Places to be this summer: Sonoma County

It’s that time of year again. Students pack up their things, go home and Rohnert Park turns into a barren wasteland; or so everyone thinks. 

There are a ton of things to do around Sonoma County over summer that many people don’t realize. 

If students are staying here after classes end, feel free to check out some of these local events happening during the hot summer days. 

Paddling the Russian River, fishing on the Bodega Harbor and hiking the Taylor Mountain trails are all popular things to do in the Summer. 

Want somewhere to enjoy the sunshine while staying cool?  The Spring Lake Lagoon in Santa Rosa and the Healdsburg Veteran’s Memorial Beach on the Russian River have life-guarded beaches that are open and safe for swimming. 

The largest farmer’s market in Sonoma County is in Santa Rosa every Wednesday night from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Students can come enjoy fresh produce, arts, crafts and local goods. 

In Rohnert Park, there is a Friday night market and Party on the Plaza from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday nights in Library Parking Lot and City Center Plaza.  

STAR \\ Brandon Stachnik Every year the Sonoma County Fair attracts crowds from all over with food, games and rides.

STAR \\ Brandon Stachnik

Every year the Sonoma County Fair attracts crowds from all over with food, games and rides.

Further north in Santa Rosa, theannual Sonoma County fair is from July 22 throughAugust 7 at the fairgrounds. Ring in summer with live horse racing, a giant carnival, floral shows, live entertainment, food and contests. This is definitely something Sonoma State students don’t want to miss. 

Also located inSanta Rosa is the Country Summer Festival from June 3 to 5 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Students can dress up in their best flannels and cowboy boots and see bands like Chase Rice, The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum. 

In Napa, the long-awaited BottleRock Festival will be hosting bands like Florence and the Machine, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Walk the Moon beginningMay 27.

For fans of craft beer and good food, the Santa Rosa Beer Festival on June 11 is an annual microbrew and food tasting extravaganza with more than 60 of Northern California’s best microbreweries. Petaluma also has some events going on this Summer, such as the Art and Garden Festival on July 10. People gather downtown to enjoy local crafters, wineries, breweries, gardeners, restaurants and food while listening to live music.

During the Summer, Windsor holds an annual Hot Air Balloon Festival that brings viewers from all over Northern California. Dozens of hot air balloons will be let loose for audiences to watch on June 18 and 19.

And of course, San Francisco will hold many events over the summer ranging from festivals to parades. The famous indie festival Outside Lands will feature Radiohead, Chance the Rapper and Aer. June will hold many events including a silent film festival, the Union Street festival, the North Beach festival and San Francisco Pride.

Need something fun to do for Fourth of July? Come to San Francisco for the Waterfront Festival for fireworks, local bands, food and arts and crafts to celebrate the patriotic holiday. 

Also popular during the Summer is the San Francisco Noe Valley Wine Walk. This event, happening from August 18 through 24 will feature tastings, wine samples and special treats.