Sonoma is a great laid-back escape for wine lovers, romantics or people in search of rustic relaxation. Sonoma County is 1575 square miles containing about 1,00,000 acres of lush wine-growing land; its population is 450,000. Since the 1970s, its population has doubled as this wine-country became more reputed, but it retains character and charm with its small-town attitude. Sonoma residents tend to be a diverse mix of characters: jeans-wearing cowboys, families, retirees, old ranchers, and hippi es. Dairy farming historically was a big cash crop in Sonoma, before recently when wine producing surpassed it. Wine is now the main attraction to this area and visitors stream through Sonoma from all over the world to taste its acclaimed selection of wines. Still sheep and cattle ranching are popular. To this day throughout the year, besides wine tasting, Sonoma hosts other fun events like sheep shearing contests and even rodeos . Also there are breweries to visit such as the Third Street Aleworks, Powerhouse and Bear Republic (famous for their festive California label). For those visitors seeking a day of relaxation outside of wine touring, sonoma is a nice destination for fishing as well. Sonoma also offers tourists the opportunity to visit the Petrified Forest, horseback ride, even hot air ballooning for all those old-school romantics. In the fall, during grape crushing season, tourists and vineyard workers together can roll up their sleeves, take off their shoes, and partake in the ritual grape crushing. Since Sonoma is more spread out that Napa, it tends to allow visitors to feel more privacy and intimacy, ideal for kicking back the convertible top and cruising through the vineyards with the wind blowing through ones hair. Also, though Sonoma offers top-tier, world-class restaurants, famous for the healthy and light California cuisine, thankfully, no one has to dress up to enjoy its cuisine.