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Which neighborhood to rent a house in

New York City, New...
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Which neighborhood to rent a house in

Hello, I am planning a family trip to Sonoma in September, and would appreciate any help on which neighborhoods to consider renting a house in. I've never been to California wine country and the sheer number of neighborhoods is a bit overwhelming. Currently, I have found houses in the following neighborhoods: Windsor, Healdsburg (looking at a house 2 miles from Healdsburg Plaza, one in Dry Creek Valley, and one on Fitch Mountain), Geyserville, Santa Rosa (five minutes from Ledson Winery), Jenner, and Bodega Bay. I'm open to other options as well. We tend to prefer houses in natural settings (as opposed to cities or towns), and views of mountains, rivers, or vineyards are a definite plus. With that said, we don't want to be super far from restaurants and wineries. We plan to hire a car to take us to various wineries on one day (I do not have any wineries picked out), and we might have dinner at the Farmhouse Inn one night (I've heard great things from friends). I did not consider Napa because it seems rather expensive and a friend said Sonoma was more rural. If you disagree and think I should be considering Napa though, I'd be happy to consider Napa neighborhoods as well. I'm a newbie to California wine country, so any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much!

Napa, CA
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1. Re: Which neighborhood to rent a house in

Napa probably won't work for you. The few "legal" vacation rentals are in the city of Napa in residential neighborhoods, not in the country.

In Sonoma County, Santa Rosa is the largest city in the North Bay. Windsor is a suburb of Santa Rosa. I have seen other travelers find vacation rentals there that they have liked. Windsor is very convenient to both Santa Rosa and Healdsburg and also the wineries in the Russian River Valley. It's in a highly populated area though.

Healdsburg is probably your best option for being close to wineries and fine restaurants. I would imagine the rentals there would be more expensive than in Windsor. Geyserville could work too. There's three very good restaurants there and you are in the Alexander Valley.

Also, look at Sebastapol, Guerneville, and Monte Rio. These are closer to the coast. The latter two are in the redwoods. Vineyards are close by and there's lots of scenic rural roads to drive in the area.

The main congestion in Sonoma County is along the Hwy 101 corridor. That's where most of the people live and where you will have the most traffic problems. If you get away from it, you will be in more rural areas.

San Francisco
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2. Re: Which neighborhood to rent a house in

I agree that Healdsburg would be a great location. Dry Creek might be nice too but will be further from town. Geyersville is getting even further afield and nix Santa Rosa ... it'll likely be a suburban environment.

I like Jenner but it's on the coast -- will be colder and further from wineries. Bodega Bay even more so.

Agree with above that Guerneville is nice. Check Forestville as well (that's where the Farmhouse is). Also check rural Sebastopol and Occidental.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Which neighborhood to rent a house in

This is incredibly helpful. I've already found a beautiful house in Guerneville that is much more reasonable than the options I had previously seen. Thanks so much!

Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: Which neighborhood to rent a house in

Had you thought of Sonoma Valley? The Glen Ellen/ Kenwood area sounds as if it fits what you want. You are not very far from the Russian River area and some excellent restaurants in the historical town of Sonoma, but still in a lovely rural area with vineyards all around you.

Actually, you can be in both the Sonoma Valley wineries and the Healdsburg/Dry Creek/Alexander Valleys in a short drive.

Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: Which neighborhood to rent a house in

By the way, I am puzzled about your calling these locations "neighborhoods" Are you aware that these are all separate towns, cities, communities in a large area and are not considered "neighborhoods" of the "wine country"?......which extends for many many miles.

New York, New York...
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6. Re: Which neighborhood to rent a house in

Thank you. I will look at Glen Ellen and Kenwood as well.

In terms of my use of "neighborhood," I get that they are separate towns and even cities and certainly do not underestimate the size of them. I just used "neighborhood" as a blanket term. I didn't think to focus on the semantic issue and hope it didn't cause any confusion.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Which neighborhood to rent a house in

By the way, the last response was from me. I didn't realize my husband had logged into tripadvisor while I was sleeping!

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8. Re: Which neighborhood to rent a house in

Glen Ellen is charming! We had dinner at Glen Ellen Inn not too long ago and really enjoyed our meal there. Sonoma/Glen Ellen is a wonderful place to stay for wine tasting and exploring. :).

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Which neighborhood to rent a house in

Thanks! Unfortunately, the rental options in Glen Ellen seem more expensive than the ones in Healdsburg and Guerneville.

10. Re: Which neighborhood to rent a house in

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