U.S. News & World Report, known for its influential best colleges and hospitals rankings, has listed the 25 best small towns to visit in the USA – and the town of Sonoma came in on number 12.
The list, part of the media company’s annual Travel Rankings, featured American small towns like Bar Harbor, ME, which took the number one spot this year, Telluride (No. 2), Jackson Hole (No. 3), Lake Tahoe (No. 4), Monterey (No. 8) and Laguna Beach (No. 19). The rankings are based on user and editor scores and take into consideration elements such as “sights, culture, people, food, family, nightlife, adventure, romance value and accessibility.”
“Located in the heart of one of America’s best winemaking regions, this Northern California town boasts all of the charms of a rustic, yet refined locale without the crowds and high price tags of its larger neighbor, Napa,” said U.S. News & World Report of Sonoma.
This is the third time U.S. News & World Report names Sonoma one of the best small towns in the US (the town took the No. 1 spot on the 2017 list).
Other national travel publications and media companies also have recognized Sonoma’s small-town charm: Travel + Leisure magazine has named Sonoma among the top 10 towns in California with under 15,000 residents and one of “America’s best towns for July 4th.” Last year, Sonoma made Only In Your State’s list of best main streets in Northern California. And Budget Travel has named Sonoma one of the “coolest small towns in America.”
What are some of your favorite spots in the town of Sonoma? See a few hidden gems in the gallery above.