Things To Do In Santa Rosa CA located sixty miles north of San Francisco, is the largest city in Sonoma County and a popular North Bay destination. Activities such as boutique shopping, landscape exploration, and enjoying the agricultural splendor of the region are popular in this lush region of Northern California, as is spotting giraffes and rhinos at the city’s Safari West. State parks, historic homes, stately gardens, and public squares are among the other Santa Rosa attractions.

Things To Do In Santa Rosa CA
Things To Do In Santa Rosa CA

Santa Rosa, which attracts famous visitors and long-term residents such as Charles M. “Sparky” Schulz and Jack London, provides tourists with the opportunity to explore the legacy of these two men through attractions and statues located throughout the city. The Charles M. Schulz Museum has a Peanuts-themed campus with family-friendly activities, and the Jack London State Historic Site includes the famous writer’s former working ranch and home.

The Old Courthouse Square, where numerous city events take place throughout the year, is a great place to start exploring Santa Rosa. Fourth Street, which runs parallel to Old Courthouse Square in the heart of downtown, is lined with local shops, restaurants, and nightlife options. The Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, located south of Old Courthouse Square, allows visitors to tour the estate of another famous Santa Rosa resident. See our list of the top attractions and things to do in Santa Rosa, California for ideas on how to spend your time on russian river.

List of 10 Things To Do In Santa Rosa CA Today

1. Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square and Downtown

 Santa Rosa's Old Courthouse Square
Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square

Old Courthouse Square, the central plaza in downtown Santa Rosa, is a recently renovated gathering space that hosts a variety of events. The Old Courthouse Square Wednesday Night Market features live music and a variety of vendors selling produce and handmade goods. The square also hosts Family Movie Nights, as well as community yoga, music festivals, and a variety of cultural celebrations at napa valley.

The rest of downtown stems from Old Courthouse Square, including Fourth Street, which is lined with local restaurants and shops popular for perusing Sonoma County fashion styles and unique locally made housewares. Treehorn Books, a family-owned bookstore on Fourth Street, will pique the interest of bibliophiles. Luther Burbank’s sprawling estate and gardens, just south of Old Courthouse Square, are now a National Historic Landmark for the public to enjoy at howarth park.

The Museum of Sonoma County and a large multiplex movie theater are also downtown attractions. Railroad Square Historic District, located on the western side of downtown Santa Rosa, is considered the original downtown Santa Rosa, and it now houses gourmet restaurants, trendy shops, and other downtown activities within century-old buildings. A newly established passenger line connects San Rafael to Railroad Square and downtown Santa Rosa.

2. Museum of Charles M. Schulz

Museum of Charles M. Schulz
Museum of Charles M. Schulz

This non-profit museum and research center is centered on the 50-year legacy of the Peanuts comic strip and is dedicated to the life and artwork of Charles M. “Sparky” Schulz. The museum’s collection includes thousands of artifacts, including photographs, letters, and tribute art, as well as a large number of comic books and memorabilia. Countless comic strips in the museum have been known to make visitors laugh aloud as they walk through the halls of st francis winery.

Charles M. Schulz created the Peanuts comic strip in Santa Rosa for over 40 years, an act that is proudly commemorated at the museum and throughout the city. The museum’s permanent exhibits include a recreated Schulz Studio, an outdoor Snoopy Labyrinth, and numerous sculptures scattered throughout the grounds. Other Peanuts sculptures and cultural references can be found all over Santa Rosa, most notably at Depot Park in Historic Railroad Square.

Other facilities on the Schulz Campus include a Museum Theater, the Warm Puppy Café, and a Research Center dedicated to studying the life of the famous cartoonist. Snoopy’s Home Ice, also known as the Redwood Ice Arena, is located across the street from the museum and offers public skating, recreational hockey, and a cool place to be in the summer. The Sonoma County Children’s Museum is right next door to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and offers additional family entertainment.

Santa Rosa, California, 2301 Hardies Lane

3. Safari West.

Safari West
Safari West

This non-profit institute, located 10 minutes north of downtown Santa Rosa, provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go on an African safari. Safari West spans 400 acres and is home to a diverse array of animals, including giraffes, antelopes, and a rhinoceros. Safari West offers luxurious tent cabins with private bathrooms and hardwood floors to spend the night, many with views of the resident wildlife, in addition to daily safari tours used to inspire wildlife advocacy at Los Angeles.

Private adventures, as well as special animal encounters, such as a meet-and-greet with a cheetah or rhinoceros, can be arranged prior to visiting Safari West. Safari West hosts a variety of programs and events, including photography workshops, children’s discovery camps, and a Conservation Dinner Series. Other on-site dining options include the Savannah Café, which serves aromatic entrées cooked over a wood-fire grill at Wells Fargo Center.

Santa Rosa, California 3115 Porter Creek Road

4. Luther Burbank’s House and Gardens

Luther Burbank's House and Gardens
Luther Burbank’s House and Gardens

This urban garden and former home of pioneering horticulturist Luther Burbank, located a few blocks south of Old Courthouse Square, is now a national historic landmark open to the public. The home’s intricate gardens, which include a unique cactus garden and Burbank’s historic greenhouse, are free and fun to visit seven days a week. Tuesday through Saturday, guided tours of the Luther Burbank home are available, with additional information and relics on display at the on-site Carriage House Museum.

Santa Rosa, California, 204 Santa Rosa Avenue

5. Spring Lake Regional Park 

Spring Lake Regional Park
Spring Lake Regional Park 

This regional park, located east of downtown and adjacent to Trione-Annadel State Park is also known as historic park, offers a variety of warm-weather activities. Boating and swimming are popular activities at Spring Lake, which is centered on a 72-acre reservoir. There is an inflatable obstacle course and lifeguards on duty at the seasonal swimming lagoon. A year-round boat ramp provides access to the water for motor and paddle boats, and a concessionaire at the park offers boat rentals by the hour.

Spring Lake Regional Park is also popular for land-based activities, with ten miles of trails on all sides of the water. A 31-site campground at Spring Lake accommodates tents and RVs for fun overnight experiences. Camping cabins can also be rented. The neighboring Howarth City Park, which is connected by trail to Spring Lake Regional Park, is known as Santa Rosa’s “jewel” and features tennis courts, picnic tables, and a miniature train ride one of the fun things to do.

Santa Rosa, California 5585 Newanga Avenue

6. Railroad Square Historic District

Railroad Square Historic District
Railroad Square Historic District

This “Old Town” district on the west side of downtown Santa Rosa features historic shopping, dining, and downtown hotels. Numerous boutique shops and local restaurants can be found within the neighborhood’s turn-of-the-century stone buildings, which are centered on the 1904 Depot and Depot Park. A Peanuts statue honoring the work of Charles M. “Sparky” Schulz now stands outside the Depot, commemorating the famous cartoonist’s four decades in Santa Rosa.

A passenger train now transports visitors from neighboring San Rafael to the Railroad Square Depot for a fun afternoon or overnight stay. The Santa Rosa Creek Trail runs alongside the historic district, and the 6th Street Playhouse hosts regional productions and evening shows on two stages. Hotel La Rose, located next to the Depot, offers a luxurious overnight experience in a century-old building.

Santa Rosa, California, 9 Fourth Street

7. State Park Trione-Annadel

State Park Trione-Annadel
State Park Trione-Annadel

State Park Trione-Annadel, this expansive public space east of Santa Rosa is a favorite for hikers, mountain bikers, and horse riders, with over 40 miles of multi-use trails lacing the rolling topography. Picnicking at trailside tables, viewing wildflowers in the spring, and fishing for bass and bluegill in the man-made Lake Ilsanjo are all popular activities at this day-use state park. Spring Lake Regional Park, which is nearby, offers camping and other water activities.

Santa Rosa, California 6201 Channel Drive

8. Sonoma County Museum

Sonoma County Museum
Sonoma County Museum

Sonoma County Museum, this non-profit museum in downtown Santa Rosa celebrates the culture and history of the surrounding county. The museum’s permanent collection includes historic photographs, 19th-century paintings, and numerous sculptures, many of which can be seen in the outdoor Sculpture Garden, and it features regularly rotating displays by regional artists. The museum’s new Fire Project, which debuted in 2017, aims to commemorate the wildfires that devastated the area that same year.

Santa Rosa, California (425 7th Street)

9. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is number nine.

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

Sugarloaf Ridge is a 4,000-acre outdoor recreation area in the Mayacamas Mountains east of Santa Rosa. Thirty miles of hiking trails wind through the park’s diverse forests, including a towering redwood grove next to Sonoma Creek. Within the park, a short hiking trail to a waterfall on Sonoma Creek is popular, as is the Vista Trail leading to the summit of Bald Mountain, from which the Golden Gate Bridge can be seen on clear days.

Sugarloaf State Park Campground has over 40 campsites that can accommodate tents and trailers up to 24 feet long. Mountain biking is a popular activity at the state park, as is stargazing at the public-access Robert Ferguson Observatory, which includes a 40-inch telescope. Hood Mountain Regional Park, located nearby, has even more Mayacamas Mountains to explore as well as access to the stunningly beautiful but less visited McCormick Addition of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

Kenwood, California, 2605 Adobe Canyon Road

10. The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is number ten.

The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, a premier art and event space in the North Bay, has a nearly 40-year reputation for quality community engagement. This non-profit facility is best known for the talent they bring to their stage, with school performances, adult education programs, and a large collection of contemporary art. The Art Center’s 2,000-seat Ruth Finley Person Theater consistently puts on a good show, with big names and regional productions in theater, dance, music, and comedy.

Santa Rosa, California 50 Mark West Springs Road

FAQs about Things To Do In Santa Rosa CA

Is it worthwhile to go to Santa Rosa?

Most people flock to the Napa and Sonoma valleys to sample the best of California’s wine bounty. Many people overlook Santa Rosa, a small city located between San Francisco and the famed wine regions. Here are five reasons why Santa Rosa is wine country’s best-kept secret.

What makes Santa Rosa famous?

Santa Rosa, located in Sonoma County, is the main city in California’s famous Wine Country, with most of the best wineries and vineyards right in your backyard and many more just a short drive away. It’s understandable if you don’t know where to start with over 300 options.

Is Nuvali accessible to the general public?

Is NUVALI accessible to the general public? A: Yes, like Ayala Center and Bonifacio Global City, NUVALI is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The majority of the restaurants in Ayala Malls Solenad are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. There is no free admission and no reservations are required.

What is the distance between Santa Rosa and the beach?

How close is Santa Rosa to the ocean? The Pacific Ocean and Bodega Bay are about 40 minutes west of Santa Rosa on Highway 12 and north on Highway 1. There are ocean beaches, seafood restaurants, a fishing and sailing marina, and hiking/whale-watching opportunities on Bodega Head.

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