Glen Ellen is located in the heart of Sonoma Valley wine country. Winery tours and tastings dominate the list of things to do in this sleepy village – population, 784 – set in the midst of an idyllic landscape. The town itself features classic tiny cottages, white picket fences, and shade casting poplar trees.
Once home to famous author and adventurer, Jack London, the town’s biggest attraction is Jack London State Historic Park.
1.Jack London State Historic Park
© Jack London State Historic Park
Jack London State Historic Park, once the home of famous writer and adventurer Jack London, is a National Historic Landmark that is a local must-see. Situated on 1400 acres with stunning views and historic buildings, it has a diverse landscape and deep cultural legacy for travelers to explore. Visitors will find a giant Redwood tree that’s 2,000 years old, ruins of a 19th-century winery, and the cottage where the author wrote. Historic highlights in the park include House of Happy Walls Museum dedicated to London, his gravesite overlooking Valley of the Moon, the ruins of Wolf House – London’s 1911 dream house, Beauty Ranch, and a log bathhouse and stone dam at the lake.
2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-938-5216
2.Quarryhill Botanical Garden
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Self-described as “not your typical botanical garden,” Quarryhill Botanical Garden features wild Asian woodlands. It’s among the largest wild-sourced Asian plant collections in the world. Situated in an abandoned quarry, the garden is a testament to big dreams. This green oasis stands out against ashy, barren hills decimated in a 2017 fire that, thankfully, didn’t touch the garden. Visitors can enjoy the colors, patterns, and textures of the Woodland Garden. Jane’s garden, named for the founder, is an English-style garden of Asian species with blossoming cherry trees, gazebos, arbors, mature oak trees, and a fountain. There is also the amazing Chinese Heritage Rose Garden, and Stewartia Grove – a serene garden of flowering trees.
12841 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-996-3166
3.Morton’s Warm Springs Resort
© Morton’s Warm Springs Resort
Morton’s Warm Springs Resort is a sanctuary of geothermal springs located in Sonoma County’s Valley of the Moon. This mid-century resort has been providing city dwellers from San Francisco to Oakland with an escape to nature that features picnics, barbecues, recreation activities, and swimming in the mineral springs since the 1950s. Visitors can expect to find two geothermal pools, plus a wading pool, changing rooms and showers, Sonoma Creek access, creekside barbecue and picnic sites, and an organic café. There are also horseshoe pits, lawn games, ping pong tables, and a baseball field and sand volleyball court. The season runs early May through late September.
1651 Warm Springs Road, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-833-5511
4.Triple Creek Horse Outfit
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Triple Creek Horse Outfit is owned and operated by a young local couple – she being a horse wrangler before starting their business together. They operate their riding business from Jack London’s Beauty Ranch in Jack London State Historic Park. Guided horseback tours meander through oak woodlands, groves of towering redwoods, past world-class vineyards, and alongside shimmering creeks in quiet meadows. Horses are gentle and suitable for all levels of riders. Visitors must pay to enter the park, which is separate from riding tours. Two important perks come with guided tours – a Cottage Tour pass and tickets for Benziger Family Winery tastings.
2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-887-8700
© Wellington Cellars
Family-owned Wellington Cellars has a long reputation for producing estate wines from 100-year-old vines. After changing hands from one family to another in 2014, the new owners pared down to hand-crafted wines produced exclusively from the winery’s 24 acres. Wine enthusiasts will find vineyards with a range of grapes that include Cabernet, Chardonnay, Marsanne, Roussane, Sauvignon, Malbec, Grenache, and Merlot. There is also an old-vine Zinfandel that dates back to 1882. In 2019, the estate will open their renovated tasting room, plus a new barrel room. The goal is to produce French-Bordeaux to the tune of 3,500 cases annually, and educate the public via estate wine tasting tours.
11600 Dunbar Road, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-934-8604
6.Benziger Family Winery
© Benziger Family Winery
Benziger Family Winery has been producing wines for over 30 years. Winner of the 2018 People’s Choice Award for “Best Winery Tour and Tasting Room,” the family prides itself on sustainable organic farming using Biodynamic methods. Guests can choose from five winery experiences. The behind-the-scenes tour of the Sonoma Mountain winery, estate, and wine cave offer barrel tastings along the tour and seated tastings in the cave. There is also a Biodynamic Vineyard Tram Tour, a one-of-a-kind Pinot Noir “Taste of Terrior” experience, an exclusive tasting and lunch experience with one of the Benzigers, and the winery’s signature wine tasting.
1883 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 888 490 2739
7.Imagery Estate Winery & Art Gallery
© Imagery Estate Winery & Art Gallery
Another Benziger family property, Imagery Estate Winery & Art Gallery is dedicated to experimentation. Guests will find rare wines that have been crafted from uncommon varietals. Lagrein, Tempranillo, and Malbec wines take center stage on this estate. Visitors have access to both an array of rare wines, and the estate’s unique art collection. The Main Bar Tasting Bar serves five small production wine samples with no reservations. The semi-private Collection Tasting is a seated experience that includes five coveted varietals and works of art. Guests can also opt to bring their own picnic basket and share vineyard views at shaded tables outdoors.
1435 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 877-550-4278
© Loxton Winery
Loxton Winery is a five-acre estate vineyard in Sonoma Valley. This working winery produces handcrafted wines at a rate of 3,000 cases annually with 40% coming directly from the estate. This is an excellent place to watch the winemaking process from vine to glass. Vineyard Walkabout tours are offered weekends. Visitors get the nitty-gritty on the agricultural aspect of the vineyard, followed by a private seated tasting where they’ll learn even more. Crush Pad tours are offered seasonally during harvest where guests get an up-close-and-personal experience of watching grapes being sorted and crushed. Relaxed seated tastings, including limited wines, are held in the Reserve Room with reservations.
11466 Dunbar Road, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-935-7221
9.Madrone Estate Valley of the Moon Winery
© Madrone Estate Valley of the Moon Winery
Valley of the Moon Winery has been the home of world class wines for 150 years. The vineyard was planted in 1863, and the stone barrel cellar was built in 1887. A state-of-the-art winery graced the property in 1998. This is the place to be for Italian wines. The 60-acre estate boasts Barbera and Sangiovese classic Italian varietals, plus the Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel vines Sonoma Valley is known for. Wines are nurtured in American and French oak barrels, with traditional cellar management methods. The winery offers seven tasting experiences, including their signature Salon Tasting in a contemporary tasting room with leather armchairs and private tables.
777 Madrone Road, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-939-4500
10.B.R. Cohn Winery
© B.R. Cohn Winery
B.R. Cohn Winery is nestled in Valley of the Moon between the Mayacamas Mountains and Sonoma Mountain. This Glen Ellen winery serves tastings in a meticulously preserved 1920s estate home that is comfortable and casual. Tastes of B.R. Cohn is a food and wine pairing featuring estate wines and olive oils with gourmet bits. Farm to Bottle is a walking tour of Olive Hill Estate, and includes wine tasting. There is also a gourmet shop on the property where guests can taste hand-crafted, barrel-aged vinegars, gourmet olive oils, and charcuterie. Owner Bruce Cohn invites guests to explore the memorabilia room that commemorates his 45 years managing The Doobie Brothers rock-n-roll band.
15000 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-938-4064
11.Lasseter Family Winery
© Lasseter Family Winery
Three generations of the Lasseter family have been working tirelessly to fine-tune their winemaking vision at Lasseter Family Winery since 2002. They have embraced winemaking as an art form, and have created memorable classic, Old World wines. This winery offers two touring and tasting options by appointment only. The 90-minute Proprietor’s Reserve Tour and Tasting starts with a stroll through their organically farmed vineyards, followed by an exploration of the Tank Room, Barrel Room, Crush Pad, and a tasting in the Wine Room. The hour-long Tour and Barrel Sampling features the alchemy of science, art, and magic in winemaking. Guests learn about barrel aging on this walking tour with four tastes of finished wines, and a barrel sample.
1 Vintage Lane, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-933-2814
12.Arrowood Vineyard & Winery
© Arrowood Vineyard & Winery
If it’s Cabernet Sauvignon visitors crave, Arrowood Vineyard & Winery is the place, as it’s their signature wine. The winery is located in the sweet spot of Sonoma Valley that is best suited for this type of wine – a cool region with a pocket of warm air. Arrowood has been making wine organically and sustainably since 1986. Although the winery stakes its reputation on its Cabernet Sauvignon, its Chardonnay has also set the bar for California. Visitors will also find Rhone varieties like Viognier and Syrah. The beautiful estate tasting room and wraparound veranda provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing tasting. Reservations are required.
14347 CA-12, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 800-938-5170
13.Mayo Family Winery
© Mayo Family Winery
The Mayo Family Winery sources its vast variety of wines from its four vineyards. Laurel Hill Vineyard, planted in 2000, produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Ricci Vineyard produces the winery’s Zinfandel, and Delaney Family Vineyards produces the Petit Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery’s Malbec, Reisling, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir are sourced from Lion’s Lair at Hollister Hill. Guests have two tasting options:: Premium Tasting and Adventure Tasting. The first features familiar wines, and the second offers unique varietals. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnic to pair with a bottle or glass of wine in the courtyard. Reserve Room is a complete tasting experience paired with food, music, and art.
13101 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-938-9401
14.Transcendence Theatre Company
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Transcendence Theater Company produces seasonal Broadway-style concerts in Jack London State Historic Park. Aptly named, Broadway Under the Stars, the award-winning, open-air, live performances take place in the Kohler & Frohling Winery ruins in the park. The theatre company has poured over $400,000 dollars into Jack London Park via their wildly popular performances, which helps keep the park open to the public. This is a must-see on a visit to Glen Ellen. For those wanting to try their own acting chops, Transcendence also hosts Skits Under the Stars, an open-mic night performance, at different wineries around the county. Guests should check the website for locations and times, as well as for current seasonal concert series details.
1151 Broadway, #201, Sonoma, CA, Phone: 877-424-1414
15.Little Vineyards Family Winery
© Little Vineyards Family Winery
Little Vineyards Family Winery is indeed little with 17.5 acres of their 23-acre estate producing just 2,500 cases of wine annually, but the winery moniker comes from the Little family surname. They’ve been crafting award-winning blended wines since 2002 with their first two winners – 2002 Resonance, a Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend, and 2002 Zinfandel, both estate grown. Guests are invited to Estate Tasting, without reservations, where they’ll indulge in five current releases of their Estate grown wines. A Touch of Gold Tastings feature five tastings of their Double Gold or Gold award winning wines. Reservations are required for Gold Tastings.
15188 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-996-2750
16.Sonoma Valley Regional Park
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Just outside Glen Ellen village, visitors will find a 202-acre park with miles of trails. Sonoma Valley Regional Park allows biking, hiking, and horseback riding on the trails. A main trail (Valley of the Moon Trail) winds through oak woodlands and along a stream, while several unpaved, connected trails reach into the surrounding ridges and hillsides looping back to the main trail. Travelers with pets will appreciate Elizabeth Perrone Dog Park, which is an off-leash fenced area near the parking lot for dogs to freely romp. There is also a grassy area for barbecuing and picnicking near the entrance that is shaded by an oak canopy.
13630 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-539-8092
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17.Eric Ross Winery
© Eric Ross Winery
When everyone else is scrambling to be new and different, Eric Ross Winery is keeping the tasting experience “old school.” The tasting room provides guests with a thoughtful and unrushed ambience where they can fully experience the nuances of the wines they’re tasting. Guests can expect uniquely crafted varietals of Pinot Noir, Albarino, Grenache, Viognier, Ols Vine Zinfandel, Tempranillo, Cabernet, and even a Port dessert wine. Owner and winemaker, Eri Luse, is also a professional photographer. Visitors to the tasting room are surrounded by artful photographs that are available for purchase. The tasting fee is subtracted from bottled wine purchases.
14300 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-939-8525
18.Laurel Glen Vineyard
© Laurel Glen Vineyard
Cabernet Sauvignon lovers beat a path to Laurel Glen Vineyard where this wine is their specialty. Grown on the enviable Sonoma Mountain eastern slopes, the 14-acre estate is in the only suitable area of the county to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery combines the perfect growing conditions with organic farming, Double Guyot training, and improved trellising for the perfect harvest. Laurel Glen provides visitors with three tasting options. Current Release Tastings are 40-minute sessions offering three wine tastings from the current year’s release, plus a vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. Library Tasting of Rare Wines tastings are one hour and offer samples of Cabernet Sauvignon vintages. Lunch with a Vinter is a seasonal third option from August through October.
969 Carquinez Avenue, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-933-9877
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19.Jack London Village
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Jack London Village is a Glen Ellen historical site. The 1839 repurposed sawmill is now home to shops, eateries, and galleries. A historical exhibit located in the main hallway chronicles Glen Ellen’s history, Jack and Charmian London, and winemaking. It’s the cornerstone of the village. Visitors will also find two restaurants. Aventine Restaurant serves traditional Italian fare with a modern twist, and Yeti Restaurant offers Nepalese-Indian fusion food. Hopscotch Gifts and Gallery and Sculpturesite Gallery are a feast for the eyes where guests can both admire and purchase items. Horatius Coffee and Eatery offers a casual place to relax with a coffee and a bite to eat.
14301 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-996-2888
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20.Glen Ellen Village Market
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Specialty shoppers will find their Shangri-La at Glen Ellen Village Market. Shoppers will find farm fresh local produce, top-quality seafood and meat, and both imported and local wines, as well as 300 liquors and 200 beers. There is a coffee bar with Peet’s Coffee, Mighty Leaf Tea, Fiorello’s Gelato, and fresh juices. The olive bar features over 70 local and imported olives and antipasti. Artisanal cheeses come in 500 varieties from all over the world. There’s a deli with made-to-order sandwiches and picnic items. The Market bakery serves over 100 types of breads, pies, cookies, and more, and the floral shop has earned the People’s Choice Award for “Best Place to Buy Flowers.”
13751 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-996-6728
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21.Korbin Kameron, Moonridge Vineyard
© Korbin Kameron, Moonridge Vineyard
Korbin Kameron, Moonridge Vineyard is a family-owned, 186-acre property on Mount Veeder. Moonridge Vineyard makes Bordeaux varietal wines under the brand Korbin Kameron, the names of the owners’ twins. With the help of master winemaker Timothy Milos and famed viticulturist Phil Coturri, the vineyard now produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and more. The vineyard is closed to the public, and tastings are by reservation only. They offer two tastings – Current Release Tasting and Vertical Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting. The former is a sit-down tasting of current releases, and the latter features multiple estate Cabernet vintages. Groups are limited to ten.
5420 Cavedale Road, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 4115-699-9817
22.GlenLyon Vineyards & Winery
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SoCal escapees Squire and Suzy Fridell built their home and vineyard on 26 acres in Sonoma Valley just north of Glen Ellen in 1987. The vineyards are predominately Syrah, with an acre of Cabernet Sauvignon for good measure. This boutique winery specializes in high-end small lots. Private tastings and tours at GlenLyon are by appointment only. Guests will learn about the history of the vineyard and the winemaking process, as well as taste a number of current release wines. The owner will also share thoughtful pairing ideas for your favorites like their estate Syrah with dry Monterey Jack cheese and their Port paired with milk chocolate.
2750 Johns Hill Road, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-833-0032
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Lake Suttonfield is a clear water reservoir that is surrounded by California oak woodlands and features a loop trail around the lake. The trail passes a swim platform if hikers need a refreshing dip along the way. This 1.5 mile trail that encircles the lake connects from a paved main trail that bisects Sonoma Valley Regional Park from Arnold Drive to Highway 12. There are restrooms and water at the Sonoma Highway entrance to the main trail. Although there is a $7 parking fee in the park, there is also limited free parking near the Arnold Drive entrance. This lake is perfect for hiking, biking, swimming, and bird and wildlife viewing.
13630 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-539-8092
24.Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Tasting & Tap Room
© Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Tasting & Tap Room
Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Tasting & Tap Room is an innovative winery that’s changing the wine experience with a wine on tap philosophy. This creative vintner is focused on growing and producing quality wines in a sustainable way that challenges traditional California wines. Visitors can expect Estate Syrah wines that are approachable. On-premise tastings are straight from kegs eliminating both wine spoilage and packaging waste. The tasting room is modern and casual. Guests can purchase Kivelstadt Cellars wines in corked bottles or reusable growlers. Their tasting room is open Thursdays through Mondays. Wine flights are available in red wine, white wine, or mixed varietals.
13750 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-938-7001
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25.Oak Hill Farm
© Oak Hill Farm
Oak Hill Farm is situated on the Mayacamas Mountains’ western slope outside Glen Ellen, California. This 25-acre farmland has been sustainably growing produce and flowers for over 50 years. Harvests include 200 varieties of fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, and greenery. Visitors to the 100-year-old Red Barn Store on the property will find an array of ornamental greens and flowers, lettuces, herbs, heirloom vegetables, and fruit. There are also handcrafted bouquets and seasonal wreaths on hand. The environmentally responsible blossoms used in wreaths and bouquets represent the four seasons, so guests will never miss out on fresh flowers. From spring daffodils and summer sweet peas to fall marigolds and winter eucalyptus, it’s all here.
15101 CA-12, Glen Ellen, CA, Phone: 707-996-6634
25 Best Things to do in Glen Ellen, California
- Jack London State Historic Park, Photo: Jack London State Historic Park
- Quarryhill Botanical Garden, Photo: Courtesy of mattegg - Fotolia.com
- Morton’s Warm Springs Resort, Photo: Morton’s Warm Springs Resort
- Triple Creek Horse Outfit, Photo: Courtesy of Roman Pavlov - Fotolia.com
- Wellington Cellars, Photo: Wellington Cellars
- Benziger Family Winery, Photo: Benziger Family Winery
- Imagery Estate Winery & Art Gallery, Photo: Imagery Estate Winery & Art Gallery
- Loxton Winery, Photo: Loxton Winery
- Madrone Estate Valley of the Moon Winery, Photo: Madrone Estate Valley of the Moon Winery
- B.R. Cohn Winery, Photo: B.R. Cohn Winery
- Lasseter Family Winery, Photo: Lasseter Family Winery
- Arrowood Vineyard & Winery, Photo: Arrowood Vineyard & Winery
- Mayo Family Winery, Photo: Mayo Family Winery
- Transcendence Theatre Company, Photo: Courtesy of Tatiana - Fotolia.com
- Little Vineyards Family Winery, Photo: Little Vineyards Family Winery
- Sonoma Valley Regional Park, Photo: Courtesy of Lynn Yeh - Fotolia.com
- Eric Ross Winery, Photo: Eric Ross Winery
- Laurel Glen Vineyard, Photo: Laurel Glen Vineyard
- Jack London Village, Photo: Courtesy of VILLAREAL L. - Fotolia.com
- Glen Ellen Village Market, Photo: Courtesy of Lorenza - Fotolia.com
- Korbin Kameron, Moonridge Vineyard, Photo: Korbin Kameron, Moonridge Vineyard
- GlenLyon Vineyards & Winery, Photo: Courtesy of Rostislav Sedlacek - Fotolia.com
- Suttonfield Lake, Photo: Courtesy of renamarie - Fotolia.com
- Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Tasting & Tap Room, Photo: Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Tasting & Tap Room
- Oak Hill Farm, Photo: Oak Hill Farm
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of jerdad - Fotolia.com