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
$2,650,0004 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths5,195 sqft lot 1.97 acWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Daniel Casabonne, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21711686
$595,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,215 sqft lot 5,663 sqftWalk Score® 47Listing provided by Norman Brown, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/Wine Country GroupMLS 21711759
$729,000Open House4 beds, 2 full baths1,648 sqft lot 8,700 sqftWalk Score® 40Listing provided by Kristin Land, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21711421
$928,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,411 sqft lot 7,919 sqftWalk Score® 23Listing provided by Christopher Oscar, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/Wine Country GroupMLS 21711726
$1,649,0003 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,654 sqft lot 30,601 sqftWalk Score® 46Listing provided by Michael Hedley, Coldwell Banker B of VMLS 21708318
$1,999,9002 beds, 4 full baths3,598 sqft lot 13.42 acWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Bonnie Falconer, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21711699
$929,0004 beds, 4 full baths2,809 sqft lot 17,772 sqftWalk Score® 52Listing provided by Daniel Casabonne, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21626470
$850,000Open House2 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,002 sqft lot 1,742 sqftWalk Score® 31Listing provided by Charleen Price, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21710734
$679,000Open House3 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths1,105 sqft lot 7,200 sqftWalk Score® 63Listing provided by Bari Williams, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21711331
$1,650,0004 beds, 3 full baths3,610 sqft lot 18.48 acWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Mary Anne Veldkamp, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21711317
1 bed, 1 full bath999 sqft lot 6,691 sqftWalk Score® 72Listing provided by Donald Hamilton, Vanguard PropertiesMLS 21711139
$3,750,0004 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths3,318 sqft lot 38.08 acWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Tina Shone, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21710852
$669,0003 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,775 sqft lot 2,701 sqftWalk Score® 45Listing provided by Vincent Bienek, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21709439
$989,0003 beds, 2 full baths1,979 sqft lot 23,085 sqftWalk Score® 24Listing provided by Nancy Blankinship, Coldwell Banker B of VMLS 21710780
$1,295,000Open House2 beds, 1 full bath770 sqft lot 2.00 acWalk Score® 2Listing provided by Casey Moll, W Real EstateMLS 21711078
$515,0002 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths1,158 sqft lot 871 sqftWalk Score® 63Listing provided by Robin Kallman, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21708682
$2,195,000Open House2 beds, 2 full baths1,680 sqft lot 4.58 acWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Maurice Tegelaar, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21710475
$1,325,0003 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths2,821 sqft lot 8,712 sqftWalk Score® 33Listing provided by Kathleen Leonard, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21709140
$1,150,000Open House4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,477 sqft lot 13,939 sqftWalk Score® 62Listing provided by Pamela Banks, HomeSmart Platinum LivingMLS 21710910
$719,0003 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,144 sqftWalk Score® 13Listing provided by Maria Lounibos, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21710839
$1,695,0004 beds, 4 full baths3,231 sqft lot 20,099 sqftWalk Score® 27Listing provided by Brad Drury, K B PropertiesMLS 21709330
$1,699,0003 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,114 sqft lot 9,148 sqftWalk Score® 20Listing provided by Tina Shone, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21710399
$425,0002 beds, 1 full bath836 sqft lot 5,998 sqftWalk Score® 71Listing provided by Daniel Casabonne, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21710428
$995,0004 beds, 3 full baths2,374 sqft lot 10,890 sqftWalk Score® 60Listing provided by Elwanda LeMay, Coldwell Banker B of VMLS 21709707
$2,400,0004 beds, 3 full baths4,554 sqft lot 2.27 acWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Holly Bennett, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21710106
$619,0002 beds, 2 full baths1,250 sqft lot 5,502 sqftWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Corrie Sterbentz, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21709972
$1,495,0003 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths1,326 sqft lot 8,250 sqftWalk Score® 85Listing provided by Holly Bennett, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21710255
$759,0004 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,950 sqft lot 7,000 sqftWalk Score® 73Listing provided by Jennifer Powers, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21709552
$599,0003 beds, 3 full baths1,732 sqft lot 8,999 sqftWalk Score® 47Listing provided by Erin George, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21710333
$1,250,0003 beds, 2 full baths2,083 sqft lot 25,199 sqftWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Daniel Casabonne, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21710227
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 5/26/17 5:31 AM PDT.
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 IDX Solution is (c) Diverse Solutions 2017.