Discover the Small Town Charm of Santa Rosa
The perfect gateway to Sonoma County wine country, Santa Rosa is full of exciting attractions and relaxed, affordable living. It’s fun to visit—and you may even want to make Santa Rosa your home.
Please note that some attractions may be closed or restricted due to COVID-19.
What’s not to love about a city that embraces you from the moment you arrive and then gives you a full menu of natural beauty, locally grown foods, vineyard adventures, and outdoor sojourns to amazing landscapes? Santa Rosa is the gem of Sonoma County in California’s renowned wine country. In this inspired setting of the Russian River Valley, an idyllic combination of scenic countryside, abundant recreation, and affordable housing all comes together. While it may feel worlds apart, it’s actually just 45 minutes north of San Francisco, and can be easily reached by SMART train, car, or ferry. Since working remotely is undoubtedly here to stay, Santa Rosa also becomes a viable option for those who want to own a home in an all-around great place at a very good price. Let’s explore all the invitations Santa Rosa sends out.
Inspired by the Now
This is a town with history, and remnants of the past are rewoven into a vibrant, forward-looking city dedicated to striking a balance between the wellbeing of people and the planet, enterprise and the arts, and development and preservation. Take a walk through the pedestrian-friendly Fourth Street arts district where outdoor entertainment, art galleries, and dining abound. The SOFA district (South of A Street) is a treasure trove of coffeehouses, brew pubs, cafés, and boutiques. It’s a fun stroll from start to finish.
And then there’s the food! Some of California’s most renowned chefs call the area their home. Farm-to-table cuisine was practically born here. Whether it’s beef, Thai, Coq Au Vin, or vegetarian, the variety and quality of Santa Rosa dining gives big-city restaurants a run for the money. Being in the midst of wine country, there is also no end to the culinary pairings one can enjoy in Santa Rosa.
If the idea of staying here and never leaving is starting to take hold of your imagination, well, good news: Escaping pricey metropolitan markets is possible even in Santa Rosa’s best neighborhoods. Median single-family home prices are around $720,000, and there are new-build gems, like Round Barn by City Ventures, that offer farmhouse-style, solar-powered, four-bedroom townhomes priced from the high $500,000s.
The floorplans reflect the preferences of today’s buyers and include gourmet kitchens, private patios for al fresco entertaining, and a long list of great features. The advantages of a newly-built home include green building technologies, opportunities to personalize your home, and extras that range from private amenities and wide-open views to nearby parks, schools, and open space. Since you’re already eager to visit Santa Rosa, a stop at Round Barn can complete the picture of what it would be like to call this treasured town your home.
Speaking of Wine
Follow a winding road and you’ll quickly come upon some of Sonoma County’s most prolific and popular vineyards. DeLoach, Carol Shelton, Donelan Family, Trecini, Battaglini Estate, and over a dozen other vintners have found that this fertile subregion of the Russian River Valley produces top-tier grapes and abundant harvests. Within a few minutes of downtown Santa Rosa, wine-lovers can find their Eden. The area’s Pinot Noirs, Zinfandels, and Chardonnays take national and international prizes, so any Saturday afternoon can be turned into a magical tour of viniculture.
Go Out and Play
The great outdoors is really grand around Santa Rosa. The Russian River Valley has a profusion of destinations for hiking, biking, horseback riding, lake activities, and more. Not too far afield are the treasures of the Sonoma Coast and the Russian River, great for kayaking, fishing, exploring, and chilling. Regional parks are sensational, including Armstrong Redwoods National Preserve (temporarily closed due to fire danger), Howarth Park, and Spring Lake. Nearby Annadel State Park is often called “Central Park” with its myriad outdoor pursuits. Look forward to visiting three lakes (one a reservoir) plus trails for horses, hiking, and mountain biking and a superabundance of park favorites, from pony rides and parkour to tennis and an 1863 replica steam train. When your inner explorer starts to emerge, there’ll be plenty to tempt it into the open.
Read the 2021 Gardening Issue
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