A pretty harbor setting is just the beginning of a long list of reasons to plan a visit to Petaluma, California. Considered the Southern entrance to Sonoma County, Petaluma offers history and wonderful shopping, dining, and entertainment.
If you’re traveling by boat, you’ll be able to cruise into town on the Petaluma River and dock right next to the historic downtown. The river is a top lure of this quaint town, one of California’s oldest, established in 1858. Note the classic iron-front facades of its buildings—they’re one of the reasons Petaluma was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
Today Petaluma is home to more than 600 businesses and has a downtown that is bustling with enjoyable things to see and do. If you’d like to learn more about the history of the town, stop by the Petaluma Historical Museum, which in a former Carnegie Library. During May and October, there are docent-led town tours that begin here.
Poking around downtown is delightful, as Petaluma is chockfull of one-of-a-kind shops, more than a dozen art galleries, and an assortment of antique stores. Mark your calendar for the fourth Sunday in April (April 23, 2017) when the annual spring Antique Faire brings in more than 180 vendors with items from humble bracelets to high-end Victorian armoires.
All throughout the year, Petaluma hosts not-to-miss festivals and events. The most notable is the California Artisan Cheese Festival, held in March. Among others are the Second Saturday Art Walks from May to October; an Art and Garden Festival in July; and Rivertown Revival, a funky summer festival featuring an art boat race and entertainment.
As expected here in Sonoma County, you’ll find wonderful dining too. Petaluma’s offerings are deliciously diverse and include Hallie’s, and old-fashioned diner with notoriously good cornmeal pancakes; Topsy’s Kitchen, serving farmhouse fare in an inviting setting; the Parisian-feeling Water Street Bistro (desserts are a must-try); and Central Market, an enduring favorite for lunch. These are but a few of a long list of options.
Stay at any of our Wine Country Inns and we’ll be able to help you plan a day’s itinerary in Petaluma and recommend places to visit and dine. It’s just another one of the many joys of staying with us!