Archive for the ‘Sonoma County Events’ Category


Monday, July 1st, 2013


Sonoma County is experiencing a series of 100+ degree days, expected to continue through the 4th. When the “Cool down” comes, it’s only supposed to drop to mid-nineties. We at Sonoma County Vacations would like to provide guests with a couple of items to help make their stays enjoyable.

1. If you have no pool at the home you’re renting, see about turning the hot tub down so you have a dipping pool of sorts;

2. Make sure to turn air conditioners off at night so they don’t freeze up (in which case you’ll have no air or you could break the system).

3. Most home air conditioners are not sized for industrial strength like hotels. When it’s this hot, they lose some functionality, and no matter how low you turn it, it’s not going to cool down. In fact, setting it below 75 could freeze it up. Be sure to give the A/C a break, especially between the hottest hours, 4-8 p.m., set it a little higher.

4. At night, after the sun goes down open all windows and doors which have a screen, and leave open until early morning, then shut everything, close drapes, blinds, etc to keep the house dark and cool.


Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

In the spirit of Memorial Day and summer coming, today’s blog is a series of quick tips.
1. If traveling in a place where language is a barrier for you, snap or upload a photo of the place/places you want to go and keep in your cell phone.

2. Pack everything in your carry on in clear plastic bags. If you need to open your luggage everything can be seen easily.

3. Do you have a large family or group getting together? Consider renting a home instead of several hotel rooms.

4. Keep the mosquitoes away with: garlic, electric fans, lemon dish soap, and watering the lawn.

5. Items you can use to c lean the grill? Dryer sheets, Newspaper, Orange Peel, aluminum foil.

6. Uses for a golf tee: Makeshift cap for tube of lotion, toothpaste, etc., Corn on the cob holders, garden markers (next to bulbs, perennials), or party stake to keep balloons from floating away.

7.  Off the beaten path — drive from Alexander Valley, Healdsburg, through Pine flat and come out at Cloverdale.  The old town (nothing left) of Mercuryville is a nice view point, and the Russian River can be seen in its wild and beautiful run through canyons.  Gorgeous when the hills are still green.  Take a picnic, have plenty of gas.  When in Cloverdale, try Hamburger Ranch, , or Ruth McGowan’s Brew Pub.  Both are fun stops.


Hot topics via PhoCusWright

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013


Travel and Social Media: changing minds

Social media isn’t moving the travel needle, at least not yet. True, every travel company needs a social media strategy. Facebook is focused on making the travel vertical big business. How?

Interaction/commentary that is public, Google +, maps, TripAdvisor, reviews, You Tube flash. Lots of content attracts the traveler, quick responses, but still, nothing like the phone call and one on one interaction.

Vacation Rental Policies

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Sonoma County Vacations understands — There are hundreds of vacation rental homes to choose from, just in Sonoma County! How do you choose? Randomly pick one from an online sight? Call a reputable company? Why do they charge cleaning and tax on cleaning? “I’ll just pick one from an individual property owner who doesn’t charge all that, and I can save money” you might think. But what are the risks?

Reviews will tell the story? Not always, in fact, not nearly enough. Review sites are filled with extremes, both ways, negative and positive, and somewhere the truth lies in between. We’ve been reviewed negatively for not leaving spices out (which we never have in twenty years for liability reasons) as well as representing a property that was located on a busy street, even though we have a map, and ask for what the guests needs.

Suggestions? We have a 24/7 emergency/after hours phone and we live within ten minutes of most homes, and never more than 30 minutes whatever the case.

Would you like a walk through on arrival? We’re happy to oblige.
Policies? Payment in full 30 days prior to arrival, with 1/2 down upon reserving. Security deposit needs to be paid by check, secured funds, and returned within 30 days of departure.

Why so long? A security deposit is put down so the property owner has some security regarding utility usage as well as damage, and they need time to get the bills. We never want to keep a security deposit and I’ve personally paid a property owner many times over for small items to keep our guests returning. But that instance where hundreds of dollars of propane is used — I can’t cover that and a guest needs to be charged.

A property management company’s commission is a very small part of the total, and we typically do not have dollars to play with.

I can promise guests we go through every home prior to arrival and do a mechanical inspection to make sure everything is working, and is cleaned.
Coming in summer 2013?
Docusign for guest ease with the contract.
App for smart phones to download and have the house manual, directions, codes, etc.

We’re always looking to give our guests an easier way to reserve, and we have online 24/7 reservation service.

We hope this helps in your choices for reservation considerations.

Healdsburg Jazz Festival 5/31-6/9

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Tickets Now On Sale! Sonoma County’s “wine country” again becomes “jazz country” when the 15th annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival takes rolls into town, from May 31 – June 9, 2013 at indoor and outdoor venues around Healdsburg.

The 2013 festival lineup includes a two-day tribute to jazz bassist CHARLIE HADEN, with CARLA BLEY, RAVI COLTRANE and more, plus other headline concerts by CHARLES LLOYD with JASON MORAN, and the FRED HERSCH TRIO.

Other featured artists appearing on our stages include LEE KONITZ, JOHN HEARD, BILL FRISELL, and more. Complete schedule here.

We’re also pleased to welcome SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK® to the list of artists in performance at Festival 2013. The all-women a cappella group celebrates their 40th year on June 9 with a stirring concert of gospel, blues, uplift and world music – it all adds up to Healdsburg Jazz! See press release here.

Grape To Glass Weekend!

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Just a few more days till Grape To Glass weekend. On August 20, 21, and 22, the Russian River Valley Winegrowers will be celebrating its 15th annual Grape to Glass weekend. This will be 3 whole days filled with fun activities, so if you’re going to be in wine country this weekend, this might be something you’d want to look in to!

There will be concerts, photo contests, and also activities such as kayaking! So there’s a lot of things to do other than just wine tasting. For more information, please visit the Russian River Valley Winegrowers website. Have fun and taste responsibly!

What’s Going On In Healdsburg This Weekend?

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

If you’ll be in Healdsburg this weekend, there will be two events that you should look out for.

First, the Vineman- this will be held on Saturday, July 31st. 2010 marks the 21st Annual Full Vineman Triathlon, making it the oldest independant Ironman distance triathlon held in the continental United States. The experience which Vineman athletes have will be unmatched, as they swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles through beautiful Sonoma County’s wine country. The Vineman course is a tour of Sonoma County vineyards & wineries, which passes through five distinct regions. The swim takes place at Johnson’s Beach in the Russian River, one of the most rustic swim venues you’ll see in the sport. The bike course is a mix of terrain, and travels through the Russian River, Dry Creek, Alexander Valley, and Chalk Hill grape growing regions. With slightly less than 4000 feet of climbing for the entire bike course athletes find the course to be challenging but not overwhelming. The three loop, out-and-back, run course takes the athletes from the finish area through the back roads of Sonoma County. This will allow athletes to see their fellow competitors, family, and friends more often and keep everyone closer to “home”.

Second, Birding With A Ranger begins at Lake Sonoma. A Ranger will lead a walk every Sunday at 9:00AM – bring your binoculars, or there are some available for you to borrow. Meet at the Visitor Center on 3288 Skaggs Springs Rd in Geyserville. For more information please call Park Ranger Michael Carroll at 707-431-4535.

Grape Escape – The Sonoma County Fair

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

The Sonoma County Fair is just a week away! On July 27th to August 8th, the Sonoma county Fair will be held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. This will be a wonderful event, great for kids and families. There will be horse races, scarecrow building contests, bubblegum bubble blowing, grape juice moustache contest, horse races, farm animals, rides, lots of yummy food, concerts- just about everything!

Stop by the fair if you’re in town during these days- it’ll be fun! For more information, please visit Sonoma County Fair. We have a few vacation homes that are relatively near the fairgrounds, so if you’d like to stay in one of our vacation homes during those days, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’d love to help you out. Have fun and be safe!

Asti Tour de Vine

Monday, July 19th, 2010

There are so many amazing cycling events in wine country, and here’s another one! On Saturday, October 16, the Asti Tour de Vine will have a 25k, 50k, 100k, and 100mile bicycle tour. This will be the perfect time to cycle in wine country since it’ll be harvest time and the vineyards will be filled with grapes!

Stay in one of our vacation homes during this weekend and be part of this amazing event! Adults $60, students from 14-17 years old $35, and teams of five $275. Registration information can be found on

Have fun, be careful and good luck!

24th Annual Healdsburg Harvest Century Bicycle Tour

Friday, July 9th, 2010


The Healdsburg Harvest Century Bicycle Tour is just one week away! Healdsburg is known for being one of the best places to cycle, and if you’re into cycling and racing, this is the perfect activity for you! There can’t be anything better than cycling through vineyards, especially during this time of the year since the grapes are growing! There are races for cyclists of all levels. Road and mountain bike riders will enjoy this moderately challenging ride through the Alexander, Dry Creek & Russian River Valleys. Distance options include 23, 37 or 60 miles; gradually increasing in difficulty. The 23 mile route is rather flat, while the 37 & 60 mile routes have more rolling hills and moderate climbs.

We highly recommend you register for this event and stay for the weekend! We are almost booked for that weekend, so if you’d like to stay in one of our vacation homes that are right in Dry Creek, Alexander Valley or Russian River Valley, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (707) 433-8899. We’d love to help you out!

Good luck!