Frequently asked questions
Can I get to Sonoma County from San Francisco on mass transit?
While the best way to experience Sonoma County is renting a car, yes, you can use mass transit to visit. Check our listings of local companies that offer private transportation.
Sonoma County Airport Express (707-837-8700) offers transportation from San Francisco and Oakland international airports. There are four drop-off locations in Sonoma County: Petaluma Fairgrounds, DoubleTree by Hilton in Rohnert Park, the park and ride across from the Sonoma County fairgrounds in Santa Rosa (not available in late July through early August for the Sonoma County Fair), and the Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS), Santa Rosa.
The journey is part of the adventure. If you’re in San Francisco, take the ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Building to Larkspur. From there, you can take Golden Gate Transit buses (some transfers) to downtown Santa Rosa. Use the Golden Gate Transit trip planner to find the next bus. Or, if you aren’t near the Ferry Building, use the planner to find a Golden Gate Transit bus directly into Sonoma County.
From the Larkspur ferry building, another fun option is to take a local bus to the Sonoma-Marin Area Regional Trainsit (SMART) train station in downtown San Rafael. SMART carries passengers in energy-efficient, clean diesel trains along 43 miles of track, from downtown San Rafael in Marin County to the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport station at the north end of Santa Rosa, with six train stations in Sonoma County.
What is the best way to get around Sonoma County without renting a car? Sonoma County Transit buses run throughout the county. You can also explore central Sonoma County on SMART.
However, if you want to have the freedom to experience all Sonoma County has to offer, renting a car is highly recommended.
How far away are the airports from Sonoma County?
Sonoma County has its own airport, with daily flights on three major airlines. Otherwise, Sonoma County is located:
75 miles, or 1:33 hours north of San Francisco International (SFO)
76 miles, or 1:30 hours north of Oakland International (OAK)
Best of all, when you buy wine in Sonoma County, your wine flies back home free on Alaska Airlines.
119 miles, or 2:06 hours west of Sacramento International (SMF)
How do I get to Sonoma County by car?
From Sacramento: US-80 West to CA-12/121 West
From Seattle/Portland: US-5 or US-101 South
From Los Angeles/San Francisco: US-101 North via the Golden Gate Bridge: The Golden Gate Bridge has instituted all-electronic tolling, a cashless payment system.
Golden Gate Bridge: Tolls must be paid southbound on the Golden Gate Bridge, heading into San Francisco (the outbound direction is free). More info: www.goldengate.org/tolls
How do I get to Sonoma Count by air?
Sonoma County is reached via direct air service on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, or United Airlines to the Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS), named after long-time Santa Rosa resident Charles M. Schulz (creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip).
Sonoma County Airport has flights from:
Los Angeles, Orange County, Portland, San Diego, and Seattle on Alaska
Phoenix-Sky Harbor on American Airlines (Sky West)
San Francisco on United
Minneapolis on Sun Country (seasonal Aug. 24 through Dec. 3 – depart Thursdays, return Sundays)
Via a transfer from another Alaska, Horizon, or American Airlines flight