Welcome to Sonoma County
Population is 485,887 per the 2021 U.S. Census Bureau.
Below is a brief summary of the various communities located within Sonoma County, each boasting distinct lifestyles and experiences. All of which offer something unique to select from, that best suit your way of living.
Whether you’re into golfing, hiking, biking, boating, surfing, horseback riding, zip-lining, live performances, comedy, farmers markets, wine or beer tasting, farm-to-table food experiences unlike any other, and so much more. Sonoma County offers something for everyone.
Sonoma County boasts 3 diverse regions, from the awe-inspiring Pacific Coastline and sea villages to the West, the lush redwoods and rivers at its heart, to its fertile valleys and vineyards. Within these regions, the County boasts over 30 small towns, quaint villages, and bustling cities. Each of these is as alluring as the next. Just to name a very few below are:
The Sonoma Valley (which includes Sonoma, Kenwood, and Glen Ellen) is located about 20 minutes south of Santa Rosa. It is popularized by novelist Jack London as the "Valley of the Moon," and is a picturesque region home to renowned wineries, resorts, and the kind of scenery that brings visitors from around the world. Surrounded by vineyards and more than 100 world-class wineries that mix elegance with the down-home, the Sonoma Valley is ground zero for great wine and the lifestyle that goes with it. Charming shops, Farmer's Markets, Olive Festival, Art Shows, Parades, an acclaimed Golf Course, the renowned Sonoma Film Festival and so much more, are just a taste of what the Valley has to offer. Sonoma is the largest of the three towns (with less than 11,000 residents though). It is a laid-back and quiet small town with a rich history, that dates back to the 1820s. Centered on what many call one of the most beautiful town plazas in the state (with its historic, preserved Mission that dates back to 1823), Sonoma has the feel of a small country town -- that is, if a small country town boasted more than 30 tasting rooms of award-winning wineries.
The small town of Healdsburg is located 20 minutes north of Santa Rosa. Envision a town with the best qualities of turn-of-the-century America, yet with the ambiance of a European countryside. Over the past few years, Healdsburg has undergone a renaissance as chic hotels, upscale spas, and hip restaurants have arrived in town. A walkable downtown, with over 30 wine-tasting rooms and a vibrant food scene, Healdsburg draws young visitors as well as regulars who return year after year. And the outdoor recreation can be breathtaking — sometimes literally — Thanks to the Russian River and its many quiet spots for a dip in the water, the Lake Sonoma Recreational Area and numerous trails of varying rigor.
The riverfront city of Petaluma was originally founded in 1852 and tends to retain an old-school charm about it even today. It is fast becoming one of the most desirable places to live and work in the Bay Area. Years of thoughtful planning have resulted in a community where homeowners share a strong sense of pride while enjoying a friendly, relaxed lifestyle. Many of the North Bay's finest restaurants are found in Petaluma, and cultural events throughout the year offer entertainment that's unique to this city. The quaint riverfront city with Victorian charm is home to more than 600 businesses and 65 historical properties. Annual events include the Butter and Egg Days Parade, Victorian Holiday events, Semi-Annual Antique Faires, and the Arts and Garden Festival (just to name a few). And let’s not forget about the Theatre District. One can leisurely stroll through the downtown district of graceful Iron Front buildings of the 1800s while dropping in on many of the antique stores, clothing boutiques, gift shops and art galleries which are housed in historic buildings.
Sebastopol offers a wonderfully distinctive bohemian vibe. It was originally an orchard town, planted with groves of apples and plums when the region was settled in the 1800s. Today, Sebastopol is primarily a grape-growing region, although the original claim to fame, the Gravenstein apple, can still be found in town and is still celebrated with an annual Gravenstein Apple Fair. Sebastopol offers farmers' markets, quirky shops, vintage clothing stores, bakeries, restaurants, quaint coffee shops, the Barlow market district (offering 40 artisan producers), over 250 square miles of freshwater wetlands, Ragle Ranch Regional Park, hiking trails, and so much more.
The towns of Bodega and Bodega Bay are ideal destinations for those seeking to get away and unplug from urban life. Famous for being one of the filming locations of Alfred Hitchcock’s film “The Birds.” These towns boast outdoor activities such as hiking, tide pooling, fishing, and even whale-watching. The 1.7-mile walking trail at Bodega Head has stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and designated whale-watching viewing spots. After a day of communing with nature, foodies will delight in the culinary offerings—the area is rich with fare fresh from the ocean and the surrounding countryside.