A Travel Price Comparison for California Sonoma vs. Redwood National Park for Hiking, Couples, Backpackers, and Beaches

Should you visit Sonoma or Redwood National Park?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Sonoma and Redwood National Park can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Sonoma

Sonoma is a scenic, serene, and relaxing county. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include food, beaches, and hiking.

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is a monumental, grand, and impressive park. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the beaches and hiking.

Sonoma and Redwood National Park: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping


Is there more to do in Sonoma or Redwood National Park?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Sonoma. Although Sonoma and Redwood National Park are popular destinations, Sonoma has more sights and attractions for tourists. Sonoma is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, resorts, beaches, and shopping, while Redwood National Park attracts visitors for its hiking. Sonoma is more touristy than Redwood National Park and is popular for its world-class winemaking and sustainable agriculture. It is also well known for Buena Vista Winery. Redwood National Park is famous for being the home of the world's tallest trees.

How is Sonoma different from Redwood National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Redwood National Park and Sonoma. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Sonoma or Redwood National Park?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Sonoma is a county with a few options for its museums and landmarks. However, Redwood National Park is not particularly known for its historical sights.

Sonoma offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. While most people don't think of museums when they think of Sonoma, there are actually some interesting local options. The California Indian Museum, the Cotati Museum, and the Depot Park Museum are also local are fascinating.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Redwood National Park. There is little in the form of museums, but you can visit the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center on the south side of the park and see exhibits about Yurok culture and the area's ecology.


Is the Food Better in Sonoma or Redwood National Park? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Sonoma is an amazing county to visit for its restaurant scene. However, Redwood National Park is not particularly known for its local flavors and cuisine.

Eat your way through Sonoma, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Although wine may be the first thing you think about, the region is also filled with farm-to-table restaurants and award-winning dining options. The food is almost always fresh and local. You can sample many local ingredients such as vegetables, cheeses, olive oils, and fish.

While Redwood National Park is not famous for its food, you'll find what you need there. There are no dining or grocery options within the park but there are some options just outside the park.

Is Sonoma or Redwood National Park Better for Nightlife?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Sonoma is well known for its evening party scene. However, Redwood National Park is not particularly known for nightlife.

Sonoma is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. Lounges, wine bars, and live music venues offer a variety of activities for visitors during the evening hours.

The nightlife scene is quiet in Redwood National Park The laid back setting offers little in the form of nightlife.

Is Sonoma or Redwood National Park Better for Resorts?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Sonoma is well known for its resorts. However, Redwood National Park is not a resort destination.

There are plenty of resorts in Sonoma to choose from. Spa hotels, charming inns, and beautiful resorts all offer a variety of options for visitors.

Redwood National Park is not a resort destination.


Is Sonoma or Redwood National Park Better for Beaches?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Sonoma is well known for the beach. Also, Redwood National Park is still popular, but not quite as popular for its beaches.

Many people visit Sonoma for it's beautiful beaches. The county has a coastline that includes several great beaches as well as rocky shoreline. The beaches include secluded coves and picturesque cliffs as well as sand dunes and sandy beaches.

Redwood National Park is a good option for a beach vacation. The park runs along the Pacific coastline and there are 70 miles of coastal trail in the park. Beaches are rugged and sandy and favorite sections include Gold Bluff Beach, Crescent Beach, and Enderts Beach, which has great tidal pools.

Is Sonoma or Redwood National Park Better for Hiking?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is terrific for hiking. Also, Sonoma is not as popular, but is still a nice county for the nearby hiking options.

Around Redwood National Park visitors will find world-class hiking trails. Hikes range from coastal trails to world-renowned hikes through the redwoods. You'll feel humbled in the presence of these grand and majestic trees. Several of the most well-known hikes include Fern Canyon, the Cathedral Trees Trail, and Redwood Creek Trail.

Sonoma is a popular spot for hiking. In between wine tastings you can explore the area's stunning natural beauty. There are hikes through the vineyards, along the coast, or through forested parks. Some of the best hikes are found in Jack London State Historic Park, Sugarloaf State Park, and Armstrong Woods State Park.

Is the Shopping Better in Sonoma or Redwood National Park?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Sonoma is well known for its shopping areas. However, Redwood National Park is not particularly known for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Sonoma. You'll find a range of local vendors in the area, selling everything from jewelry to art, home decor, and olive oil.

Shopping in Redwood National Park can be found for those interested. You'll find park stores at the visitor centers if you want to pick up a small gift or souvenir.


Is Sonoma or Redwood National Park Better for Families?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is a great park for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Sonoma is not as popular, but is still a nice county for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Redwood National Park. There are plenty of kid-friendly hikes in the park and the kids will love exploring the varied landscapes and diverse ecosystems. Less than a mile long, Fern Canyon is the perfect hike for little kids and it's not-to-be-missed. Cathedral Trees Trail is three miles, and also a highlight of any trip to the park.

Sonoma is a family-friendly place to visit. While most people think immediately of wine tours, there's actually a lot more to Sonoma County. Kids will enjoy the many outdoor activities in the area, which include beaches, parks, wildlife viewing, and more. There's also horseback riding and even ziplining opportunities.

Is Sonoma or Redwood National Park Better for Couples?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Sonoma is an amazing county to visit for couples. Also, Redwood National Park is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Sonoma is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. It has long been a favorite honeymoon destination for couples who come for the vineyards and wine tours. There are also charming hotels, award winning restaurants, and beautiful beaches.

Redwood National Park is a great county if you're traveling as a couple. There are historic lodges that make for a romantic getaway. You can fill your days with hikes through magical landscapes and breathtaking settings surrounded by the impressive redwoods.

Is Sonoma or Redwood National Park Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is terrific for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Sonoma is not known for backpackers.

A large number of backpackers visit Redwood National Park, as it is a very popular park for budget travelers. There are miles of backcountry trails that let you can explore the park in relative peace and solitude. This is an amazing way to experience the park, but do make sure you purchase a permit in advance.

Sonoma is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There are a few budget hotel options in the area, but not much in the form of hostels.


Is Sonoma or Redwood National Park Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Neither Sonoma or Redwood National Park offer decent public transit.

Public transit is quite limited in Sonoma. While there are buses, they are almost never used by tourists. There is the Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley which you should purchase tickets for in advance.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Redwood National Park. There's no public transportation within the park.

Is Sonoma or Redwood National Park a more walkable city?

Sonoma
Redwood National Park

Neither Sonoma or Redwood National Park are walkable places.

Sonoma is not a very walkable county. You really must have a car to get around the area and explore it efficiently.

Redwood National Park is not a walkable county. The park is large and spread out, so you'll need a car to get around.

For even more information, also check out Is Sonoma Worth Visiting? and Is Redwood National Park Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Redwood National Park or Sonoma?

How long in Sonoma or Redwood National Park?

In either Sonoma or Redwood National Park, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Redwood National Park than Sonoma because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Sonoma, and 3-5 days is enough time in Redwood National Park.

Couples should spend more time in Sonoma than Redwood National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Sonoma that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.


  • How many days in Sonoma or Redwood National Park? Ideal Length of Stay
    Sonoma 2-4 
    Redwood National Park 3-5

One day in Sonoma or Redwood National Park?

In Sonoma, you'll find food and shopping. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. One reason most visitors come is for the food. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the destination of Redwood National Park. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Sonoma or Redwood National Park?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Sonoma. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. One reason most visitors come is for the food. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this county. It offers something for everyone.

Redwood National Park is a great place to explore. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Sonoma or Redwood National Park?

Sonoma is a fun place to experience. One reason most visitors come is for the food. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Redwood National Park. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Sonoma or Redwood National Park?

You'll find food and shopping around the serene destination of Sonoma. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Travelers enjoy the when visiting the monumental destination of Redwood National Park. This park offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Historical Tours in United States of America, The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, and The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Redwood National Park or Sonoma?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Sonoma is $219, while the average daily cost in Redwood National Park is $111. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Sonoma and Redwood National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sonoma $93
    Redwood National Park $44
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sonoma $186
    Redwood National Park $88
Compare Hotels in Sonoma and Redwood National Park

Looking for a hotel in Sonoma or Redwood National Park? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Sonoma


Hotels in Redwood National Park


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Sonoma Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sonoma $134
    Redwood National Park $53

Is it cheaper to fly into Sonoma or Redwood National Park?

Prices for flights to both Redwood National Park and Sonoma change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Sonoma $56
    Redwood National Park $33

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sonoma $16
    Redwood National Park $33

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sonoma $41
    Redwood National Park $11


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Sonoma and Redwood National Park, we can see that Sonoma is more expensive. And not only is Redwood National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Redwood National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Redwood National Park and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Sonoma would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Sonoma than you might in Redwood National Park.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Sonoma Expensive? and Is Redwood National Park Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Sonoma or Redwood National Park?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Sonoma or Redwood National Park in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Sonoma as well as Redwood National Park. The beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Sonoma this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Redwood National Park for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.

Sonoma is much warmer than Redwood National Park in the summer. The daily temperature in Sonoma averages around 73°F (23°C) in July, and Redwood National Park fluctuates around 57°F (14°C).

Sonoma usually gets less rain in July than Redwood National Park. Sonoma gets 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain, while Redwood National Park receives 0.1 inches (3 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Sonoma 73°F (23°C) 
    Redwood National Park 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Sonoma or Redwood National Park in the Autumn?

Both Redwood National Park and Sonoma are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Sonoma for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Redwood National Park in the autumn for the hiking trails and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Sonoma is a little warmer than Redwood National Park. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Sonoma in October average around 62°F (17°C), and Redwood National Park averages at about 55°F (13°C).

In October, Sonoma usually receives less rain than Redwood National Park. Sonoma gets 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain, while Redwood National Park receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Sonoma 62°F (17°C) 
    Redwood National Park 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Sonoma or Redwood National Park in the Winter?

Both Redwood National Park and Sonoma during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Sonoma in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In January, Sonoma is generally cooler than Redwood National Park. Daily temperatures in Sonoma average around 46°F (8°C), and Redwood National Park fluctuates around 48°F (9°C).

Redwood National Park gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Sonoma usually gets less rain in January than Redwood National Park. Sonoma gets 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain, while Redwood National Park receives 6 inches (152 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Sonoma 46°F (8°C) 
    Redwood National Park 48°F (9°C)

Should I visit Sonoma or Redwood National Park in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Sonoma and Redwood National Park. Most visitors come to Sonoma for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Redwood National Park because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

Sonoma is a little warmer than Redwood National Park in the spring. The daily temperature in Sonoma averages around 56°F (13°C) in April, and Redwood National Park fluctuates around 50°F (10°C).

In April, Sonoma usually receives less rain than Redwood National Park. Sonoma gets 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain, while Redwood National Park receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Sonoma 56°F (13°C) 
    Redwood National Park 50°F (10°C)

Typical Weather for Redwood National Park and Sonoma

Sonoma Redwood National Park
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 48°F (9°C) 6 inches (152 mm)
Feb 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 49°F (10°C) 4.7 inches (120 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 50°F (10°C) 5.3 inches (135 mm)
Apr 56°F (13°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm) 50°F (10°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
May 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm) 53°F (12°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm)
Jun 69°F (21°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 56°F (13°C) 0.5 inches (13 mm)
Jul 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 57°F (14°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Aug 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm) 58°F (14°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm)
Sep 70°F (21°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm) 58°F (14°C) 0.9 inches (23 mm)
Oct 62°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Nov 54°F (12°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 52°F (11°C) 6.5 inches (164 mm)
Dec 46°F (8°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 49°F (9°C) 6 inches (153 mm)


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