Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County in western California, United States. It is located 50 miles (80 kilometers) north-northwest of San Francisco on Santa Rosa Creek, near the base of the Sonoma Mountains. Santa Rosa was discovered by Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo in 1833 and named the city in honor of Saint Rose of Lima It became a processing-shipping hub for Sonoma Valley agricultural products.
The entire area of the city is 107.5 km2 (41.50 sq mi), consisting of 106.9 km2 (41.29 sq mi) of land and 0.5 km2 (0.205 sq mi) of water, or 0.49%. Santa Rosa sits on the Santa Rosa Plain. The city’s eastern limits extend into the Valley of the Moon and the Valley of Sonoma Creek, often known as Sonoma Valley. The western side of the city is located within the Laguna de Santa Rosa drainage basin. Bennett Peak, Mount Hood, and the Sonoma and Taylor mountains are visible landmarks to the east of the city.
Santa Rosa lies inside the watershed of Santa Rosa Creek, which originates from Hood Mountain and empties into Laguna de Santa Rosa. Brush Creek, Matanzas Creek, and Piner Creek are important Santa Rosa Creek tributary basins within the city. In addition to Fountaingrove Lake and Lake Ralphine, the city also has the Santa Rosa Creek Reservoir.
Santa Rosa is the largest city in the Wine Country and Redwood Coast of California, with a current population of 176,938. It is the fifth most populated city in the Bay Area, following San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont, and the twenty-fifth most populous city in the state of California.
The warm-summer Mediterranean climate of Santa Rosa is characterized by chilly, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Evenings and mornings in the summertime are frequently accompanied by fog and low clouds from the Pacific Ocean. Typically, they dissipate by late morning or lunchtime and are replaced by warm, sunny weather before returning in the late evening, but they can sometimes stay all day. Annual precipitation averages 32.20 inches (818 millimeters) and falls on 74 days per year.
Where to Stay in Santa Rosa?
Regardless of where you choose to rest your head in Santa Rosa, you will find a lovely and welcoming city eager to give you a true Sonoma County experience. Depending on the nature of your vacation and your budget, you can choose from a variety of accommodations.
What are the good hotels in Santa Rosa?
Hotel E, located on the east side of Santa Rosa in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country, has contemporary bedrooms, meeting space, a lobby wine bar, making it ideal for your next weekend getaway or corporate retreat.
Motel 6 Santa Rosa North has modern bedrooms with free coffee, free local calls, and WIFI. A kid- and pet-friendly motel, it has an outdoor pool, is near restaurants and businesses in the region, and is just 7 kilometers from Santa Rosa Airport and 2 kilometers from the Charles M. Shultz museum.
Hyatt Regency AAA Four Diamond hotel in Santa Rosa is the ideal destination for your upcoming business trip or vacation, with gorgeous guest rooms and suites, first-class amenities, great service, and an unbeatable position near Sonoma County’s top vineyards, shops, restaurants, and cultural venues. A pet-friendly hotel, the amenities include a restaurant, hot tub, fitness center, charging station, event space, and pool.
The Best Western Garden Inn in Santa Rosa, California will give every traveler a calm and comfortable home away from home. Each Best Western hotel includes a complimentary Internet connection, A 100% smoke-free hotel, its amenities include a heated outdoor pool, free outdoor parking, parking for physically-challenged guests, and ice/vending machines.
What are the places near Santa Rosa?
The city of Santa Rosa is home to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, a museum dedicated to the life and work of the renowned cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, as well as numerous colorful street sculptures of Peanuts characters. Nearby is the interactive Children’s Museum of Sonoma County which features exhibitions in 36,000 square feet of outdoor space and over 7,000 square feet of indoor space. Explore the region’s history and contemporary art at the Museum of Sonoma County which has 18,000 pieces in honor of Sonoma’s regional artists and glorious history.
Opposite the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center is Snoopy’s Home Ice or the Red Empire Ice Arena. A huge ice arena, it is open for public skating, private ice time, figure skating (both for junior and adults), and adult and junior hockey.
Make sure not to miss the Railroad Square Historic District in Santa Rosa which contains an antique railroad depot. The employees at the center can provide advice on what to see and do, and the surrounding area is filled with antique stores, specialized shops, and eateries.
Have a great time at the Spring Lake Regional Park, one of Sonoma County’s well-known parks in the southeastern part of Santa Rosa. A dog-friendly park, it features a swimming lagoon, a 72-acre reservoir for paddling and boating, 10-km trails, campus areas, picnic tables, and bbq grills, as well as the Environmental Discovery Center.
Howarth Park, the “crown jewel” of Santa Rosa, is a 138-acre community park. The park features a picturesque lake for fishing and boating, miles of hiking and jogging trails, tennis courts, a softball field, innovative playground structures, an amusement section with a carousel, an animal farm, a miniature train ride, pony rides, and picnic areas.
Another famous park in Santa Rosa is the Trione-Annadel State Park. It showcases an abundance of wildflowers, particularly along the Lake Ilsanjo trails. The best months to enjoy the park’s wildflowers are April and May. Some plants bloom as early as January and as late as September.
Situated at the intersection of Sonoma Avenue and Santa Rosa Avenue in Santa Rosa, is the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens. This city park features the former home, greenhouse, gardens, and cemetery of horticulturist Luther Burbank (1849-1926). Feast your eyes with the
assortment of fruit roses, cacti, medicinal herbs, walnuts, trees, and ornamental grasses, and know their botanical names, as well.
Have a wine-tasting experience at the family-owned, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards. The winery prides itself on an impressive Tasting Room surrounded by estate vineyards right in the center of Sonoma Valley. Vineyard Adventures, Tasting Flights, Group Tastings, Virtual Wine Tastings, and Trolley Tours are some of the experiences offered by this winery.
Where to dine in Santa Rosa?
Santa Rosa is the heart of the food and wine scene in California, and your plate will always be brimming with local fare. Renowned chefs, legendary dishes, seafood caught from Sonoma Coast, and the farmer’s markets about the city. Santa Rosa is a gourmet paradise devoid of pretension, where farm-to-table cuisine is the norm.
The Warm Puppy is a modest café with a lovely mountain ambiance, which was once Charles M. Schulz’s favorite hangout. The table at which he sat as part of his daily ritual is reserved in perpetuity for his use. It offers local, organic coffees, fresh sandwiches and salads, hamburgers, french fries, hot dogs, ice cream, and hot soups. Open every day beginning at 9 a.m.
Oliver’s Market is a local semi-gourmet supermarket. Apart from the usual grocery fare, Oliver’s Market offers superb freshly-prepared sushi, excellent sweets, fantastic cheese, and wine options, and a salad bar. There are tables available for dine-in or takeout. It is located on Montecito Drive at Middle Rincon Road in Rincon Valley.
Lepe’s Taqueria at 4323 Montgomery Dr. Delicious Mexican cuisine serves authentic Mexican cuisine prepared with fresh ingredients and served in ample servings. This restaurant opened in 1996 and is nearby Spring Lake and Howarth Park, with a patio and indoor seating.
The Beer Baron Bar & Kitchen, located off of Fourth Street in Downtown Santa Rosa, is a bar and restaurant, whose specialty is in artisan beer and cocktails, fantastic food, live music, and wonderful people. Numerous barrel-aged draft beers and handcrafted drinks are available at this brick-lined bar.
Santa Rosa is a city with a hip feel and a dynamic culture just waiting to be explored. Numerous museums, parks, vineyards, and the Center for the Arts may be found in Santa Rosa. Downtown Santa Rosa is the focal point of the city’s teeming activity, where wonderful shopping, restaurants, and a craft brewery can be found. Santa Rosa’s central location in the Sonoma Valley makes it an ideal base from which to visit adjacent destinations such as Sonoma, Healdsburg, and the Russian River Valley.
Santa Rosa is an ideal location from which to explore the California Wine Country. Its lively downtown features three separate commercial areas, five historic residential neighborhoods, arts and culture, events, wonderful restaurants, renowned chefs, wine-tasting rooms, brewpubs, and a welcoming, pleasant atmosphere.
Things to Do:
Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center
Spring Lake Regional Park
Luther Burbank Home & Gardens
Children’s Museum of Sonoma County
Snoopy’s Home Ice
Trione-Annadel State Park
Museum of Sonoma County
Railroad Square Historic District
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards