Welcome to Sonoma County
People are drawn to Sonoma for its deeply rooted culture celebrating food and wine, charming communities, natural beauty, and slower pace of life. The county features a rugged, remote coastline of beaches, bays, and jagged cliffs, a lovely river valley winding through old growth redwoods, and fertile rolling hills and inland valleys. The county balances charming, small towns and villages with larger urban centers.
With its warm climate and ample sunshine, Sonoma County has an abundant agricultural industry, with dairies, farms, and ranches raising several crops. Clover Stornetta is known for Dairy, McEvoy Ranch for olive oil, and the Sebastopol area for apples. You cannot think about Sonoma without mentioning its best known crop: the wine grape. The state’s oldest winemakers are in Sonoma, including Buena Vista, which began in the 1850s and is the oldest commercial winery, and Gundlach-Bundschu, the oldest family owned winery. The Sonoma wine region comprises 16 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs or appellations) with more than 400 wineries growing 66 varieties of grape.
In addition to healthy agriculture, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, and Petaluma are experiencing growth in the tech, health care, and tourist industries. The economy is strong, and quality of life is high. Residents have several options for work—and for play.
Whether you’re hiking the bluffs of Gualala, combing the sandy beaches of Bodega Bay, meandering along the shady shore of the Russian River, investigating the eight-acre historic Town Plaza in Sonoma, or climbing the hills in Jack London State Park, outdoor activities of all kinds are available.
Lay of the land
Sonoma County is perched above Marin County and shares a border with Napa County, its wine country neighbor to the east. Two mountain ranges run through the county, the Sonoma and the Mayacamas Mountains. Highway 101 creates a corridor connecting many of the towns and regions. Petaluma anchors the southern, more industrial region, while Santa Rosa fills the center, with Cloverdale rounding out the north. The sleepier city of Sonoma sits in the southeastern area.
Sonoma County covers 1,575 square miles. It is the largest Bay Area county and has a population of 500,292 (according to the U.S. Census’ 2014 estimate), making it the fourth smallest population in the area. Like many of its neighboring counties, a smaller population in a larger area creates an environment full of open space. Santa Rosa, with a population of 171,190 (according to the 2013 U.S. Census estimate), is the largest city in the North Bay, and is the county seat.
Sonoma has a series of highways running through the county (1, 12, 101, 121, and 128), although Highway 101 is the main artery. Sonoma County Transit buses move residents within the county. Golden Gate Transit provides bus routes to Marin and San Francisco. The SMART train and pathway project is under construction and will connect Sonoma and Marin County from Cloverdale to Larkspur. Phase 1 is slated for completion in late 2016.
Sonoma County’s award-winning schools serve approximately 71,000 students in 181 public schools among a variety of 40 school districts, from the rural Kashia school district with only 11 students to Santa Rosa City High’s 11,000 students. A variety of Catholic, parochial, secular, and other independent schools offer K-12 instruction in the county as well.
For higher education, Santa Rosa Junior College is the tenth oldest junior college in California. Sonoma State University, part of the California State system, is located outside of Rohnert Park.
The county played a role in early statehood, and with nearly 70 spots listed on the National Register of Historic Places, history enthusiasts have plenty of places to explore, including: General Vallejo’s Estate, Sonoma Plaza, Petaluma’s Historic Commercial District, the Petaluma Adobe, Jack London Ranch, Duncan’s Landing, and Fort Ross.
For sports enthusiasts, Sonoma has its own baseball team, the Sonoma Stompers. The greater Bay Area has plenty of professional teams to root for as well.
Live music options include the larger Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, the Green Music Center at Sonoma State in Rohnert Park, or, for a more intimate setting, the historic Phoenix Theatre in Petaluma.
Sea Ranch and Bodega Bay are popular for family getaways. For therapeutic hot springs, Boyes Hot Springs or Sonoma Mission Inn are popular options. The county is also dotted with wonderful small boutique bed and breakfasts and inns as well as larger full service resorts, too many to name here.
Other local highlights for family fun include the following: auto racing at Sonoma Raceway; trains, a petting zoo, and carnival rides at Train Town in Sonoma; wild animals and tent camping at Safari West in Santa Rosa; and ice skating at Snoopy’s Home Ice, named for local Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts.
The great outdoors
Balloon rides over the Sonoma Valley are popular in nice weather for the early risers.
The Russian River offers opportunities for paddle boarding, canoeing, and tubing along the slow moving river under the redwood trees.
If you’re an avid hiker or runner, trails abound in Sonoma. Gentle hiking is available at Sonoma Valley Park in Glen Ellen, Gualala Point in Sea Ranch, and Riverfront Park in Healdsburg. For more of a challenge, check out historic Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen, Helen Putnam Park in Petaluma, Shiloh Ranch Park in Windsor, and Hood Mountain Park in Santa Rosa.
Mountain bikers are welcome to ride on trails in some of the parks mentioned above, as well as in Spring Lake Park, Annadel State Park, Helen Putnam Park, and Shiloh Ranch.
Several options are out there for campers, from Doran Beach and Westside Park in Bodega Bay and Gualala Point in Sea Ranch, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Kenwood, Schoolhouse Canyon Park in Guerneville, and Spring Lake Park in Santa Rosa.
Cities Located in Sonoma County
- Bodega Bay
- Camp Meeker
- Duncans Mills
- Glen Ellen
- Monte Rio
- Rohnert Park
- Santa Rosa
- Stewarts Point
- The Sea Ranch
- Valley Ford
- Villa Grande
$409,0003 beds, 1 full bath864 sqft lot 4,356 sqftWalk Score® 47Listing provided by Maria Lounibos, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21702263
$1,250,0002 beds, 2 full baths1,210 sqft lot 1.69 acWalk Score® 32Listing provided by Daniel Casabonne, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21703347
$598,000Open House3 beds, 1 full bath1,440 sqft lot 5,998 sqftWalk Score® 51Listing provided by Christopher Oscar, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/Wine Country GroupMLS 21703129
$2,650,0003 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,824 sqft lot 6.28 acWalk Score® 1Listing provided by Holly Bennett, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21703225
$1,295,000Open House2 beds, 2 full baths2,332 sqft lot 5.59 acWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Therese Nugent, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21702139
$3,850,0002 beds, 2 full, 2 half baths3,143 sqft lot 4.81 acWalk Score® 3Listing provided by Maurice Tegelaar, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21702134
$520,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,128 sqft lot 11,692 sqftWalk Score® 68Listing provided by Maria Lounibos, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21703087
$469,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,398 sqft lot 1,742 sqftWalk Score® 40Listing provided by John Reid, Coldwell BankerMLS 21703180
$585,0003 beds, 2 full baths1,652 sqft lot 6,599 sqftWalk Score® 48Listing provided by Maria Lounibos, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21702971
$429,0002 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths1,242 sqft lot 1,372 sqftWalk Score® 71Listing provided by Francesca Strong, Drake RealtyMLS 21624607
$449,0002 beds, 2 full baths1,014 sqft lot 1,059 sqftWalk Score® 58Listing provided by Theresa Crisler, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21703028
$1,699,000Open House5 beds, 4 full baths3,746 sqft lot 24,302 sqftWalk Score® 19Listing provided by Joyce Davison, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21700030
$525,0002 beds, 2 full baths1,376 sqft lot 8,712 sqftWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Herbert Heil, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/Wine Country GroupMLS 21702410
$1,050,000Open House4 beds, 2 full baths1,816 sqft lot 8,555 sqftWalk Score® 24Listing provided by Joyce Davison, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21701757
$4,888,0004 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths5,000 sqft lot 3.02 acWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Kathryn Talty, Vanguard PropertiesMLS 21626212
$799,0004 beds, 3 full baths2,473 sqft lot 9,374 sqftWalk Score® 61Listing provided by Matt Sevenau, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21702260
$625,0002 beds, 2 full baths1,472 sqft lot 5,502 sqftWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Erin George, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21702719
$369,0002 beds, 1 full bath919 sqft lot 1,024 sqftWalk Score® 80Listing provided by Abe Cyphers, Coldwell Banker B of VMLS 21702656
$599,0003 beds, 2 full baths1,412 sqft lot 1,307 sqftWalk Score® 75Listing provided by Nickolas Simone, BHHS Drysdale PropertiesMLS 21702567
$599,0003 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,932 sqft lot 5,097 sqftWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Golly McGinty, CENTURY 21 Wine CountryMLS 21702568
$950,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,906 sqft lot 9,239 sqftWalk Score® 34Listing provided by Holly Bennett, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21702295
$1,595,0004 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths2,993 sqft lot 9,148 sqftWalk Score® 32Listing provided by Amy Sawday Kramer, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21702525
$679,0004 beds, 3 full baths1,971 sqft lot 5,750 sqftWalk Score® 35Listing provided by Jennifer Powers, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21702461
$684,0003 beds, 2 full baths1,505 sqft lot 7,405 sqftWalk Score® 83Listing provided by Laurie Levin, Century 21 AllianceMLS 21702346
$639,0003 beds, 2 full baths1,406 sqft lot 6,970 sqftWalk Score® 62Listing provided by Regina Clyde, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21702224
$2,275,0003 beds, 2 full baths2,256 sqft lot 16.13 acWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Leo Merle, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/Wine Country GroupMLS 21702384
$1,995,0003 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths2,907 sqft lot 2.87 acWalk Score® 4Listing provided by Victoria VanHorn, Twin Oaks Real Estate INCMLS 21702370
$775,0003 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,948 sqft lot 3,920 sqftWalk Score® 85Listing provided by Kendra Martin, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/Wine Country GroupMLS 21700531
$1,450,0004 beds, 3 full baths2,550 sqft lot 14,501 sqftWalk Score® 3Listing provided by Brenda Brooks, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21701906
$499,000Price Drop2 beds, 1 full bath849 sqft lot 4,792 sqftWalk Score® 71Listing provided by Maria Lounibos, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21702223
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Copyright 2017 Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Inc. All Right Reserved.
The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of the MLSListings™ MLS system. All real estate listings in the MLSListings MLS system are marked with the MLSListings Internet Data Exchange icon (a stylized house inside a circle), and detailed information about them includes the names of the listing brokers and listing agents.
Listing information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. Listings last updated 2/24/17 10:46 PM PST.
Copyright 2017 MLSListings Inc. All rights reserved.
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed
Listings on this page identified as belonging to another listing firm are based upon data obtained from the SFAR MLS, which data is copyrighted by the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®, but is not warranted.
This Custom IDX is (c) Diverse Solutions 2017.