15 Best Things to Do in Santa Rosa, CA

15 Best Things to Do in Santa Rosa, CA

Located close to San Francisco, Santa Rosa is a perfect weekend gateway if you want to spend some time with your near and dear ones. Set in the luxurious Californian backdrop, Santa Rosa is filled with shopping destinations, public squares, vast state parks, and some gorgeous views. But, you know what makes it more interesting?

Most people are now aware of the fact that this town serves as the hometown of the iconic character- Charlie Brown of the Peanuts cartoon. Did you know they even have a museum in their honor? The Santa Rosa landscape is fantastic offering you some of the most thrilling adventurous things to do- getting to see rhinos, as well as giraffes, being one of them. Let us have a look at some of the best things to do in Santa Rosa, CA.

Walk around Downtown Santa Rosa

Downtown Santa Rosa
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Downtown Santa Rosa is the hub or the heart of the town. It has got everything people want to check out on their vacation. Having some of the best boutiques that sell fashion items of the Sonoma County style, books, and some of the most delicious restaurants of California- Downtown Santa Rosa is something that you must spend at least an evening on.

There are certain tourist attractions here at Downtown too. The old district as well as the Museum of Sonoma County is located here. Old Courthouse Square is another attraction located here Downtown. It is a place where public events take place. There are screens here along with live music going on. Events include movie nights as well as a special Wednesday market!

Visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum

Charles M. Schulz Museum
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Santa Rosa takes pride in its talented people. For this very reason, they have dedicated an entire museum to the most talented Charles M. "Sparky" Schulz. It has all of his life’s works showcased here. Also, it has different facts related to the Peanuts cartoon.

He has been creating this comic strip for more than 40 years, here in his very own hometown- Santa Rosa. The collection contains his photographs, letters, and several unreleased documents. There is also a recreation of the Schulz studio here along with other characters from the cartoon. Also, fans can enjoy coffee and ice cream at Warm Puppy Café and Snoopy's Home Ice.

Spot Wildlife at Safari West

Lemurs at Safari West Park, Santa Rosa
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Safari West is a gorgeous tourist attraction located just 10 minutes away from Downtown Santa Rosa. Want the experience of an African Safari without actually going to Africa? There are a lot of safari tours you can avail here. The forest spreads across more than 400 acres of land and there are a lot of wild animals here. You can spot rhinos, antelopes, or even giraffes.

If you want to spend a night here, you can also do that by spending a night in one of the most luxurious tent cabins. The bathrooms are spacious along with nice wooden floors offering some of the gorgeous views of the safari for you to devour on. If you choose private safaris, they will provide you with the experience of a lifetime!

Swim at Springlake Regional Park

Springlake Regional Park is perfect for your summertime adventures! The main attraction of this state park happens to be the 72-acre reservoir. And, people mainly go swimming or boat in this huge water body. When you go swimming, you will get floaties, and lifeguards are always there on duty during the swimming season.

There are also both paddle boats as well as motorboats available that will take you all around the lagoon. There are a lot of fun-filled activities that you can try out at this park. This park also happens to have a huge campsite where you can spend the night. There is also parking available for your RVs. Tennis courts, playgrounds, and picnic spots can be found in plenty.

Pay a visit to the Old Town

La Rosa in Old Town, Santa Rosa
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The district of Old Town is located near the lively Downtown Santa Rosa. This is your go-to eating and shopping spot while you are on a trip to Santa Rosa. Having hundreds of local chains of restaurants and boutique shops- Old Town is quite appealing to tourists.

The most interesting thing about this part of Santa Rosa is that it has very old buildings- some of them have been there for even more than a century. These historic buildings are made of stone which is quite attractive. The iconic part of Old Town is the statue straight out of the Peanuts cartoons that pay respect to the talent of Charles M."Sparky" Schulz. Certain rail lines take passengers from the surrounding towns to Santa Rosa. If you want to feel the historic significance of the town- try to spend a night in Hotel La Rose that is almost a hundred years old!

Learn about horticulture at Luther Burbank's Home and Gardens

Luther Burbank's Home and Gardens
Frank Schulenburg, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Luther Burbank was once an extremely well-renowned horticulturist in Santa Rosa. Now all that is left of him is his wonderful house and equally mesmerizing garden. This urban garden is now a priced possession of Santa Rosa. Now, it happens to be one of the landmarks of the town.

Decorated with a cactus garden, trees, and even the well-known greenhouse created by the man himself- the house is a dream for people who love gardening. There is also a museum that showcases several of his artifacts.

Ride a horse in Trione-Annadel State Park

Swan in Trione-Annadel State Park
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Do you take your adventure activities quite seriously? We have a serious location for you to try them out to your heart’s content! Trione-Annadel State Park is another of the exclusive Santa Rosa’s state parks that have some of the best hiking as well as biking trails. Did you know you could even ride a horse in Trione-Annadel State Park? Adventurous souls can even ride a horse, bike, or even hike.

You can even go for a picnic here with your friends. There is even a lake here- Lake Ilsanjo that is made by man. You can go fishing here during the fishing season. There is also a park beside- Spring Lake Regional Park where you can visit if you are done checking out this park.

Hike at the Sugarloaf Ridge State park

Sugarloaf Ridge State park
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Sugarloaf Ridge is a vast area of greenery that has more land than 4000 acres. It offers the scenes of the splendid Mayacamas Mountains which makes it all the more beautiful. The hikes offered here are beauties themselves. Having the panoramic views of Sonoma Creek, some hikes even lets you see the Golden Gate Bridge if the day is not foggy. With almost 30 miles of an area just dedicated for hiking, some trails even take you to the Bald Mountain summit.

There are over forty campsites available here within the park that gives you ample choices for putting out a tent. Robert Ferguson Observatory is a beautiful point with a telescope if you want to look at the stars on a clear night. There is another hidden gem just beside Sugarloaf- Hood Mountain Regional Park which does not receive as much foot-fall but is more beautiful!

Catch the panoramic views of Jack London State Historic Park

Winery Ruins of Jack London State Historic Park
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Interested in the books of Jack London? Why not visit the state park entirely dedicated to him? Bonus point: It is not just dedicated to him, it is built around his rank, home as well as his gravesite! Yes, book worms can squeal now!

As, for our non-readers, let us give you a little introduction to get you in the mood! The author of the infamous ‘Call of the Wild’, Jack London wanted to build his style of home along with a ranch. The property extends for almost 1,400 acres that can be explored by the people. Though his home was almost destroyed by the fire of 1913, you can still see a lot of remnants and learn about the great man. There are also a lot of hiking trails where you can hike as much as you want.

Taste different cheeses at California Cheese Trail

Are you a cheese lover? Or are you a guilty lactose intolerant person who cannot stay away from the name of cheese/ Whatever it is, we have a slice of paradise for you right here!

Similar to a wine tasting, California Cheese Trail has some of the best and most delicious cheese for your taste buds to savor. You can even get to mee the chefs who make these cubes of deliciousness and ask them about the secret behind their taste! The milk and cheese of the Californian farms are pure than anything you have ever put in your mouth and are known for their grand taste.

Check out the Museum of Sonoma County

Museum of Sonoma County
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There are a lot of museums here in Sonoma County. But, the museum of Sonoma Country has an opportunity to teach more than the others. Teaching in detail about the local culture, facts, and history of Sonoma County- draws a lot of attraction to it every day.

In the permanent collection, there exists a lot of art and craft too. There are a lot of paintings from the 19th century that has been displayed here. Also, there are historically important photographs. Recently, The Fire Project has been set up in the museum in concern to the increasing number of wildfires in California.

Visit the Farmers Market

Farmer's market in Santa Rosa
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Are you interested in the organic label on things? Then, the Farmers Market might just be the place for you! Santa Rosa is well known for its authentic Farmers Market that has been going on for about the last 20 years. Farmers and Ranchers from all over the town gather here and sell their fresh goods to the people. If you are someone who loves home-made things and fresh local products, then you must pay a visit as the place has fruits, eggs, vegetables, and a lot of homemade delicacies like wax and candles.

Admire the art at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

Gordon Lightfoot performance at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
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Interested in some premium pieces of art? Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is located at an exquisite location in North Bay. The best thing about this center is that it hosts performances of all up and coming artists along with some famous ones. From school arts, college artists to local artists- Luther Burbank Center for the Arts houses every piece of art that has talent or potential. Also, it has been there for almost 40 years now. For this reason, it receives a lot of support from the community too. It hosts various exhibitions that also lets the artists raise money.

Learn about planes at Pacific Coast Air Museum

Pacific Coast Air Museum
Eugene Zelenko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Pacific Coast Air Museum is located inside the Sonoma County Airport stretching over 5 acres of field. The coolest part about this museum is that it displays some original airplanes in a hangar that has historic significance.
Do you want inspiration to be a pilot? This museum will wake up the plan-lover inside you.

Consisting of almost 30 real airplanes, it consists of military fighter planes too. It also showcases helicopters and normal planes. There are certain events during the weekend where you can touch the planes too! On Open Cockpit Weekends, you can climb inside any plan you want and sit in the cockpit. Just like there are shows featuring cars, this museum has certain shows that showcase new models and vintage models of airplanes.

Rejuvenate with a Spa Day

Earn Japanese luxury without even going to Japan. Here in the heart of Santa Rosa lies a Japanese style spa that will take away all your stress with just one visit. The Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary will do wonders for your tired body. There are a lot of bamboo and bonsai gardens that bring a flavor of Japan to California. Sit back, meditate, and blow away your worries with a wonderful Japanese style spa day.

So what are you even waiting for? Take the Santa Rosa vacation right now! Walk around downtown, or spend a day hiking at one of its many beautiful state parks. Tired of roaming around so much? Go cheese tasting or just a Spa day will do the wonders for you! Enjoy the tranquility of Santa Monica on your next vacation!