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As the gateway to Sonoma’s famous wine country, Santa Rosa is an ideal urban base for exploring vineyards, giant redwoods, and the rocky shores of the Sonoma Coast. Wine tasting and a walk through the towering, ancient trees at Armstrong Redwood State Reserve top the list of things to do, while in-town attractions include historic Railroad Square and the Charles M. Schulz Museum, home to original works by the Peanuts cartoon creator. For a walk on the wild side, travelers can experience an African-style safari right in California at the Safari West animal park.
Summer in Santa Rosa, as in any California city, can get brutally hot and dry. If you’re looking for warmth, plan a visit in the springtime, when you also can catch the city’s annual Battle of the Brews event that celebrates its craft beer. If you don’t mind the cooler weather, winter can be a fun time to visit Santa Rosa, since many of the city's wineries are decorated with holiday finery during the Christmas season.
Santa Rosa’s downtown area is walkable, and you’ll have no trouble getting around without a car. For visits to Santa Rosa wineries, plan to drive, take a taxi or rideshare, or book a guided winery tour that provides transportation with a driver. Booking transportation with a driver included is always a good idea if you're consuming alcohol. If your travel plans include hopping around Sonoma County, you can use the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit service (SMART).
Many travelers go to Santa Rosa to take advantage of its numerous wineries, but for a unique experience, head off the beaten path just a bit and spend a day and night (or two) at the city’s Safari West wildlife preserve. This park allows you to explore the African wildlife during the day on safari-like tours, and then enjoy all of the wildlife sounds at night from your campsite. Yurt-style glamping accommodations imported from Botswana are available on-site.
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Santa Rosa is the gateway to the Russian River and Northern California Wine Country. Travelers visit for wineries, breweries, and trail-lined green spaces, such as Annadel State Park. Safari West is a private wildlife preserve located north of town. The Charles M. Schulz Museum is dedicated to the famed cartoonist....More
Start by exploring the Railroad Square Historic District and visiting the Charles M. Schulz and Sonoma County museums. After lunch at the Russian River Brewing Company, head east toward Annadel State Park. Explore the trails and small lakes through the late afternoon, and dine at a local winery....More
Yes. Santa Rosa is the gateway to the Russian River and Northern California Wine Country. Travelers come for wineries, breweries, and trail-lined green spaces, such as Annadel State Park. The walkable town boasts the Museum of Sonoma County and the Charles M. Schulz Museum, dedicated to the local cartoonist....More
Yes. Santa Rosa’s walkable downtown is home to the Museum of Sonoma County and the Russian River Brewing Company—one of the oldest brewpubs in Northern California. The Railroad Square Historic District is the heart of downtown, while Fourth Street near Old Courthouse Square includes shops, historic buildings, and redwood trees....More
Yes. Santa Rosa is a family-friendly town in Sonoma County. Families can visit the Safari West wildlife preserve and outdoor spaces such as Annadel State Park and Howarth Park. The Charles M. Schulz Museum, dedicated to the local cartoonist, and the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County are ideal for kids....More
Santa Rose is about 30–45 minutes east of the Pacific Ocean by car. From downtown, it’s about 25 miles (40 kilometers) to Bodega Bay and 30 miles (48 kilometers) to Jenner, situated just north of Sonoma Coast State Park. Fort Ross, Inverness, and Point Reyes National Seashore are farther along....More