Sonoma County is a nice place live. Setting aside for a moment the awesome wines that are produced here, the great beers that are brewed here, and the many many amazing restaurants and inns serving up the unique Sonoma hospitality here -- the natural beauty is as good as it gets. These are some of our favorite outdoor spots.

Taylor Mountain Regional Park

Directions and park information here.

The walk to the top of Taylor Mountain from the base can be strenuous. Though the trail is well maintained and the elevation gain is easy for the first half. The second half is like walking up a steep set of stairs. The good news is that you're rewarded all along the trail with sweeping views of the Santa Rosa plain.

Sometimes we're not feeling up for hiking to the summit so we'll take one of the many shorter trails that wind through the open space area.

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Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

Directions and park information here.

Armstrong Woods is a great little get-away without having to get too far away. It's just a few miles from downtown Guerneville, itself a nice little destination. I first went when my folks came to visit. We wanted to take them to see redwoods but didn't want to deal with the hassle of some of the popular stands of redwoods. It was perfect. We had none of the parking ordeals, or reservation requirement of Muir Woods.

My folks don’t walk as well as they

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Steelhead Beach Regional Park

Directions and park information here.

Steelhead Beach is pretty popular summer destination for lots of folks around Santa Rosa and the surrounding towns. There's a boat launch, picnic area, and plenty of easily accessible walking trails. The Russian River winds through the park and is an excellent place to go fishing.

We're particularly fond of Steelhead Beach because it's just a short walk from home. For our taste, the best times to go and enjoy the trails are during the off season when it's less

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