Windsor is primarily accessible by car, although it is also a destination for those bicycling through California's wine country. California Route 101, a restricted access highway, runs through the middle of the town, and Old Redwood Highway (formerly Route 101) runs roughly parallel to the highway. The main commercial district is just south of the town square, just east of Highway 101.
Just south of Windsor is the Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport, which has direct commercial flights to and from Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Las Vegas, and the Phoenix area. There are several rental car options at the airport, as well as a bus (line 62N/62S) to and from Santa Rosa, a much larger city about five miles south of Windsor.
The Sonoma County Airport Express has multiple daily buses between the Sonoma County Airport and the Oakland and San Francisco Airports. Locally, Sonoma County Transit provides bus service (on Route 60) between Santa Rosa, Windsor, and (to the north) Healdsburg and Cloverdale. (SCT’s “NextBus” system provides real-time bus arrival information via shelter LED signs, PCs, and smartphones.)
The town of Windsor is almost completely flat, and most streets have sidewalks, so walking is feasible for relatively short distances. The town has been modifying streets to add bike lanes, and plans to continue to add to them.  The town is actually one of the best in California for getting around by bike, though not many locals do so.
Sonoma County Transit has one bus line, Route 66, that provides service within Windsor. There is one local taxi company, Windsor Express Taxi, but both Santa Rosa and Healdsburg are close enough for their taxi companies to provide service to addresses within Windsor. Windsor is also fully served by Uber (more than 600 drivers in Sonoma County as of mid-2015), Lyft, and a local company, BlinkCar.
Windsor was a small north coast community which has experienced noticeable development after it incorporated in 1992. Visitors will find recently created buildings of a mixture of revival architectural styles, built to create a new small town, near the new Town Green. This development demonstrates aspects of new urbanism as well as the growth supported by expanding interest in California's wine country.
- Windsor Historical Society & Museum, 9225 Foxwood Dr, ☎ . Fri-Sun 9:30AM-4:30PM. A charming, small museum. A pleasant walking path along Windsor Creek is nearby (cross the bridge to the northeast of the museum). Free.
- Pacific Coast Air Museum, One Air Museum Way, Santa Rosa, ☎ . Tue Thu Sat Sun 10AM-4PM, closed major holidays. Near the airport, so technically not in Windsor (but close by), PCAM is definitely worth a visit for those interested in airplanes, or those with children old enough to be interested in the wide variety of (mostly) military planes, helicopters, and aircraft-related displays.
Windsor's "do" activities primarily relate to "buy" and "eat", but strolling around the downtown, investigating the small shops and restaurants, and enjoying activities on the town green may also be experienced without actually buying or eating anything. Most notable are the summer music concerts on Thursday nights (June 9 through September 1, 2016) and kids movies on Saturdays (June and July), on the town green. Both are free, though a donation is requested.
Options for activities include:
- Golf at the Windsor Golf Club
- Bowling at the Windsor Bowling Center
- Renting a bike at the Windsor Bicycle Center
- Hiking in a regional park. There are three in or near Windsor (before hiking, best to print a map), which are open from dawn to dusk:
- Riverfront Regional Park. The easiest (flat), but with the lacking in longer hiking opportunities. The complete trail around the lake, which takes less than an hour to walk, is problematical in the months during and after there have been heavy rains.
- Foothill Regional Park. Relatively easy trails, and some great views
- Shiloh Ranch Regional Park. With the least developed trails, and more elevation
- Mystery dinner theater at Charlie's Restaurant, on select Friday and Saturday nights
- Feeding some goats (alas, "Panther", the local Brahma bull, died in June 2015)
For more ideas, check out the town's Visitor's Center, operated by the Windsor Chamber of Commerce, at 9001 Windsor Road. Their hours are M-F, 8:30AM to 4:30PM, and Sa-Su 10AM to 3PM.
Windsor offers a variety of local shops. Downtown Windsor features many little shops ranging from apparel to candy. Elsewhere in the town, travelers will find essentials and the usual small-town businesses for groceries, gas, and other basics. One large cluster of retail locations within Windsor is a pair of adjacent shopping complexes (Lakewood Shopping Center and https://web.archive.org/web/20140103131932/http://shoplakewoodvillage.com/ Lakewood Village Shopping Center]) just east of Highway 101, close to the central Windsor highway exit. Just west of the Shiloh Road exit off 101 is another large shopping center, anchored by Walmart, Home Depot, and Office Depot. Most other businesses within Windsor are on Old Redwood Highway, which is roughly parallel to Highway 101, or on Conde Lane, also along Highway 101, south of downtown.
Visitors have their pick of restaurants that range from pub fare to high-end dining. Many are found just south of the town square, on McClelland Drive and on Windsor River Road.
The Windsor Farmers Market takes place Sundays, April through December (10AM to 1PM), just off the town square. From June through August, it is also held Thursday evenings from 5 to 8PM; the evening version is oriented toward those listening to music, on the town green (see above) - selling food to be eaten out - rather than toward those looking to buy produce.
The best restaurants in the town are (listed alphabetically):
- Chinois Asian Bistro, 186 Windsor River Rd (A few blocks from the town green), ☎ . Lunch M-F 11AM-2:30PM, dinner M-S 5PM-9:30PM. Contemporary Pacific Rim dining (Asian fusion), with a good selection of wine.
- Himalayan Restaurant, 810 McClelland Dr, ☎ . 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9PM; closed Monday. A wide variety of really good food; the top-rated restaurant in Windsor.
- Jaded Toad, 275 Windsor River Rd, ☎ . Daily 11AM-10PM. Barbeque/Cajun/Southern with a beer garden and fire pits. Some people love the food, but quality - and service - can be inconsistent.
- KC's Downtown Grill, 9501 Duvander Ln, ☎ . Daily 7AM-9PM. Facing the town green, the restaurant aims to "capture the exciting times of the post-modern late 50's and early 60's, when Elvis was King and The Jetson's was the coolest show on television!" As of July 2015 there is a covered patio, so diners can now eat outside year-round.
- KIN, 740 McClelland Dr, ☎ . Daily 11AM to 10PM. Opposite the town green, featuring fresh food with interesting flavor combinations. Try the sweet potato fries or tater tots.
- Saigon Bistro Restaurant, 610 McClelland Dr, ☎ . M-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su 11AM-8PM. A newcomer to the across-from-the-town-green restaurants in Windsor, this purveyor of Vietnamese food has been getting good reviews.
- Tomi Thai Restaurant, 426 Emily Rose Circle, ☎ . 11AM-9PM, closed Sunday. it's small, and tucked away a few blocks from the town green, but worth searching out (and making reservations for) if you like Thai food.
- Ume Japanese Bistro, 8710 Old Redwood Highway, ☎ . M-F 11AM-2:30PM; M-Sa 4:30PM-9:30PM. Good Japanese food, conveniently located just east of the central Windsor exit off Highway 101.
For dessert, consider:
- Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, 720 McClelland Dr, ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 10AM-8PM. A franchise of a small West Coast chain, with an incredible variety of candy and other sweets. Plus ice cream, of course. Ideal for kids.
- Quite a few wineries with tasting rooms are located five to ten minutes drive outside Windsor's town limits, primarily to the north (along Old Redwood Highway) and south (on River Road or nearby).
- Very close to the town green is a tasting room for a local brewer, Old Redwood Brewing Company, at 9000 Windsor Road, the same address as the Tasting Lounge, which features wines. On the same block (at #9050) is the Tasting Room on the Green, a tasting room for two wineries, Mutt Lynch and Deux Amis; tastings are available daily.
- In the downtown Oliver's Market (new, May 2016), at 9230 Old Redwood Highway, is the Tavern Off The Green, with local beers on tap and an affordable tavern-style menu. Anything in the adjacent grocery store can be brought into the pub space. Open Su-W 11AM - 8PM, Th-Sa 11AM - 10PM.
- Clustered together, about a mile south of downtown, is a small beverage district:
- Tap Room of St. Florian's Brewery, 7704A Bell Road, ☎ . Th 4-8PM, F-Su 12-8PM. Food is available from a food truck on Thursday through Saturday; snacks are sold inside; includes a patio and game room (with a sandbox on the patio)
- Four producers, at Artisan Alley, are open to the public on Saturdays, 11AM to 4 PM: Tilted Shed Ciderworks, at 7761 Bell Road; Colagrossi Wines, at 7755 Bell Road; Sonoma Brothers Distilling, 7759 Bell Road; and Two Shepherds Winery, at 7763 Bell Road. (Other days are by appointment only.)
There are only two regular hotels in Windsor; a third is expected to open by the end of 2016.
Besides the usual options for renting a private properties (via Airbnb or similar), there is also a timeshare complex where apartments can be rented:
- WorldMark Windsor, 1251 Shiloh Rd, ☎ . (A Wyndham property)
By resisting the temptation to get back on Highway 101, and instead taking Old Redwood Highway (or other alternate routes), travelers will find many local spots of interest, from tamales vendors to wineries.
|Routes through Windsor|
|Eureka ← Healdsburg ←||N S||→ Santa Rosa → San Francisco|