Victorian buildings line the streets in Cloverdale
Downtown Cloverdale

5 Fun Things To Do in Cloverdale

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Located at the northern end of the picturesque Alexander Valley and near Lake Sonoma, Cloverdale, Sonoma County's northernmost town, is a perfect base for exploring wineries and appreciating the region's stunning natural beauty.

Boasting a compact downtown filled with rambling Victorians, a burgeoning arts community, highly-regarded wineries and eateries, and a family-friendly atmosphere, it's no wonder Cloverdale was recently named one of "America's Coolest Small Towns."

Stroll along Main Street, with its intriguing shops, galleries, restaurants, and tasting rooms. Enjoy the outdoors in the town's parks. Explore the trails in the Clover Spring Preserve or relax in the 7.4-acre City Park with its children's playground, as well as baseball, basketball, and volleyball courts, and a horseshoe pit.

Every Friday in summer the cobblestoned town plaza hosts a seasonal street fair as well as Friday Night Live concerts sponsored by the Cloverdale Arts Alliance. Other annual local events include the Cloverdale Citrus Fair and Parade, the Cloverdale Car & Motorcycle Show, the Cloverdale Old Time Fiddle Festival, and, for cycling fans, the Asti Tour de Vine.

Here are five fun things you can do on your visit to Cloverdale:

Travel Back in Time at Gould-Shaw House Museum

The red Victorian cottage hosts the museum
Gould-Shaw House Museum

There simply couldn't be a better location for a small town's history museum than in this authentic 1870s Gothic Revival Cottage, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The house has many uncommon elements, including front gables, brick construction, and hand-forged square nails. Inside you'll find rooms decorated as they would have been at the turn of the 20th century, along with Pomo basketry and artifacts.

The adjacent 2,000-square-foot Cloverdale History Center houses the vast 65,000-artifact collection of the Cloverdale Historical Society and offers exhibits, a gift shop, workshops, and events. 

Hit the Cloverdale Sculpture Trail

A giant, yellow sculpture
Without a Shout by William Wareham

This town has been displaying art in its downtown area since a major revamp of its central business district in 2003. Produced by the Cloverdale Historical Society, today the annual juried Cloverdale Sculpture Trail features 12 different sculptures each year. They range from humorous to thought-provoking, and some include a message or story. An audio, self-guided tour by Octocast includes an interactive map of the trail, with descriptions and directions. The historical society also offers an online overview of the current sculptures and a trail map.

Get the Best Seat in the House

The exterior of the arts center
Cloverdale Performing Arts Center

The beautiful and state-of-the-art Cloverdale Performing Arts Center has great acoustics. Not only that, but - with only 99 cushy seats and a large stage - it offers the kind of intimate performance that's rare to find.

Five plays are spread throughout the year, and the center also presents musical performances, readings and interviews with literary figures, improv comedy, and open mic nights. Check the calendar of events to see what will be happening when you visit. 

Chill out on the Russian River

The river flows through a tree lined valley
Cloverdale River Park

The northernmost of all the county's regional parks, the 72-acre Cloverdale River Park graces the Russian River's west bank. In warm weather you can launch a kayak or canoe for a paddle adventure; swim and wade in the water; keep an eye out for osprey, ducks, or herons; spread a picnic at river-view tables; or fire up a grill for an old-fashioned summer barbecue.

In all seasons you'll stroll pathways or hop on your bike to cruise around. A 1.1-mile multi-use paved trail that winds through willows, oaks, and cottonwoods is perfect for wheelchair users and baby strollers. And the family pooch is welcome, as long as it's on a leash no longer than six feet.

Go camping in a tent or RV

Cloverdale is home to two privately-owned campgrounds. In the hills overlooking Alexander Valley, the Cloverdale Wine Country KOA Camping Resort covers 60 acres, offering comfortable cabins from basic to deluxe, as well as tent and RV sites with full hook-ups. All sites have fire pits, barbecue pits, and picnic tables. There are plenty of amenities and fun things to do here.

Located on the Russian River, the Russian River RV Campground is geared to RV camping but also offers a few cabins. Amenities include river access, a playground, volleyball, showers, and laundry facilities.

Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez.