Russian River Valley
Wineries and Redwoods
9.5 Hours | Round-Trip Transportation
Picnic Lunch | Two Wineries
Small groups. Big trees. Great wine.
Take a day to truly enjoy the wine and redwoods of Sonoma County through the eyes of the passionate and fun guides who know it best. This full-day tour is designed for small groups who want to learn, have fun, and get a local feel for the wineries and redwoods just north of San Francisco.
About this Wine and Redwoods Tour
This is not a big bus tour to the redwoods and wineries outside of San Francisco. It’s about connecting with nature and relaxing over good wine, lunch, and conversation with your small group and the people you meet along the way. A highlight is a visit to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve*, the perfect spot for those who want the majesty of ancient redwoods without the massive crowds. Along with a relaxing walk through the redwood forest in Guerneville, you get to visit 2 wineries: a winery set in a majestic vineyard and a real-deal local winery.
|7:30 – 8:15 am||Pickup from your San Francisco hotel in most downtown and waterfront areas including Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, and Lombard, among others.|
|8:30 am||Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, enjoying views of the San Francisco Bay Area, Sausalito, and Marin County on the 1-hour drive to Sonoma County.|
|9:30 am||Arrive at Armstrong Redwoods State Nature Reserve*, with
included admission. The well-paved trails make it easy for people to meander through this Northern California redwood grove. Your guide will give you the backstory of the park’s founder Colonel James Armstrong and his conservation efforts dating back to the 1870s. Don’t miss a chance to snap a pic in front of the oldest tree in the park, named after Colonel Armstrong.
|11:00 am||After a relaxing walk in the shadows of the ancient redwoods, hop back in your private luxury van for your next part of the day: wine tastings and picnic lunch. All of the wineries in the Russian River Valley offer two very different experiences — a small boutique winery and a grand tasting room located in the center of rolling fields of vines.|
|3:30 pm||Start return to San Francisco with a wonderful stop in the Marin headlands for photos of the Golden Gate Bridge|
|5:00 pm||Arrive in San Francisco back at your hotel.|
* In the event that we cannot go to the Armstrong redwoods, we will go to the iconic Muir Woods National Monument. On those days, we leave earlier in the morning to ensure that our guests enjoy the 1500-year-old forest without the crowds.
Please note: Tour times are approximate
What you can expect with Best Bay Area Tours
You get to learn more: From the time of morning pickup at your San Francisco hotel to drop off in the late afternoon, your guide shares anecdotes and history about the places you get to visit on this full-day experience.
You’ll be entertained: What’s the point of doing a tour if you can’t have fun? Every aspect of your tour has been carefully thought out so you get the most out of your visit to the Bay Area.
You get a truly local experience: Best Bay Area Tours is owned and operated by San Francisco locals. We create intimate, relaxed experiences that allow you to truly get to know all the beauty and bounty of the region.
How long does it take to get from San Francisco to the redwoods?
The Redwoods stretch from Monterey to the Oregon border. After years of clear-cutting they grow primarily in preserved parks such as Muir Woods (25 minutes from SF), Big Basin (2 hours) and Armstrong Woods (1 hour). In these majestic forests, you will find some of the oldest redwoods in the world, with some dating back as far as the Middle Ages.
How strenuous is the walking on this tour of the California redwoods?
At Best Bay Area Tours, we try to make sure all of our passengers can get the full experience of the Giant Redwoods, so remember to wear comfortable walking shoes for the one-mile trail that is flat and wheelchair accessible.
Are there bathrooms on the bus?
We do not have bathrooms on our buses but we can make a stop during the drive, which is approximately 1.5 hours one way.
What should I bring to the Northern California redwoods?
We provide everything you would need for the tour: Admission, lunch, water on board. Feel free to brings snacks on board, but it is not necessary.
What’s the difference between Armstrong Redwoods and Muir Woods?
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is an impressive and lesser-known alternative to Muir Woods, where you’ll still get millennia-old redwoods stretching from the canopy floor to the sky. The state park was established in 1908, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places one hundred years later in 2008.
How is this San Francisco redwoods tour unique?
This tour is meant to take you off-the-beaten path to experience Sonoma County and its surroundings including Armstrong Redwoods, the Russian River Valley, and towns such as Guerneville. Expect to see and taste the less expected things that Sonoma has to offer: locally owned wineries and the less travelled Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve — with all tasting and admission fees, and a picnic lunch, included.
Is this California Redwoods Tour wheelchair accessible?
For people who would like to use a collapsible wheelchair, we are more than happy to accommodate that. Just let us know at the time of booking. Every stop on our visit, including the Armstrong Redwoods, features flat walking paths that are well maintained.
|Adults||Children (under 12)|
*Price includes all park entrance fees (unlike other tour companies).
Always Small Groups
We don’t do big bus tours. We create intimate, relaxed experiences that allow you to truly get to know
the Bay Area and its surrounding region.
Check out our other tours.
Russian River Valley Reviews
This daytrip was the highlight of our San Francisco vacation. We had an amazing day, and everything went perfectly smoothly. We were picked up in front of our hotel at the designated time, and could tell right away that…
our guide, Anthony, would be a lot of fun. He chatted to the group as we left San Francisco, talking about what our day would be like, and pointing out interesting things along the way. The group size is up to 15, but there were only 8 of us, so we also got to know each other a bit throughout the day.
We started at Muir Woods, where Anthony escorted us through the entry (included in our tour price), and pointed out suggested routes on the trail map. He even gave us tips on how to photograph such giants. We had ample time, and Muir was simply magical. Best of all, it was quiet when we arrived, only starting to get busy as we prepared to leave.
We visited our first winery next, with gorgeous scenery and a comfortable table around which we were able to chat between servings. We had about 90 minutes at Sonoma Plaza (on our own, but we joined up with another couple from our group), which was ample time for lunch and a peek at some of the shops. We at at La Casa for Mexican. Good food, large portions.
At our second, and last, winery, we got to meet the wine maker and tasted some award-winning wines, including one with a double-gold rating. Many of us chose to order another glass after the tasting was done and a few bottles for the road.
On the way back to San Francisco, we stopped at a great little spot for pictures of the city across the bay, and the Golden Gate bridge. All in all, it was a relaxing and memorable day, with a charming and entertaining guide, and I highly recommend.
We took this tour with Don, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the greater San Francisco area. We had just arrived in the city the night before and were the first to be picked up from our hotel. This ended up being a bonus as Don…
described the different neighborhoods and special attractions and restaurants we might want to return to as we traveled around the city picking up others from their hotels. We arrived at Muir Woods early and practically had that entire forest to ourselves for a while – magical! The two Sonoma wineries we visited were Deerfield Ranch, which has a large and swanky wine cave, and Homewood Winery, where Dave Homewood runs practically a one-man operation. Homewood’s facility was more basic than Deerfield’s but Dave’s ability to teach us how to taste wines and answer all our questions about the process made that visit a phenomenal experience, and we ended up ordering a case of his wine shipped to our home. Don is a fantastic, safe driver (don’t know how he is able to maneuver through traffic while enthusiastically describing what you are passing) and we liked that he always identified points of interest, such as when we were passing two prisons (Alcatraz, of course, but also San Quentin) — it kept the drive time from being boring. We enjoyed this experience so much that we booked a second tour with Best Bay Area Tours.
What an amazing day we had with our tour guide, Don! Picked us up from our hotel right on time. Don was very congenial, knowledgeable and entertaining! Offered loads of information on various historical…
homes and buildings we passed while picking up the other passengers. Gave us lots of information about Muir Woods, the wineries we visited and of Sonoma County. We thoroughly enjoyed this tour and highly recommend it!