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Vacation in Petaluma - California

Jump to: Overview, Things To Do, Transportation, Climate, Accommodations, Cost

Area Overview

Located less than 45 minutes north of San Francisco, Petaluma is one of California's oldest cities and has proudly preserved its cherished 19th century charm. Our walkable downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the iron-front buildings of the late 1800s house antique stores, boutiques, art galleries and bistros serving the best of Wine Country cuisine.

The city straddles the Petaluma River where recreational opportunities abound. Our moderate climate ensures that paddleboarding, kayaking and hiking can be enjoyed year round.

Although a lot has changed since Petaluma was chartered in 1858, Petaluma has stayed true to it's roots as an area known for agricultural diversity. Artisan cheeses, heirloom vegetables, and all natural free range poultry are just a few of the products that give Petaluma its well-earned reputation as an area of delicious abundance.

Perhaps because Petaluma sits between Wine Country and San Francisco, two locales known for their devotion to delicious food, we claim more than our fair share of award-winning restaurants. Our agricultural heritage, fertile soil, and mild climate clearly give Petaluma chefs an advantage when creating their gourmet menus. Many of their starring ingredients are grown at nearby organic farms, handcrafted by local producers, or raised at the area’s many sustainable ranches.

The delicious art of fermentation and distilling are in full flower in Petaluma. As the gateway to Wine Country, it’s natural that we share in the county’s reputation as a top wine destination. That’s only the beginning. Today, craft breweries and distilleries make it possible for foodies, oenophiles, beer-lovers and devotees of distilled spirits of all sorts to eat, drink and be merry throughout Petaluma.

Petaluma's central location makes it the perfect home base for day trips exploring the nearby Sonoma Coast, excursions to the Wine Country and majestic redwoods.

Things to Do

Recreation & Fitness

Petaluma combines the charm of a cherished antique with the magic of undiscovered treasure in a shopping, dining, scenic and historic destination.

Visitors often start with enjoying the Historic Downtown district that includes some of the best examples of iron-front buildings of the US. History buffs can explore Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park that served as the center of General Vallejo's working ranch between 1836-1846. Built in 1904, the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum is a treasure unto itself.

Petaluma’s population is on the small side (59,000) but our personality is big. Our Events Calendar is packed with fairs and festivals that invite visitors to share in our community spirit; whether it is by celebrating our agricultural heritage, love of the arts, riverfront location, or diverse culture. Our centerpiece event is the April Butter & Egg Days Parade that celebrates Petaluma's agricultural heritage and harkens back to Petaluma's claim as the "World's Egg Basket" in the 1920s. Historic downtown is the setting for Spring and Fall Antique Fairs and Petaluma's Salute to American Graffiti. The classic car show in May celebrates Petaluma's place in cenematic history; may of the movie's most memorable scenes were filmed in Petaluma.

Petaluma might just be the town that never sleeps. There isn't a weekend on our Events Calendar that doesn't have a festival, fair or other fun event!

Cultural Activities

When welcoming visitors to Petaluma, we also welcome them to a vibrant cultural arts community. That’s why the Petaluma Arts Center is located right next to the Visitors Center at the corner of Lakeville & Washington Streets.

The galleries at the Petaluma Arts Center feature rotating exhibits showcasing the finest in a variety of mediums as well as classes, concerts and theatrical events. Visit for information.

Just three blocks west in downtown Petaluma, art flourishes in numerous unique galleries. Enjoy exhibits ranging from handcrafted jewelry to paintings and sculpture by contemporary artists of local and often international renown.

Please refer to Page # for our full listing of Art Galleries.
Please refer to Page # for a full Events Calendar.

Live theater and music take center stage
History shares the bill with live theater in Petaluma’s unique venues for live entertainment.

Cinnabar Theater, housed in a 1908 two-room schoolhouse, has been a shining star in Petaluma for more than 40 years. This intimate theater regularly presents live opera, drama, cabaret and musical performances. It is entertainment worthy of a big city without the big city ticket prices.

Described as the North Bay’s premier music venue, McNear’s Mystic Theatre was built in 1911 to host vaudeville performances. The Mystic has an illustrious history and has hosted diverse artists from surf guitar king Dick Dale to rocker Joan Osborne. The theater, with a full bar and restaurant and upstairs game room, has everything you need for a memorable night on the town.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, famous for their Lagunitas IPA, knows that live music has to be in the mix for a good time. Come as you are and enjoy some great local bands in a very “chill” environment at their TapRoom and Beer Sanctuary. Children and dogs welcome!

If you’re in the mood for live music in a more intimate setting, you won’t have to look far afield. Wine bars throughout downtown host jazz trios and singer-songwriters that pair perfectly with a Sonoma County Pinot Noir.

Can’t wait to see the latest blockbuster? Boulevard Cinemas in the aptly named Theatre District on the corner of Petaluma Boulevard and “C” Street has 14 screens.


There is so much to be discovered in Petaluma and the surrounding area. Whether visitors choose to stay close to town and enjoy the recreational, cultural and historic opportunities or venture out to explore the 400 wineries in Sonoma County, the Pacific coast or redwoods, we hear over and over that they can't wait to return to experience more of all that Petaluma has to offer.


Residents and vistors get around town on Petaluma Transit; Golden Gate Transit carries passengers to San Francisco.

Starting in late 2016, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) will begin carrying passengers on the 43 mile route between the Sonoma County Airport and San Rafael in Marin County.


Monthly Temperatures / Rainfall

 Month  Low  Avg  High  Rain
 January  38.9  48.4  57.9  5.4 "
 February  41.2  51.9  62.6  5.3 "
 March  42.5  53.9  65.3  3.9 "
 April  44.2  57.0  69.8  1.4 "
 May  46.9  60.4  73.9  0.6 "
 June  50.2  64.8  79.3  0.2 "
 July  51.8  67.3  82.7  0.1 "
 August  52.1  67.5  82.8  0.1 "
 September  51.5  66.8  82.2  0.3 "
 October  47.5  62.3  77.1  1.4 "
 November  42.2  54.0  65.9  3.5 "
 December  37.7  47.9  58.1  3.8 "

Best Time To Go:

Summer and spring.

Petaluma's moderate climate mades it ideal for year-round vacationing. It's never too hot or too cold...but just right! Spring is a particularly beautiful time of year when the winter rains have turned the hillsides a vibrant green. Summers are mild with fog from the coast cooling off the evening temperatures.

The average winter daytime temperature is 56 degrees and the average summer daytime temperature is 75 degrees


Petaluma is big enough to have lodging options to suit every travel style and budget, yet small enough that the number of choices isn’t overwhelming. In addition to the Sheraton that has guest service scores in top 10% of all Sheratons nationwide, Petaluma has several boutique hotels. Visitors can stay in the heart of the Butter & Egg Days fun at Hotel Petaluma in historic downtown. It has recently been restored to its 1925 glory. Or just a few blocks away, the Metro Hotel offers “a little trip to Paris in Sonoma County.” Guests can even stay in an Airstream trailer on the property…it doesn’t get more unique than that! A mile up the road is the Petaluma KOA featuring several deluxe cabins with fully-equipped kitchenettes.


Cost Information Is Unavailable

Additional Information

Visitor Information

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