Welcome to Petaluma
Petaluma is a small city of around 58,000 people, located right off Highway 101 in Sonoma County. Located within commuting distance of Bay Area cities such as Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco, Petaluma is a laid back city with a lot to do. Whether you want to relax, go to a winery, enjoy hiking or check out local towns in the region, Petaluma is the ideal place.
Lay of the land
The draw of Petaluma is the central location. Residents can hop on a bus and get down to the Bay Area BART station. Or, with a car, it’s easy to get to the beach, wineries and even wildlife areas. With the Rancho Petaluma Adobe, one can see the old way of life as it was part of a 66,000 acre ranch stretching from the Petaluma River to the Sonoma Creek. Since many buildings survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Petaluma has a well-preserved city center, especially when you consider California standards.
With a Mediterranean climate, residents can enjoy the outdoors most of the year. It rarely gets hot here, even in the summer. In the winter, it rains, but it gives the city a lot of greenery. With a lot of creeks and the Petaluma River, there are plenty of bridges to check out and enjoy. They also add to the amazing scenery and backdrop of a lovely town.
When living in Petaluma, you are not far from anything as Highway 101 is near. Vallejo and Novato are not far, neither are the cities of Oakland and Berkeley, and it sits only 40-miles from San Francisco. The ocean can be reached by taking Highway 101, where it’s easy to then visit Baker Beach. While not ideal for a daily commute, one can reach downtown San Francisco and Oakland via a bus and BART combination. With highway access and with plenty of public transportation options, it’s easy to see why people to choose to buy in Petaluma.
With such a wonderful climate, many people like to go outside, and Petaluma delivers. By going to Helen Putnam Regional Park, which is accessible from Chileno Valley Road, you can check out 216 acres of hiking, cycling and horseback riding trails. Or, if you want to go north a bit, you can see Sonoma Mountain, which is in the Fairfield Osborn Preserve. Here, you can enjoy native flora and fauna, and you can also enjoy peace and quiet. To the southeast is also Tolay Lake, which is a prehistoric settlement by the Pomo and Miwok tribes. Since the weather is near-perfect all year, you can enjoy these places.
One near thing about Petaluma, and often overlooked, is that it’s been a filming location for many Hollywood movies. Basic Instinct, Lolita, Cheaper By The Dozen and many other films have been filmed, at least in part, in Petaluma, and it’s easy to see why as it’s a natural-looking and green town with plenty of historical buildings to enjoy.
While this is wine country, and there is no doubt about that, if you like beer, you will love Petaluma. Lagunitas Brewing Company is headquartered here, and you can take tours of the brewery to see how beer is made. Don’t worry, you can also sample some of the lesser-known beers that are not east to find elsewhere. If you like wine, you obviously will not have a hard time finding it as Petaluma is right in the middle of wine country. Whether you want the cliché high-end experience or you want to find a family run winery with a laid back atmosphere, Petaluma and the surrounding towns will give you what you want.