Nicknamed “The Friendly City,” Rohnert Park is located just south of Santa Rosa. A notoriously family-oriented community, it’s home to activities that appeal to kids and parents alike. Sonoma State University is located here, attracting locals and visitors to campus activities and events (or just to stroll the scenic grounds, with their gardens, lakes and handsome buildings).
Rohnert Park has an unusual diversity of eateries, offering just about any nationality or style of cuisine. You’ll also find an eclectic mix of stores ranging from major anchors such as Costco to locally-owned boutiques and galleries.
Here are 5 fun things to do in Rohnert Park on your visit:
Enjoy Premier Entertainment at the Green Music Center:
Since its debut in late 2012, 1400-seat Green Music Center has been widely celebrated as a world-class concert venue. The state-of-the-art theater, concert hall and lawn performance space has hosted such stars as Yo-Yo Ma (playing bluegrass with his Goat Road Sessions group), Audra McDonald, Peter Serkin, Lyle Lovett, and the Philharmonia Baroque.
Many concert-goers arrive early to dine at the on-site Prelude restaurant, which features local foods. And in summer, a 30-foot wall opens to adjacent lawns where nearly 6,000 people can sit at picnic tables or on the grass to enjoy top-notch performances in the middle of Sonoma County’s gorgeous Wine Country.
To learn more, read Green Music Center Garners Reputation as World-Class Concert Hall.
Surprise the Kids with a Major Play Day
Rohnert Park is a family fun capital, brimming over with big-time play for people of all ages! At Cal Skate, a roller blading and skating center, the large indoor rink is filled with everyone from rank beginner to expert; lessons and skate rentals are available, as well as an arcade, snack shop, billiards and more. At Driven Raceway, mom, dad and kids who are least 48” tall can live their go-kart racing fantasy on an indoor track with high-performance karts. Work out family dynamics with an intergalactic battle at Q-ZAR Laser Tag. Or head to Scandia Family Fun Center with its two 18-hole miniature golf courses, 18 slow- and fast-pitch batting cages, blaster boats with water squirters, and a Lil’ Indy race track.
Try Your Luck at Gaming
The glitzy, $825 million, 340,000-square foot Graton Resort & Casino is a gambler’s paradise offering 3,000 slot and video poker games, a 20-table poker room (limit and no-limit), more than 100 table games (such as blackjack and baccarat), VIP high-limit rooms and generous promotions. Don’t gamble? Relax in one of the three bars and lounges, enjoy the daily live entertainment, or tuck into a great meal at one of three award-winning restaurants (Tony’s of North Beach, 630 Park Steakhouse, and the Daily Grill) or seven casual eateries offering sandwiches, pizza, burgers, sushi, tacos, barbecue, and more.
With 50 state-of-the-art lanes, a full-service lounge and sports bar with big-screen TVs, a snack bar that takes pride in its food, a video arcade with pool tables, karaoke and comedy nights, and much more…well, Double Decker Lanes is a happening place (it’s also the first bowling center in the U.S. to power its electrical needs via solar power). Double Decker is open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (later on certain days). Even if you do strike out, you’ll have a good time going down.
Picnic at Crane Creek Regional Park
Best known for abundant springtime wildflower displays, 128-acre Crane Creek Regional Park is spectacular. Tucked in the rolling grassland meadows of the Sonoma Mountain foothills, this little gem is open year-round and offers 3.5 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. A seasonal creek bubbles along in winter and spring; the open space is framed by stands of trees that include California buckeye, white alder, black oak, and maple; and from just about every location you’ll feast on views of Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa below. Picnic tables and restroom facilities are available at the trail head, and more picnic tables are located throughout the park. Bring the pooch if you like, but only on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez.