Situated in the center of Sonoma County along Highway 101, Cotati is a modern community with strong historic roots, particularly in agriculture and music.
Thanks to a gap in the mountains to the west, coastal fog often reaches Cotati in the summer; it creates a milder, somewhat cooler climate than in neighboring communities such as Santa Rosa or Sebastopol.
Laid out in the 1890s and covering less than two square miles, Cotati is one of only two towns nationwide (the other is Detroit) with a hexagon street pattern instead of the standard grid. The compact downtown has a friendly, small-town atmosphere—particularly on weekend nights, when students from nearby Sonoma State University fill the plaza and restaurants.
Here are four fun things to do in Cotati:
Held in historic La Plaza Park, this seasonal market (June-August) features locally-grown veggies, fruits, flowers, artisan foods, and arts & crafts. There’s always live entertainment, activities for children, wine, beer, and community fun. The market is open June through August on Thursdays, 4:30-7:30 p.m. Cotati Farmers Market at La Plaza Park, Old Redwood Highway and West Sierra Avenue, Cotati, 415-999-5635
With two 9-hole courses designed by course architect Fred Bliss, Washoe Creek is a great place for beginners to learn, experts to practice, and anyone in-between who wants to enjoy a round. The Executive Course has four water hazards, sand traps, and a challenging design; the Short Game Course has one water hazard. Both offer complexities but are fun to play, and each can be played in about an hour. Rates are reasonable, and senior, student and military discounts make them a bargain for many. A creek borders the property’s western edge. Washoe Creek Golf Course, 1475 W. Sierra Ave., Cotati, 707-792-7700
La Plaza Park
This hexagonal-shaped downtown plaza, designed in the 1890s, is a California Historical Landmark, as well as the location for fun-filled events throughout the year. One of the most acclaimed is summer’s Cotati Accordion Festival—the largest event of its type in the state—when the plaza bursts with Cajun beats, music with a Spanish flair, dancing, and lots of fun. Other events include free movies in the park; the Cotati Jazz, Wine & Arts Festival (June), the Kids Day Parade & Festival; Oktoberfest; Holiday Tree Lighting, the weekly seasonal farmers market, and much more. Even when no event is scheduled, it’s a great place to hang out and watch the world go by. A restaurant district near the plaza offers diverse dining options. La Plaza Park, Old Redwood Highway and W. Sierra Ave., Cotati, CA
Music lovers will enjoy jazz, blues, funk, soul, and more at this small bar in Cotati—considered one of the Top 10 Nightlife Spots in the county. You’ll find live music almost every night, and you can dance to a DJ on Thursday evenings. Amenities include pool tables, a juke box, craft beers, and outdoor patio seating. Tradewinds, 8210 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati, 707-795-7878