Sonoma is a magical town at Christmas time. The boutique tasting rooms, eclectic restaurants, chic shops and native trees are all decked out in white twinkling lights, exuding a warm and festive atmosphere for locals and tourists strolling along the plaza.
The stops along the way are many, and nothing says ‘Happy Holidays’ better than the sound of a cork escaping a bottle of bubbly. This merry sound can be heard coming out of SIGH, Sonoma’s only bubble bar on the Sonoma Square, where champagne is poured, fizzes in delicate flutes that clink together in the hands of friends. Inside, dangling from the ceiling, bubble mobiles float in the air, reminding guests to travel light on their journey through life. SIGH makes customers feel right at home as they sip from a wide array of champagne vintages on the menu while overlooking a cobblestone courtyard from cozy corner window seating.
Walk a little farther east and discover the best fine dining restaurant in Sonoma, Café La Haye, the place to savor a delicious American-inspired meal. This tiny gem off the square is known for its farm‑fresh Californian cuisine in a quaint, classy nook. Their menu features a wide array of culinary delights and an impressive award-winning wine menu. Inside the intimate dining room, guests overlook an open kitchen, a high raftered ceiling, and pieces of modern art colorfully displayed on surrounding walls.
For breakfast or lunch, Basque Boulangerie Café is home to Sonoma’s original sourdough and sweet French breads. The Café is a great food and java joint, offering homemade soups, fresh sandwiches and salads, baked goods and home-made desserts. One word best describes this spot: Yummy!
After you’ve satisfied your belly, a little shopping is in order to complete your day trip. Whether you are looking for the right stylish outfit (Bear Moon Clothing), a classic or best-selling book to read by the fire (Readers Books), a drop-dead gorgeous pair of designer shoes (Sole Desire), some romantic soft lighting, (The Candlestick) or a unique collection of home furnishings (Harvest Home), Sonoma can help you find the perfect gift to place under the tree for that special someone.
Come celebrate the old world charm of Sonoma—a memorable way to close out one year and start a new!
–Monica L. Dashwood is a freelance writer. She blogs at Wine Country Diaries.
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