The town of Sonoma might be the gateway to Sonoma Wine Country, but it’s hardly the only place in this sprawling county to visit with your dog. The laid-back Russian River region is especially renowned for its paw-friendly hotels, restaurants and wineries, and urban areas such as Santa Rosa and Petaluma have their own sets of dog-friendly charms.
Hood Mountain Regional Park near Santa Rosa is an especially rewarding place for canines and their people to visit. This rugged, 1,750-acre beauty spot adjacent to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park offers many opportunities to work up a pant with Rover. Among them is the 3.5-mile round-trip trek from the Los Alamos Road trailhead, reached via a narrow, winding road, to the headwaters of Santa Rosa Creek. The route will give you both a workout as it climbs and dips through rugged terrain to end up at a streamside spot perfect for a rest, a picnic and a swim for your pup.
No time for a hike? While away an afternoon hour or two at Vintners’ Square in Santa Rosa, an “urban winery village” with four artisan wineries, a selection of shops and a series of landscaped, dog-friendly patios where entertainment is presented almost daily during the warm months. The food trucks arrive on Wine Down Thursdays, adding yummies to the mix.
If Rover needs to run, put Perrone Dog Park in Glen Ellen your “must visit” list. After he’s gotten his ya-yas out in this nicely landscaped, leash-free acre of land just south of town, the two of you can stroll and enjoy spring wildflowers in 162-acre Sonoma Valley Regional Park.
Photo: Hood Mountain Regional Preserve – David Hoffman (CC)
Story posted 4/7/12