5 Fun Things To Do in Cloverdale

Downtown Cloverdale

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. Breathe in the crisp, fresh air as you explore the idyllic charm of sprawling Victorians, rejuvenating your spirit with one of “America’s Coolest Small Towns.”

Stroll along Main Street to enjoy delightful shops, galleries, restaurants, and tasting rooms. Indulge in the great outdoors by exploring the scenic trails of the Clover Spring Preserve, or unwind amidst the 7.4-acre City Park, where centuries-old Live and Valley Oak trees provide ample shade.

Local Events

Every Friday in summer, the cobblestoned town plaza hosts a seasonal street fair and 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.

Cloverdale Restaurants

While much of Sonoma County is becoming increasingly modern, Cloverdale is a place to enjoy a great meal in an old-school setting. You’ll find some of the county’s premier dining establishments offering a diverse range of options, from Trading Post’s mouthwatering flat iron steak to Tian Yuen’s healthy Asian food; it’s a culinary haven worth exploring.

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

1. Travel Back in Time at Gould-Shaw House Museum

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

There 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. 

2. Hit the Cloverdale Sculpture Trail

A giant, yellow sculpture
Without a Shout by William Wareham

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

3. Get the Best Seat in the House at the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center

The exterior of the arts center
Cloverdale Performing Arts Center

The beautiful and state-of-the-art Cloverdale Performing Arts Center has excellent acoustics. Not only that, but – with only 99 comfy seats and a large stage – it offers the kind of intimate performance that’s rare.

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 is showing when you visit. 

4. Chill out on the Russian River at the Cloverdale River Park

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.

5. Go camping at the Russian River RV Campground

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 hookups. 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 toward RV camping and offers a few cabins. Amenities include river access, playgrounds, volleyball, showers, and laundry facilities.

Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez. 

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