Anyone who loves gardens will be hearing a lot very soon about Sunset magazine making Cornerstone Sonoma, a garden and retail complex on Highway 121 near the junction with Highway 116, the site of its new demonstration gardens and outdoor test kitchen. The magazine in 2009 named the existing gardens, which feature 20-plus walk-through installations updated by visiting landscape artists, one of the Top 10 gardens in the West. The New York Times has also praised the inspirational plantings visited by more than 100,000 people each year.
But DogTrekkers don’t have to wait for Sunset to enjoy the gardens or the complex of shops surrounding them. The 36-acre site features two wine-tasting venues (Keating and Meadowcroft) with dog-friendly outdoor tables, a smattering of home-and-garden shops that don’t balk at four-legged browsers, and a café, Park 121, featuring a seasonal menu crafted from locally sourced ingredients.
Admission to the Cornerstone Gardens is free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the gardens; shops stay open until 5 p.m. Walking paths are flat, but there are lot of them. Wear comfortable shoes and a hat, and please pick up after your pup.