Once know as the egg basket of the world for its poultry industry, today the riverside town of Petaluma is a charming historic gem with an eclectic mix of shops and galleries, a foodie haven, and a gateway to the bountiful delights of Sonoma County.
Surrounded by rolling hills to the east and west, Petaluma (pop. 57,941) nestles on Sonoma County’s southern border, just a 45-minute drive straight north on Highway 101 from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
Or, if you fly into the Charles M Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa, the Sonoma County Airport Express drops you off at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma, and goes on to the San Francisco and Oakland airports.
Plus, the historic train depot in downtown Petaluma is now the southernmost of the six Sonoma-Marin Area Regional Transit (SMART) stations in Sonoma County.
Once you arrive in Petaluma, there is plenty to see and do, from historic buildings to intriguing antiques and boutiques; nature parks to nightlife; fine wines to handcrafted brews; and down-home eateries to gourmet farm-to-table feasts —and more.
There are always multiple choices for what to do next, so here’s a suggested two-day itinerary for exploring the many facets of Petaluma. You don’t have to do everything on this list or in this order—pick and choose what appeals to you most, to create your own customized Petaluma adventure.