We are really lucky to have some great parks in Sonoma. But when I first moved to Sonoma about 4 years ago, I only knew of the two main parks, Sonoma Plaza and Maxwell Park. Along the way, I have found a few other hidden gems. Remember to pack your park bag with all the essentials including water, sunscreen, band-aids, hat and snacks. And go have fun!
The two largest parks:
Maxwell Park- At the corner of Highway 12 and Verano Avenue.
Picnic area, barbecue pit, large playground, soccer and softball fields, tennis courts, Boys and Girls Club, skate park, bike path, woods, open space, creek, and 40 acres of natural trails. $6 per vehicle or purchase a pass from the Sonoma County Parks department. This month they are doing their annual membership drive for $69 for a family membership and you get a special discount card with some great promotions.
Sonoma Plaza- Relax on the grass under leafy shade trees, on park benches and outdoor tables, or in the large playground with climbing structures and swings for little kids. Toss the breadcrumbs from your picnic to the ducks chugging around the little pond. (If you’re picnicking on the grass, look out for ducks waddling your direction, hungry for handouts.) There are bathrooms and lots of yummy restaurants to get a snack.
Some smaller parks that are just as fun-
Olsen Park-569 Linda Drive. Small park just off of the bike path between 5th street west and Junipero Serra Drive. Nice grass area and good size play structure with swings. Take 5th St. West to Linda Drive and turn left. Park is on left side. No shade on the playground or bathrooms but you can follow the bike path all the way to Maxwell Shopping Center for a snack.
Armstrong Park- 550 Patten Street. Right in the middle of gorgeous Armstrong Estates is this quaint, fun park. Nice play structure and grass area with lots of trees. Nice winding path throughout the entire park for scooter or bike riding. Picnic benches are scattered throughout and there are BBQ pits.
K.T. Carter Park- 1135 Fryer Creek Dr. All Brand new playground equipment. Four swings, climbing wall, and play house make this a really fun park. It also has a basketball court, grass area, picnic benches and BBQ pits. A small path goes through the park in a loop making it ideal for kids who like to scooter or ride a bike and not venture off to far while you are pushing a little one in the swing. The only downsides are no shade on the play area and no bathrooms.
Ernie P. Smith Park-18776 Gilman Drive, between Gilman Drive and Arnold Drive.
Playground and picnic area, wetlands area and dog park. Much bigger park than it looks. The Dog park is fun to watch and there is a nice walk through the park. No shade on the play structure but there are port-a-potty’s.
Pinelli Park- Located at 433 France Street this park has also been recently renovated. It is a very cute park tucked in from the street with trees and a brand new play structure.
Hertenstein Park- 1055 Berryessa Drive. One of my favorite parks if you can find it! Nice play structure with 2 slides and great sand to dig in. Large grass area to play ball and the trail around the park is a complete loop and perfect for bike riding around the park. I love that the park is closed off on the back. There is a dry creek that you have to keep an eye out for on the right side and there isn’t any shade on the play structure but there is a nice tree on the grass area for a picnic. You can also get to the park from the bike path between MacArthur Street and Leveroni Street, just pass through the orange gates in the middle of the bike path and venture down the street a bit and you will see it.
Larson Park- End of DeChene Avenue. Boyes Hot Springs. Has a playground, picnic area, tennis courts, softball and soccer fields, creek. Directions from Highway 12, turn left onto Boyes Boulevard, then right onto Greger Street. Turn left on Lichtenberg Avenue and right on DeChene Avenue. Follow DeChene Avenue to the end and into Larson Park.
Other parks with out play structures-
Cornerstone- Located just down Arnold drive on the left side if you are coming from town. You can’t miss the big blue adirondack chair out front. Such a fun place place to spend the morning or whole day. My kids love the mini-golf course, cool barn for playing hiding and seek, sand area and huge cylinder tunnel. They have a restaurant on site for having lunch or grabbing a snack.
Bartholomew Park- Located at the Beuna Vista Winery. Off to the right side of the winery you will find a wonderful spot to have a picnic, explore, and take a break from the day. There are 3 miles of hiking trails surrounding the park as well. Just look for the white gazebo on the right side as you are coming into the winery. A visit into the winery will also provide you with a nice bottle of wine to enjoy with your picnic!
What are your favorite parks in Sonoma? Please let me know if you have a secret one you go to and see you at the park!