As symbols of love, hope and passion, roses are
said to have miraculous healing powers and legendary for soothing both heart and
soul. "Rose is a rose is a rose," American writer Gertrude Stein so dismissively
said, but clearly she had never toured the rose gardens of Sonoma County. This
is the time of year to see Sonoma's flowery bounty at its best. This pastoral
landscape is filled with rose-inspired escapades of varying colors, fragrances,
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
100 Boyes Blvd.
Sonoma, California 95476
(707) 938 9000
In any gardener's realm, the stunning and grand Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
Spa is a long-stemmed beauty. Like delicate rose petals, pink walls wrap
themselves around manicured gardens and steamy hot springs pools. The comforting
embrace of a romantic suite includes a two-person Jacuzzi tub and luxurious
4-poster king-sized bed. At the inn's Willow Stream Spa, partake of the "bathing
ritual" and the source waters of Boyes Hot Springs. Then enjoy a couples' Wine,
Roses & Romance Package. This opulent pleasure includes sparkling wine and
chocolate covered strawberries, daily breakfast in bed (for two), rose petal
turndown, and sparkling wine tasting for two at Gloria Ferrer.
(Note: As of this story posting, the package is offered year-round, subject to availability.)
Luther Burbank Rose Parade & Festival
Downtown Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa residents
honored their patron, Saint Rose, when naming this rose-rich community. Roses
are revered each May at the Luther Burbank Rose Parade & Festival. Celebrated
for more than 120 years, the festival paid homage to the rose long before the
distinguished horticulturalist settled in the region. Known for his work with
fruits and vegetables, Luther Burbank's early work included hybridizing a number
of roses which also played a part in his future research. Spectacular in spring,
Burbank's handiwork is beautifully displayed at the Luther Burbank Home &
Gardens. Docent-led tours, April through October, include his greenhouse and
Greek Revival home.
Hotel La Rose
308 Wilson Street
Santa Rosa CA 95401
In gardening vernacular, Hotel La Rose
in downtown Santa Rosa is truly Old World. Built in 1907, its timeless granite
architecture belies its warm and gracious interior. Historic rooms are named for
illustrious founders of Santa Rosa's Historic Railroad Square (railroadsquare.net), where the hotel
resides. The newer Carriage House surrounds a rose-draped courtyard and provides
modern-day amenities. As a final compliment to this flourish of flowers, Hotel
La Rose's delightful Romance Rose Package — Sonoma County champagne, chocolates
and a dozen red roses— sets the mood for love and romance.
Tudor Rose English Tea Room
733 4th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
At the Tudor Rose
English Tea Room, enjoy the regal charms of high tea surrounded by hundreds to
teacups and teapots. High Tea menus honor British royalty and celebrities,
everyone from Prince George and Queen Victoria to Harry Potter and Mary Poppins.
A variety of delicious repasts include assorted tea sandwiches, scones with
house cream, sausage rolls, crumpets with lemon curd, and an endless pot of tea.
An homage to Margaret Thatcher, the "Maggie" is pure vegan. Select from more
than a dozen teas, including the wonderfully aromatic Tudor Rose.
Sonoma County Vintners
With more than 425 wineries and 60,000 acres of Sonoma County vineyards, the notion of wine and roses goes far beyond any fantasy. Warm days of spring and summer are ideal for sipping a luscious pink drink of Sonoma County rosé. There are dozens of options, but what could be more fitting than Flowers Vineyard & Winery's Rosé of Pinot Noir. With aromas of rose petals and subtle hints of strawberry and grapefruit, it's elegant and distinct. Look for their new Healdsburg tasting room and visitor center in 2019.
Luther Burbank Rose Parade & Festival — Santa Rosa
A time-honored tradition, the old-fashioned festival has boasted more than 3,500
participants in the parade and more than 20,000 spectators. Among the parade are
local school marching bands, floats, equestrian teams, and units honoring local
veterans. Don't miss the Rose Bloom Competition, which may include as many as
Garden Valley Ranch — Petaluma
498 Pepper Road
Petaluma, CA 94592
Indulge your senses! This historic ranch cuts 5,000 long-stemmed roses daily
from more than 300 varieties May-October. Guided tours of the vintage garden
where more than 100 hydrangeas and 35 varieties of magnolias, rose-draped
pergolas, towering bay tree hedges, and California's biggest Monterey Cypress
astound amateur and professional gardeners alike. Spend the night in the
beautifully-restored caretaker's Victorian cottage on the garden grounds.
Korbel Champagne Cellars Rose Garden Tours — Guerneville
13250 River Road
Guerneville CA, 95446
Accessible only by guided tours mid-April to mid-October, the gardens
surrounding the splendid old Korbel farmhouse were redesigned several years ago
by a master horticulturalist. With more than 100 varieties of antique roses —
tree, climbers, Damascus, pillar — this tour is a real dazzler. A 130-year-old
Lamarque rose was a housewarming gift from Luther Burbank to the Korbel family.
Once you're done ogling the garden, check-out the Korbel Champagne Cellars Tour
which includes the world's largest bottle of champagne…120 liters. Enjoy the
tasting room and a little lunch on the patio at Korbel Deli & Market. Under the
redwoods and with views of the vineyards — breathe deep.
Russian River Rose Company — Healdsburg
Jan and Michael Tolmasoff have made roses a way of life. With rose cuttings from
a feral plant in Mendocino, old homesteads, rose aficionados and others
purchased throughout the years their collection now numbers more than 650
varieties from shed-eating ramblers to tiny micro-miniatures from ancient and
species roses and developed exclusive cultivars registered by the American Rose
Society. Guided and self-guided tours of more than 20 display gardens and
vineyards include, of course, a Wine & Rose Garden. Enjoy a fragrant
demonstration of their historic Bulgarian perfume-making methods.