Sonoma: From Home to “Lifestyle”

How do you know when your hometown has officially morphed from a place to live into a "lifestyle"? When a magazine is published that is named after your town.

We have a new magazine in this neck of the woods. It is named, simply, "Sonoma".

It is aimed mainly at tourists, though it is distributed to subscribers of the local newspaper, The Index Tribune. It will also be delivered to the rooms at "The Valley’s Finest Hotels".

It’s a good looking magazine. Nice thick paper, glossy, lots of color. In the end it sells the idea that everything in the town of Sonoma and about the town of Sonoma is beautiful, refined and unique. This is the nature of such magazines. All is beautiful.

The fact is, Sonoma and Sonoma Valley is a pretty cool place to live. The biggest controversy or problem we currently have is where to build and how to finance a new hospital. In general, the 13,000 or so inhabitants sustain themselves and their mortgages by working in the wine industry, hospitality trade or commuting to other areas for work before coming back home to their "lifestyle".

Sonoma is not a cheap lifestyle. This 3 bedroom 2.5 bath home will run you over $1,000,000.

Nevertheless, the new magazine has a lot of fodder for its pages if creativity, hedonism, natural beauty wine and food is enough to sustain the content demands of a quarterly publication.

If you actually live outside the town of Sonoma, as I do, you can avoid the constant reminders that the region is a tourist destination…though not if you head to the Sonoma Plaza on a weekend. Napa is still the big tourist attraction around this neck of the woods, but towns like Sonoma and Healdsburg are attracting more and more tourists and visitors every year. And even though I live here and would as a result not be expected to advocate for more tourism, I can’t help but recommend you visit. This area can be a very relaxing place to hang out for a few days and the fact its…it’s not overcrowded or overrun by cars and tourists.

That said, I just hope the next publication is not named "Glen Ellen".

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