Just an hour north of San Francisco, you'll discover picturesque Petaluma. Nestled on the Petaluma River between rolling farmlands and the rugged coast, Petaluma melds Hometown USA with sophisticated Wine Country style.
The history and events that shaped the West and California are reflected in Petaluma’s landmarks and historic attractions. Rich in authenticity, Petaluma’s heritage can be traced through Native American tribes, Mexican settlements, the discovery of gold, railroad expansion, and the San Francisco earthquake. Chartered in 1858, Petaluma is one of California’s oldest cities, and walking through Petaluma’s downtown is like turning a corner into California’s storied past. The city’s riverfront location made it a bustling destination during the mid-19th century Gold Rush when the river carried produce, poultry and dairy products from this fertile valley to the rapidly exploding populations of San Francisco and Oakland. Spared much of the destruction of the 1906 earthquake, Petaluma boasts buildings whose foundations were laid a century and-a-half ago and whose facades are some of the best examples of iron front building architecture in the entire United States. Today, these architectural gems in the walkable downtown district house specialty stores, restaurants and galleries.
Visit Petaluma, but stretch first. From family friendly paved paths through the wetlands to stand up paddle boarding on the gently moving Petaluma River, Petaluma offers visitors a diverse range of recreational activities. Many road bikers find Petaluma to be a great place to start their loop. A short ride through town takes you out to the backroads where often you’ll find you have the roads to yourselves all the way to the coast. Get a new perspective on Petaluma when you view it from a stand up paddle board on the Petaluma River. You’ll literally be standing in the middle of nature, traveling 14 miles of calm, flat water. Every stroke brings a view of Sonoma County that is like no other. In Northern California, the “coast” can mean a dramatic shoreline, sandy beaches, rolling dunes, or quaint villages. And the beauty of living in centrally-located Petaluma is that whatever type of coast experience you’re seeking, it’s all a short drive away.
Petaluma's downtown area is a shopping haven featuring dozens of one-of-a-kind boutiques and galleries. The Petaluma Village Premium Outlets is a destination unto itself for savvy shoppers looking for great deals on the best national brands. And when you need the basics of life, a convenient shopping center is never more than a few miles away. Enjoy a good beer? Stop by the taproom at Lagunitas Brewing Company. Experience a lively taproom offering beer tastings, snacks, a retail store & regular live music. Be sure not to miss the downtown Theatre District as well! Theatre Square features boutiques, restaurants and abundant free parking. The Theatre District also hosts the Wednesday Evening Farmers Market in the summer and outdoor concerts. Learn more about Petaluma, CA here.
Sources: www.cityofpetaluma.net | www.visitpetaluma.com