Sonoma Date Nights Spots, Fun Brunch & Napa Dinner Spots, Romantic, Anniversary Ideas + Places To Meet Singles, Activities, Day Trips from San Francisco
For the longest time, Napa and Sonoma were known for their endless wineries and Michelin star restaurants. A lot has changed in the last 5 years in that wine country to appeal to those beyond stuffy wine tasting experiences and Yountville restaurants that require reservations booked months out.
As a professional photographer in San Francisco, I have scouted many areas for photoshoots, lifestyle images, branding sessions and backgrounds for headshots and portraits.
It’s my job to create photos with the best conversation starters and iconic locations that invite people to learn more about my clients whether it’s for dating profiles, press releases, business profiles or personal branding efforts.
Check out some of my favorite spots in and around Sonoma and Napa below. For other local date ideas, check out other lists in the Bay Area here. For date ideas for this current week, check out this list.
For those seeking help with their dating woes, check out my services here. Services span on where to live, places to meet singles, grooming, styling, lifestyle choices, hobbies, interests, conversation skills, help with dating apps, photos, identifying blind spots. Specialty working with introverted men, engineers, successful women, gay men and those seeking relationships
Eddie’s List: San Francisco Bay Area Weekly Event Newsletter – Curated Food, Drink, Music, Cultural Events, Classes, Pop-Ups & Art Openings
For my Marin County and San Francisco date ideas, scroll to the bottom of the page.
For some of my favorite spots for views, photos, and backdrops in Sonoma and Napa, check out my gallery: https://eddie-hernandez.com/sonoma-and-napa/
Napa & Sonoma Wineries, Restaurants, Bars, Sonoma Date Ideas, Napa Date Night Spots, Petaluma Date Ideas
Oxbow Public Market, Napa
Great place for a variety of appetites, dietary restrictions and places to sample bitters, sweets and other delicious bites.
Pro-tip: The public market also features a Fieldwork Brewing taproom known for their hazy IPA’s and stouts (great option and a fan favorite on my list of breweries mentioned in my “Guiltless Ways To Trick Your Girlfriend / Wife To Go Beer Tasting”
Girl and the Fig, Sonoma
Great restaurant and a classic Sonoma institution for places to eat in Sonoma. Known for amazing brunches and beautiful patio, this is a must stop for dining in Sonoma.
Pro-tip: They have Russian River Pliny the Elder on tap and their milk and cookies dessert is divine.
Hot Air Balloons, Yountville
If you don’t mind waking up early to enjoy the sunrise and look at wine country at dawn then this is for you.
Russian River Brewing Company, Windsor
Much bigger and more upscale than the smaller downtown location, this is a great place to visit for beer enthusiasts. Tours, tastes and lounging outdoors are all options for visitors to this amazing facility and production space.
Lagunitas Amphitheater, Petaluma
Live music, good beer and bites on the lawn on a warm afternoon day? Yes please!
Stone Brewing, Napa
Located in downtown Napa, this picturesque brewery is located on a beautiful plot of land on the river and is unassuming to those looking for a place for wine. Grab a seat for views of downtown on the river for a nice break from wine. Pro-tip: they do have wine here as well.
Domaine Carneros, Napa
Beautiful estate featuring some of the best sparkling wine by a woman-owned winery. Expansive views, late opening hours, one of the closer places to SF and beautiful sunsets make this a popular destination. Pro-tip: this place is flooded with raucous bachelorette parties on weekends, mostly Saturdays from Spring to Fall (beware or take note if you are looking for places with high female to male ratios).
Brewsters Beer Garden, Petaluma
For that special occasion dinner, anniversary or celebration, this is the place for you.
Redd Wood, Yountville
Excellent wood-fired pizzas and patio seats are a great way to cap off a day in Yountville.
One of the best brunch spots in all the wine country. Perfect al fresco seating under the trees on a warm day.
Tucked away on the side streets of Healdsburg, this place has great outdoor seating. Get the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Thighs.
Glen Ellen Star, Glen Ellen
Often ignored because of the drive from downtown Sonoma and Napa, this beautiful restaurant is situated in the darling town of Glen Ellen is definitely worth a visit when visiting wine country.
Located in the industrial part of Petaluma this little cafe and restaurant has is a major draw to locals and tourists alike. Order the Shakshuka.
El Molino Central, Sonoma
If you want Mexican food and not just tacos from a taqueria, this is your place. Enchiladas and tamales are what people come here for.
Bohemian Creamery, Sebastopol
Not all creameries and cheese shops are created equally. If you want some rustic, funky, unique cheeses, this is your place.
Farmstead Restaurant at Long Meadow Ranch, St. Helena
A beautiful, rustic restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. Great for brunch and dinner as well as a drink and bar bites to hold you over.
Farmhouse Inn, Forestville
The Infatuation calls this a power move of a date – I agree. Cute, off the beaten path without all the stuffiness of Napa fine dining.
Auberge du Soleil Restaurant, Rutherford
If you want insane views for brunch, come to Auberge du Soleil for brunch.
Bothe-Napa State Park & Camping Site
Close to Calistoga and other great towns, this is a great spot to cozy up for a nice, romantic nature getaway.
Thomas Keller Fried Chicken – enough said.
Napa Valley Wine Train
Nice scenic ride, but lots of tourists which can be annoying. Kind of like a cruise shop on land.
Sonoma Date Ideas This Weekend, Napa Events This Week, Things To Do in San Napa & Sonoma This Week
For a curated list of one-off events, pop-ups and other events this week, check out my guide below. You can subscribe via email or just check out the web page.
Good Photo Locations Sonoma, Prettiest Wineries In Sonoma, Most Beautiful Wineries In Sonoma
Napa Valley Visitor Guide, Tourist Guide + Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Month To Go To Napa Valley?
That depends on your focus. November for fall colors. May-Sept for bachelorette parties. December for sunset views at closing time. March/April for mustard bloom. End of June for Lavendar harvesting.
Should I Stay In Napa Or Sonoma?
Depends on your lifestyle, focus. Napa is a little more quiet, romantic yet uptight whereas Sonoma is a bit more lively and relaxed.
How Do I Spend A Day In Napa?
Eat, drink and relax. See above options.
Is There A Dress Code For Napa Valley Wineries?
Most don’t but don’t dress like a slob if you want good service, free pours etc.
How Many Wineries Should You Visit In One Day In Napa?
Realistically 2-3. Many wineries will not serve intoxicated parties.
What Is There To Do In Napa besides Wine Tasting?
See above options.
What Is There To Do In Napa If You Don’t Drink?
See above options.
How Many Days Do You Need In Napa Valley
3 days is recommended to try a variety of wineries, restaurants and activities. Most wineries have limited hours and close early i.e. 4pm-5pm.
What Is There To Do In Napa At Night?
Most wineries close between 4-6pm so downtown Napa or Sonoma is your bet for tasting rooms, bars, restaurants and more.
Dating Coach Services - Men & Women
First date ideas, wardrobe styling, places to meet singles, where to sit at bars & restaurants, body language, vocal intonation, eye contact, conversation skills, how to be more approachable, conversation starters, mock dates, grooming, hygiene, hair, wardrobe, style, lifestyle choices, uncovering blindspots, reducing biases and more. Clients from NYC, LA, Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston, Austin, Seattle, London, Sydney, Melbourne & beyond.
-As seen in the NYT, WSJ & More
North Bay Date Ideas: Date Ideas Bay Area, Things To Do In Sonoma County, Date Ideas Sonoma County, Fun Sonoma Ideas, Bay Area Date Ideas, Napa Romantic Wineries, Napa Valley Honeymoon Itinerary
Clients get my additional insider picks and specific details for when and where to go for fall foliage, mustard bloom, best views and more.
San Francisco First Date Ideas: https://eddie-hernandez.com/san-francisco-date-ideas/
East Bay Date Ideas (Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda): https://eddie-hernandez.com/east-bay-date-ideas/
Marin County Date Ideas, Places To Meet Singles: https://eddie-hernandez.com/marin-county-date-spots/
South Bay & Peninsula Date Spots: https://eddie-hernandez.com/silicon-valley-date-ideas/
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant for men & women and a professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, and beyond as seen in the NYT, WSJ, SFGate, ABC7News & more.
Previously an analytics professional and user of dating apps himself, he possesses unique insight into the inner workings of dating apps and user behavior. He provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, image consulting, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, and offline techniques for meeting people organically.
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