Famous Movie Locations in Sonoma County

Sonoma County is well known for its wineries, but did you know that it is also a favorite location for Hollywood executives in search of a backdrop for their latest movies? It is a fact; there is more to this little spot on California than meets the eye. Read on and be amazed by the variety of sightseeing spots, movie locations and, yes, wineries you will be able to find when visiting picturesque Sonoma County.

If you have ever wondered which the most beautiful spots in all of the United States are, the name of Sonoma County is most certainly one that will come up quite often.  Sonoma County is situated in sunny California, to the north of the San Francisco Bay.  Its origins date back to as early as 1850. 

Due to its prime location near the Sonoma Creek and the Petaluma River, its soil is well drained and fertile, and the Sonoma County wineries make good use of this advantage by planting their luscious grapes along the hillsides.  The strong sun and the temperate climate in conjunction with the rich soil produce world famous wines.  As a matter of fact, in the year 2000 it was reported that there were 191 active Sonoma County wineries in business!

Of course, there is so much more to Sonoma County than simply its wineries, picturesque location, and wonderful climate.  Did you know that it has served as backdrop to a large number of movie locations?  It is true! Sonoma County has gained fame, and perhaps also a bit of fortune, due to glittery world of Hollywood and its silver screens.

Quite possibly the earliest mention Sonoma County receives in a movie is the 1923 western entitled "Salomy Jane". Director George Melford chose the Russian River by the famous Monte Rio for a couple of scenes.  This backdrop left such an impression on the then director Alan Hale that he chose to film a large number of scenes of his 1925 western epic "Braveheart" very close to the Russian River.

While you may not be quite familiar with movies that are close to one-hundred years old, there are also more famous - and current - movies that you are undoubtedly familiar with. For example, the 1963 movie "The Birds" by horror and suspense film giant Alfred Hitchcock was shot in Bodega Bay.  If you would like to add this lovely town to your Sonoma County travel agenda, you will find many film mementos the town lovingly displays for interested visitors.

In 1982, director and screenwriter Alan Parker chose Glen Ellen as the backdrop for his chronicle of a crumbling marriage entitled "Shoot the Moon."  Literature buffs of course know that Glen Ellen is the famous location for Wolf House, the residence of Jack London for the last seven years of the writer's turbulent life.

Not to be outdone by this popularity, Wes Craven's 1996 horror movie with a twist, "Scream," was in part filed at the Sonoma Community Center. Visitors to this city will enjoy its quaintness and natural beauty.  Film buffs will most certainly want to see the community center, while those who just love to put some culture into their vacation will enjoy the surrounding wineries.

When you come to visit Sonoma County you will quite easily understanding why film directors over the years found it to be such an irresistible location for their movie shoots.  After all, the natural beauty of the countryside and the cultural beauty of the footsteps left behind by literature and societies' great and famous make it an area that positively begs for attention.  Its small towns and rolling vineyards add to the charm of this gem that is located in California.  So why not go ahead and plan your next trip to Sonoma County?  You will be glad you did!

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