12 Great Reasons to Visit Santa Rosa

February 26, 2020

Family activities, arts and entertainment, great food and a diverse natural landscape are only some of the reasons why you should plan to visit Santa Rosa in 2020.

Santa Rosa is situated just 55 minutes north of the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a slice of paradise that will allow you to relax and unwind while tapping into your adventurous side. From the lush green hills and family activities to the booming craft beer and culinary scene, here are 12 great reasons why you should visit Santa Rosa.

1. Sunshine

Santa Rosa has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with cool winters and warm, dry summers. Santa Rosa’s mild climate rarely drops below 30 or goes above 90, providing visitors with the ideal vacation weather year around.

Kids Jumping on Rock Sunset Background

2. Vibrant Green Hills & Wildflowers

Springtime means lush, green rolling hills in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. You might even feel like you’ve traveled to Ireland with the vibrant scenery and blooming wildflowers on the hillsides. We promise Santa Rosa’s breathtaking landscapes and natural beauty won’t disappoint!

You can even stay in town and tour Luther Burbank's Home and Gardens and learn why he called Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, "the chosen spot of all the earth as far as nature is concerned.” 

Poppy Flowers at Vineyards

3. Beach Tasting

Ready for sand between your toes, sunshine and the sound of waves crashing in the background? Bodega Bay and the North Coast are lined with picture-perfect beaches only 30-minutes from Downtown Santa Rosa.


4. Where Wine Country Meets Beer City

Known as the place where wine country meets beer city, Santa Rosa has earned its reputation as the craft brew capital of the United States. From one-of-a-kind sour brews from Shady Oak Barrel House to brewery tours at Russian River Brewing Company in Windsor, it’s time to start planning your beer tasting day. With 12 local, world-class breweries in or around Santa Rosa, there’s a beer waiting here for you.


5. Bustling Downtown

Lined with local boutiques, quaint art galleries, museums, and delicious eats, Downtown Santa Rosa offers a variety of activities within a few short blocks. Discover our popular 30 Things to Do, including lovable nearby landmarks such as Safari West, the Schulz Museum, and Snoopy’s Home Ice.

Mary's Pizza Shack Downtown Santa Rosa - Restaurant

6. Wednesday Night Farmers’ Market

The popular downtown Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Farmers’ Market brings our lively and friendly community together with fresh produce, handmade crafts, legendary barbecue, and farm-to-table dinners under $20 and live, local entertainment. Plan a mid-week visit to Santa Rosa so you can experience this bucket list Farmers’ Market!


7. Local Artisans

Attention contemporary art lovers: check out the colorful block of storefronts at the corner where South A Street meets Sebastopol Avenue in downtown Santa Rosa.

The wide roadway and the curved awnings covering the sidewalks in front of each doorway create a sort of 1950s vibe, blended with an aura of creative funk. Officially called the South A Street Art District, but more familiarly known as SOFA, this compact area is home to nearly 40 working artists' studios, as well as several galleries and arts-related businesses.

It's a lively, vibrant community, where artists are creating their art in real-time. You can stroll through, peek in, and pretty much the doors are open. There's always something going on at SOFA.


8. Wine Tasting Galore

Sonoma County Wine Country offers over 495 wineries to taste at and tour. Known for producing some of California’s finest Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, you are sure to find a wine you’ll love with the plethora of wineries throughout Sonoma County.

As a bonus, wineries like Breathless Sparkling Wines and Benziger Family Winery provides visitors with a welcoming, laid-back wine tasting experience that is completely down-to-earth. Time to sip through Sonoma County!

Rodney Strong Vineyards Wine Tasting

9. Lively Arts & Culture

From the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts to local talent to straight-from-Broadway talent at Transcendence Theatre Company, Santa Rosa offers a lively arts and culture scene. Be sure to check out our events calendar and book your tickets in advance!

On Wednesday’s June through October Paradise Ridge Winery features Wines & Sunsets at their Russian River Valley Estate Amphitheater. The amphitheater offers expansive views of vineyards and the Russian River Valley. Wines & Sunsets features festive live music, wines by the glass or bottle, and goodies from gourmet food trucks. Seating is family-style, with everyone sharing tables.

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts Interior View Performance

10. Endless Outdoor Adventure

With breathtaking landscapes and proximity to the Pacific Ocean and ancient Redwood forests, Santa Rosa is the perfect playground for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking the peaks and surfing local spots to zip lining in the treetops and cycling through vineyards. It’s a great time to start planning your outdoor adventure today.

Sonoma Canopy Tours Zip Lining Woman

11. Culinary Delights

Santa Rosa’s ever-evolving food and drink culture is something to be celebrated, standing out as a farm to table foodie destination. Delight your taste buds at local restaurants, which source most of their food within the county. Don’t miss out on Santa Rosa’s innovative drink concoctions at Perch + Plow, TIPS Roadside and many more.

Before visiting Santa Rosa, we highly recommend checking out our list of restaurants & brewpubs.

IRONMAN Dining Guide Cover Stock Photo Cheers Food Friends, Family

12. Getting Here is Easy

Located in the heart of Northern California’s world-renowned Wine Country, the Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport (STS) offers daily scheduled air service into the North Bay region. Daily nonstop flights include Alaska Airlines to Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Portland, and Seattle; American Airlines to Phoenix, Dallas, and Los Angeles; Sun Country Airlines (seasonal) to Minneapolis and Las Vegas, and United Airlines to Denver and San Francisco. All airlines offer a wide range of connecting flights to destinations across the continental U.S so it’s the perfect time to plan a getaway to sunny Santa Rosa.

Alaska Airlines Plane Flying

If you’re looking for more Santa Rosa travel inspiration, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest happenings.

We hope to see you soon in Santa Rosa.

Visit Santa Rosa Visitor's Guide Cover'