Thinking of moving to Santa Rosa? Here’s what you need to know.
Smack dab in the middle of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa is a premier wine destination, considered by many to be one of the best in the world. But even though it is known as wine country’s biggest playground, it is also a mecca for foodies and features farm country, redwood forests and a charming downtown. Santa Rosa sits about an hour-long drive north of San Francisco in Northern California.
Santa Rosa has a population of about 172,000 people, and the surrounding area boasts nearly 300 wineries. Santa Rosa is a good place for young, educated career-starters looking to find people like themselves in a city that offers all of the pleasures of urban culture balanced with beautiful countryside.
While wine tasting, explore back-country roads and sample some of the fine cuisine, from laid-back cafes to top-notch restaurants. Visit Luther Burbank Home & Gardens featuring a Greek Revival home, greenhouse and gardens of agriculturalist Luther Burbank, who developed about 800 plant creations in Sonoma County’s mild climate. Nearby Spring Lake Regional Park offers 320 acres of hills, a lake, ponds, oak woodlands, grasslands and meadows. Right in the center of downtown is the Historic Railroad Square community, which is perfect for strolling and visiting the many shops and restaurants. Dating back to the 1870s, the community features a preserved turn-of-the-century vibe with exposed brick walls and inviting storefronts.
What Do You Do?
Besides wine-tasting and dining out, many people enjoy hot-air ballooning in Santa Rosa because of the extraordinary views of the mountains and Pacific Ocean that Sonoma County offers. For a more down-to-earth activity, take part in some ice skating at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena (A.K.A. Snoopy’s home ice) built in 1969 by Charles M. Schulz, a long-time resident of Santa Rosa. And visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum, which features the world’s largest collection of original Peanuts artwork. For a wild time, ride in an open-air vehicle through Safari West’s 400-acre preserve to catch glimpses of gazelles, zebras, cheetahs, giraffes and more.