Petaluma, founded in 1858, with a current population of just over 60,000, is located in Sonoma County, 32 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Centrally located on Highway 101 and the east/west artery of Highway 116, Petaluma is an ideal home base for exploring Sonoma County’s wine country, the redwoods, and the dramatic northern California coastline. In just about an hour, you can be in the cultural heart of San Francisco.
Because Petaluma was miraculously untouched by the 1906 earthquake, a substantial number of exquisite Victorian and turn-of-the-century homes and iron-front commercial buildings remain, making sightseeing particularly rewarding. The Victorian Riverfront charm of Petaluma’s downtown is surrounded by scenic rural back roads, offering hiking and bicycling, just minutes away. Petaluma’s downtown area, which has been placed on the National Historic Register, offers extraordinary diversity in shopping and dining experiences, a wealth of nightlife, and numerous city parks. Turn-of-the-century buildings house many antique shops, art galleries, restaurants, and live entertainment.