Sonoma County is synonymous with Wine Country – with over 1,500 square miles of some of the country’s most fertile soil, Sonoma boasts over 370 wineries. But to the over 490,000 residents, Sonoma County is more than just a wine enthusiast’s paradise. With over 6.4 billion dollars in retail sales, the county is a major commercial hub, located 30 miles north of San Francisco.
The county’s largest city and county seat is Santa Rosa, with a population of over 170,000.
Santa Rosa is surrounded by smaller cities and towns, each with their own distinct style and beauty. Tourists and residents alike travel California’s famed Highway 1 to visit Bodega Bay, home to fresh Dungeness crab. Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds was filmed there in 1963.
The city of Guerneville is situated along the Russian River and known as a summer vacation spot along with smaller towns of Occidental and Monte Rio along the Bohemian Highway.
There are over 52,000 business establishments in the county based primarily in the larger towns up and down the main highway of 101. Cloverdale is the county’s northernmost city with Geyserville and Healdsburg to the south. Healdsburg is a commercial center and the epicenter of Wine Country. With a population of over 26,000, the town of Windsor has a beautiful Town Green and hosts a summer concert series.
Music of all styles is a common theme across the county and further south of Santa Rosa is the town of Sebastopol, musicians Les Claypool and Tom Waits live nearby. The city of Cotati hosts the annual Cotati Accordion Festival in La Plaza Park. Rohnert Park, “RP” to locals, also hosts a summer concert series.
How could a county primarily known for wine, scenic beauty and a thriving music scene be any more fun? Just over the southern border of Sonoma County is the city of Petaluma with a population of almost 60,000 and home to more than 7,000 businesses. Lagunitas Brewing Company is the sixth largest craft brewery in the US and the company headquarters are in Petaluma.