in Sonoma County, along with a few other pieces on local events, interviews with local musicians and, anything else the Sonoma County team needs from me. 

So, if you know of a good show coming to Sonoma - let me know! shana@shanaray.com! Thanks.

Read about the Green Music Center's 2017 Summer Lineup here: sonomacounty.com/blog/2017-green-music-center-summer-lineup-here.

An Afternoon in Wine Country: Downtown Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa is truly the heart of Sonoma Wine Country. It is the center of all activity, with easy access to Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Sonoma and Petaluma.. But, for the most part - it is ignored as "wine country"  

Here are some of my favorite places to visit in one afternoon:

Food: Criminal Baking Company. This small, tucked away cafe is a hidden gem within all of Sonoma County. With seasonal items in the case each day, every visit is a new experience. Dawn and her team love visiting local farms and baking with fruits and vegetables that are the freshest. Vist Criminal Baking for a late lunch, or grab a few goodies to go!   

criminalbaking.com

Wine Country - Criminal Baking
Wine Country - Criminal Baking

Pictures of vegan, butternut squash cupcakes and a housemade breakfast sandwich with bacon taken by Shana Bull (Disclosure: Criminal Baking Company is a client of mine). 

Drink: Russian River Brewing Company.  In 2015, you are not allowed to mention downtown Santa Rosa without mentioning one of the most loved breweries in the United States (ever heard of Pliny the Younger, well you are missing out on a great experience). This brewery is packed on the weekends, but if you have some time during the week - this is a must visit. Make sure to go with a small group of people and sit at the bar so you don't have to wait an hour for a table. 

russianriverbrewing.com

Wine Country - Russian River Brewing

Image from Russian River Brewing Company's Facebook Page

Fun: The Art / History Museum of Sonoma County just expanded and has a new exhibit each season. The building is an old post office with some weird quirks, and an outdoor sculpture garden. A personal favorite past exhibit: Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon (because, robots). 

Side Note: They are just starting to build a large wine museum in a separate space downtown, which promises to be a great experience for wine geeks and history buffs. 

sonomacountymuseum.org/

Wine Country - Museums of Sonoma County

Image of SLANG! Aesthetics from Robert Williams from Museums of Sonoma County's Facebook Page

An Afternoon in Wine Country: Dry Creek Valley

Dry Creek Valley is one of the main wine tasting destinations in all of Sonoma County. It resides in Northern Sonoma County, next to Healdsburg, Guerneville, and even Cloverdale. 

Dry Creek Valley is known for Zin, and having many different wineries that are close enough to drive to within minutes, but that are far enough apart that each one feels like it's own world. 

Here are some of my favorite places to visit in one afternoon:

Food: Dry Creek General Store. One of my favorite places in all of Sonoma County to watch the sunset. But, that is a different blog post... Grab a sandwich and bring to winery, or eat on one of the picnic benches while people watching. Great food, and a fun place to be seen in Dry Creek Valley.

Dry Creek General Store - Shana Bull Wedding

The Dry Creek General Store on the day of my wedding... 

Drink: This valley is an experience. Driving through right before harvest with the windows down... Or spring, when the mustard flowers are in full force brings excitement to me - even after 20 years of living in Sonoma County.  Instead of picking JUST one, I will pick Timber Crest Farms, and let you choose which wineries you would want to visit - Kokomo, Papapietro Perry, Peterson, Amphora or Family Wineries. 

Timber Crest Farms

Timber Crest Farms in May, 2013.

Fun: Wine Tasting is one of the main tourist attractions in Healdsburg. BUT... Have you ever thought of traveling Healdsburg via a Segway? Yup. Those are still around and Segway Tours of Healdsburg allows visitors to venture beyond the wine tasting rooms in Dry Creek Valley (on Thursdays they have a 2pm tour!). 

Dry Creek Valley - Segway