Welcome to Petaluma
Rolling hills, ocean breeze, farm-to-table cuisine and memories waiting to be made.
Where a bustling food and wine scene meets small town charm, Petaluma has found the best of both worlds. A wide-scale agricultural industry has led to a great presence of farm-to-table restaurants within an iconic downtown district, giving life to a caring and inviting community.
Petaluma was populated by pioneers in the midst of the California gold rush and the community then grew into an important center for chicken farming and grain milling. While agriculture is still a significant part of the town’s tapestry, Petaluma has expanded its reach into food, art and wine, and has successfully cultivated a quaint, yet modern community. Petaluma has retained its small-town essence, while looking towards the future.
What to Love
- Picturesque downtown home to several farm-to-table restaurants
- Situated in the heart of Northern California’s world-famous wine country
- A well-balanced mix of urban and rural life
- A strong focus on sustainability
- Access to breathtaking coastline and hiking trails
Petaluma has long been known for its agricultural prosperity, but in recent years, the small town has fully embraced its unique and creative flair. Downtown Petaluma is home to a growing culinary scene, attracting visitors from all over, with its emphasis on locally-sourced foods and wines.
Petaluma’s historic downtown
comes alive with live music, local parades, farmer’s markets and trendy shops. Whether you’re in the mood for a cup of coffee, fresh pastries, a farm-to-table dinner or a glass of wine, downtown Petaluma has a vibrant and welcoming feel.
While Petaluma has many of the amenities of a big city, the small-town charm is alive and well. Locals enjoy a slower pace of life, fostering a friendly community that’s focused on sustainability, safety and an active lifestyle.
With access to the beautiful Sonoma coastline, a recently restored river and countless hiking trails, it’s easy to understand why Petaluma is known for its natural beauty.
There’s something very special about Petaluma, and even amidst the town’s growing popularity, the unique essence of Petaluma is more apparent than ever.
Dining, Entertainment, and Shopping
Downtown Petaluma is known for its cozy downtown
, offering a mix of casual eateries, award-winning restaurants and quaint shops. Locals and visitors enjoy a walkable and bustling downtown district on the banks of the Petaluma River. Whether you’re in town for a quick bite or a stroll along the beautiful river, there is something for everyone.
is a local favorite spot to start the day. As one of the best coffee roasters in town, the small cafe has earned its reputation as Petaluma’s hot spot. In addition to coffee, guests can enjoy fresh Italian pastries, quiches, sandwiches and salads. The owners emulate small town charm, spending time chatting with each guest. Stellina Pronto has an effortless way of combining high-quality food and coffee in an approachable and welcoming setting.
For a more hearty Italian meal, Hank’s
is a local go-to. Hank’s is known for using Sonoma County sourced ingredients for their seasonal wood-fired pizzas and salads. Locals rave about their homemade focaccia, burrata and large beer and wine selection. Hank’s prizes itself on being a family-run establishment, and it is definitely a warm and welcoming environment.
The word is out and everyone is flocking to Petaluma’s Michelin Guide restaurant, Stockhome
. And for good reason. Featuring Scandinavian and Middle Eastern Cuisine, Stockhome serves high-quality dishes in a humble setting. Headed by a husband-and-wife team from across the globe who have made Petaluma their home, it’s easy to see that they love their community. Pickled herring, traditional meatballs, and an array of Swedish candy are just a few of the unique and tasty foods you can enjoy.
personifies the essence of Petaluma’s food scene - farm-to-table fare inspired by the bounty of Sonoma County. Incorporating elements of both Mediterranean and California flavors, Central Market’s emphasis on quality is easy to recognize. A cozy, exposed-brick dining room is the backdrop for short ribs, seared scallops, woodfired pizzas, and seasonal specialties.
Built in 1911, the Mystic Theatre
has been a focal point of Petaluma’s entertainment industry and consistently proves to be one of the best venues in the North Bay. The Theatre is a lively concert venue with a consistent lineup of some of the most talented musicians in the region. With a full bar and restaurant, it is a perfect gathering spot.
Things to Do
Petaluma is known for celebrating the spirit of both the past and the present with yearly festivals, parades and celebrations. Whether you’re a local, or just passing through town, Petaluma’s festivities are always a day well spent.
is a benefit for Friends of the Petaluma River featuring the best food, drinks, musicians, and entertainment from the local community. Rivertown Revival takes place every July and has been a highly anticipated event for well over a decade.
For 40 years, springtime’s Butter & Egg Days Parade & Festival
has paid tribute to all things Petaluma, with one of the largest local parades around. Over 3,000 participants and 200 volunteers put together a display of over 100 floats, followed by a one-of-a-kind antique fair.
At year’s end, Santa Claus comes to town on a tugboat in the Lighted Boat Parade
. All vessels from proud yachts to humble tugboats are adorned with colorful holiday lights, creating twinkling memories to last a lifetime.
Petaluma is home to several great educational options, both public and private. A few of these options include:
Petaluma City Elementary School District, kindergarten-6th grade; consisting of seven campuses, PCESD has one of the more highly qualified teaching staffs in the state according to Niche.com
Petaluma Joint Union High School District, grades 7-12; Niche.com has placed this district within the top 25% of California school districts, and its staff within the top 15%
St. Vincent de Paul High School, grades 9-12; St. Vincent boasts an ultra-low 6:1 student-teacher ratio