I am curious how you came to focus on those two cities? Are you in the area for other business or is it strictly vacation? If it were strictly vacation, I'd be more inclined to stay in Sonoma, Glen Ellen, etc.
If you have to be in the area for other business, Rohnert Park is smaller and a college town (which I enjoy, not everyone does) and Santa Rosa is much bigger and therefor has more lodging and dining choices.
What is your budget for a room per night?
Here is a good resource.
If your primary focus is wine tasting and tours and you're set on staying in one of these 2 towns, then Santa Rosa would provide a much better choice of lodging and proximity to tasting rooms and wineries. Neither offers true "wine country" ambiance IMO. For a less urban feeling, consider Healdsburg (north of Santa Rosa) a charming, upscale town or Sonoma in the Valley of the Moon, a very picturesque small town. Both locations will place you minutes from many great wineries and tasting rooms.
As you can probably tell, we have no idea what we are doing. We are not tied to any town, but friends have mentioned Santa Rosa and Healdsburg. We will be coming down from Eureka and heading to Bakersfield. We are totally open to any suggestions. However, we are finding that lodgings that get decent reviews are either way over what we want to pay or already sold out. We have also considered Fairfield because it seems to be somewhat of a gateway to the north 12 and 29. Our budget is probably Hampton Inn, Best Western, or Fairfield Inns. Again, thanks for your help.
As stated above, Santa Rosa is probably your best option although there are some budget motels in Healdsburg too such as the Travelodge. Both Healdsburg and Santa Rosa are very close to many excellent wineries which are just a few minutes outside of town.
The towns of Sonoma and Napa also have some budget places where you could spend the night.
Why are you going to Bakersfield?
How about Healdsburg? There is a very nice Best Western there -- the Dry Creek Inn (get a new Tuscan room). It's only 20 miles north of Santa Rosa. It's a mile or so into the village of Healdsburg which is quite charming.
But once you're into Santa Rosa the area gets much more urban/suburban.
Hello, jpadSedona, and welcome to the Rohnert Park forum.
In August the area in and around Santa Rosa is full of tourists, and the traffic on the roads show it. I know, I've seen it firsthand. My charter company I worked for as a driver is in Santa Rosa.
A lot of these folks head up from San Francisco to Santa Rosa. If it were me from my preferences (not yours), I'd stay in Santa Rosa or north, east or west of it nearby. I like Ramblin Sal's suggestion of the Best Western Dry Creek Inn in Healsburg. I've stayed there before years ago, and enjoyed it. Much more quiet and less hectic there than what you will find in Santa Rosa. I think this is what you are looking for. . . the less hectic and quieter ambience of a lodging.
Another thing I've done when I needed to get lodging in the Santa Rosa vicinity (besides go to Fairfield, which is not conducive right now due to the road construction going on) is check out Ukiah. Even more quiet and less hectic than Healsburg, but 60 miles farther out. Just an idea. As Amy mentioned, I'd first check out the Hampton Inn in Windsor, a lesser known locality often overlooked in the Santa Rosa area in Sonoma County.
Enjoy your travels with us.
If you are just staying one night, it probably doesn't matter that much where you stay. Both the Best Western in Healdsburg and the one you have a reservation at in Santa Rosa are 3 diamond AAA hotels and would be perfectly adequate. I would choose the Healdsburg one but it may be more expensive in August. Windsor would work too.
If I was driving to Sedona in August, I would choose a route over the Sierra via Lake Tahoe or Yosemite and drive through the Eastern Sierra and on to Las Vegas to get to Arizona. I would avoid the Central Valley and the Bakersfield area since it's not very scenic.
I just spent a night at the Doubletree in Rohnert Park last weekend. It's not in the hub of wine tasting, but if you spend the day out, it's a nice option for one night. It was fairly reasonable for "wine country" at $139/night. It's convenient to 101, clean, quite pretty and had more character than the regular budget candidates.