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Glen Ellen, Sonoma County Travel Guide

Glen Ellen Summary


  • Mild temperatures all year round
  • Town is steeped in literary history (home of Jack London and Hunter S. Thompson)
  • The country's best wine (arguably) is produced nearby
  • Beautiful landscape, with wineries sprawling over rolling hills
  • Relaxed ambience thanks to low number of hotels
  • Hundreds of wineries within driving distance
  • Plenty of attractions for non-drinkers-- including golf courses, hundreds of shops and wonderful spas in the area


  • Fewer budget options than other areas of Sonoma Valley
  • Few transportation options -- having a car is almost mandatory
  • Limited nightlife (the drinking here happens all day!)
  • The closest airport is in Oakland, over an hour's drive away

What It's Like

Glen Ellen is a sleepy town in the heart of Sonoma Valley. The town sprung up around the ranch and vineyard established in the mid-1800s, and the explosion of America's wine industry has made this a desirable spot for people looking to tour vineyards in the area. The town's secluded beauty has attracted its fair share of creative types: Jack London composed (and set) some of his most famous works here, and Hunter S. Thompson called Glen Ellen home for a while.

Where To Stay

Simply put, there just aren't many lodging options in this town, which is actually a good thing for visitors looking for a laid-back experience. The best bet is to stay on Arnold Drive, the town's main drag, which will give you easy access to the areas wineries, vineyards and sites (as well as easy access to the Sonoma Highway).

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