The Sonoma Valley Guide
“The site of California’s earliest planted vineyards, Sonoma Valley is rich in both history and legend—the word “Sonoma” is derived from the valley’s native Pomo, Coast Miwok, and Wappo tribes and means “many moons.” Located between the Mayacamas and Sonoma Mountain ranges, the region envelops a smattering of rustic farms, idyllic small towns, and scenic vineyards, which consistently churn out some of the world’s best chardonnays. Although easily accessible via a flight into Santa Rosa, it’s a bit more spread out and trickier to navigate than its neighbor Napa Valley, giving reason to why it’s slightly less touristy, but still a worthy destination in its own right.
Layla – Why We Love It
A meal at the restaurant at Sonoma’s MacArthur Place, Layla, feels like you’re dining in a friend’s beautiful backyard. The indoor dining room is in an airy, light-filled modern barn, but you’ll want to snag a seat on the patio, where you’re surrounded by lush trees and greenery. That’s to say: For an upscale hotel restaurant, Layla is as stunning as it should be, yet it remains warm and inviting—a pillar of dining in Sonoma Valley. The Mediterranean-focused menu leans on locally sourced ingredients and bright, fresh flavors, like the crispy Spanish octopus paired with black risotto and tender lamb chops served with roasted baby artichokes and fava beans.
MacArthur Place – Why We Love It
Founded over a century ago as family estate, vineyard, and working ranch, this newly remodeled property is a bucolic, low-key-luxurious landing spot for visiting oenophiles. Each of its sixty-four rooms—which are nestled in private (socially distanced!) farmhouse-style cottages—is appointed with custom furnishings, cloudlike linens, art by local artists-in-residence, and in some cases: a stunning outdoor shower. But the true beauty is in the grounds, which boast lush lawns and gardens, winding flagstone paths, verdant archways, and cozy firepits to unwind by after a day of tastings. Don’t skip the on-site dining at Layla (locals flock to this Mediterranean-meets-farm-kitchen spot every day of the week) or the spa, which offers an extensive menu of relaxing facials and massages featuring essential oils made from local flowers, herbs, and plants.” – Goop, December 2021