20 Things To Do In Santa Rosa

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Located in northern California, Santa Rosa is the 25th most populated city in the state. Set in the very heart of California’s legendary winemaking region, it is an excellent base for lovers of fine wine as the Sonoma Valley is one of the two best wine regions in the state. With around 425 wineries within easy reach of the city, everyone is sure to find somewhere to taste their favourite vintages and see how they are made.

Despite this, though, Santa Rosa remains one of the lesser-visited cities in the state. As a result, many who make the trip have no idea what to do when they arrive beyond exploring the vineyards and tasting the wine. So, here are 20 things to do in Santa Rosa to ensure your trip is filled with entertainment and excitement from start to finish.

things to do near santa rosa napa valley vineyards
One of the best things to do in Santa Rosa and the surrounding area is to go wine tasting.

Santa Rosa, California

20 Things To Do In Santa Rosa

santa rosa map
Santa Rosa is about a one hour drive from San Francisco on the US101.

1- Discover History At The Museum Of Sonoma County

Established in 1985, the Museum Of Sonoma County is a non-profit museum located in the historic 1910 post office building known for its iconic Roman Renaissance Revival architecture.

Home to a permanent collection of more than 18,000 pieces and hosting 10 to 12 rotating exhibits per year, it is a fabulous place to learn about the art and history of this part of California.

With a sculpture garden and an art gallery, the Sonoma County Museum complex is well-deserving of its US National Register of Historic Places listing in 1979.

Museum Of Sonoma County is at 425 7th Street, Santa Rosa, 95401.

2- Appreciate Native Culture At California Indian Museum

A small establishment in northwest Santa Rosa, the California Indian Museum & Cultural Center is the perfect place to learn about Native Americans in California.

The exhibits cover their art, culture, and history, many of which locals have made.

With several highly informed staff to discuss everything you see with, it will give you a much fuller understanding of the beauty and depth of the American Indian people.

There is even a gift shop to purchase traditional, handmade native trinkets to help you remember your experience.

California Indian Museum & Cultural Center is at 5250 Aero Drive, Santa Rosa, 95403.

3- Explore Luther Burbank Home & Gardens

things to do in santa rosa colourful flowers and trees in the garden
Wandering around the Luther Burbank gardens is a relaxing thing to do in Santa Rosa.

The Luther Burbank Home & Gardens is the former home of famed horticulturist Luther Burbank.

In the gardens and greenhouse, you can see some of the many plants he studied through the years, while the house itself gives you the chance to see how he would have lived.

His grave is located within the grounds for those who want to pay their respects, while guided tours of the property are also available.

The entire complex has been listed on the United States National Register Of Historic Places since the 15th of October 1966.

Luther Burbank Home & Gardens is at 204 Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa, 95404.

For more California ideas, see:

4- Tour The Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate

fun things to do in santa rosa
One of the fun things to do in Santa Rosa is to go wine tasting.

The Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens is the vineyard and winery of the most respected and successful wine-producing company in the United States.

Visitors can admire the beauty of its stunning buildings, stroll around the gardens, or tour the vineyard and winery to see how the wines are produced.

Then, at the end, you can sit back and enjoy a spot of wine tasting or a picnic backdropped by some truly stunning scenery.

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens is at 5007 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa, 95403.

5- Be Amazed By The Exhibits At Charles M. Schultz Museum

The Charles M. Schultz Museum And Research Center is an establishment dedicated to the writer of the iconic “Peanuts” comic, who lived and died in the city.

Exhibits detail the life of the comic’s creator and the history of the publication itself.

Among the artefacts, you will find first presses of many of the comics, giant statues of the comic’s most famous character, “Snoopy”, and various pictures, books, and other items of interest.

There are also three rotating galleries to keep things fresh and a gift shop where you can purchase Peanuts memorabilia and keepsakes.

Charles M. Schultz Museum And Research Center is at 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa, 95403.

6- Explore Railroad Square Historic District

things to do around santa rosa
Santa Rosa is not far from the coast.

Railroad Square is a historic district in Downtown Santa Rosa listed on the United States National Register Of Historic Places since 1979.

Located along the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, the district has a collection of 19th-century buildings constructed by Italian stonemasons.

Its architecture and a great collection of antique stores and traditional restaurants make it a great place to step back in time and see how this part of California would have looked when it was settled.

Meanwhile, the free Railroad Square Music Festival will delight music lovers each June.

Railroad Square Historic District is at 9 4th Street, Santa Rosa, 95401.

7- Admire The Architecture Of Comstock House

Comstock House is a historical landmark in the city’s heart, which is known for its iconic architecture.

While entrance to this private property is extremely limited, it is still a great place to stop off and snap a photo to see how the buildings of Santa Rosa traditionally looked.

Comstock House is at 767 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, 95401.

8- Go Hiking In Taylor Mountain Regional Park

Taylor Mountain Regional Park is a more than 11,000-acre (4451 ha) park surrounding the eponymous Taylor Mountain, which stands at 1,406 feet (429 metres) tall.

It has fabulous hiking, biking, horse riding trails, creeks, grasslands, picnic tables and woods.

The park is a great place to appreciate the region’s natural landscape and take in lovely views without venturing too far from the city.

Taylor Mountain Regional Park is at 2080 Kawana Terrace, Santa Rosa, 95404.

9- Visit The Children’s Museum Of Sonoma County

The Children’s Museum Of Sonoma County is a wonderful establishment filled with interactive exhibits and an exploration garden specifically designed for children.

Offering educational and entertaining activities, it is an ideal spot to help your kids learn and have fun at the same time.

There is a playground and picnic area, so you can all relax and have fun together when you are done.

Children’s Museum Of Sonoma County is at 1835 West Steele Lane, Santa Rosa, 95403.

10- Walk The Santa Rosa Creek Trail

The Santa Rosa Creek Trail is a 5.5-mile (8.85 km) hiking trail that runs along the banks of Santa Rosa Creek.

Running from Downtown Santa Rosa to the vineyards on the city’s western outskirts is a great route to walk along to appreciate the natural and man-made sides of the city.

Santa Rosa Creek Trail, Santa Rosa, 95401.

11- Spot Wildflowers In Trione-Annadel State Park

things to do in santa rosa, ca (Trione Annadel State Park)
If you love nature, one of the top things to do in Santa Rosa is to explore Trione Annadel State Park. Keep your eye out for local wildlife!

Trione-Annadel State Park is a 5,092-acre (2060 ha) park on the east edge of Santa Rosa, in the north section of the Sonoma Valley.

It is a popular spot for outdoor recreation as it features an incredibly diverse range of landscapes, including volcanoes, lakes, woods and fields of stunning wildflowers.

With seemingly endless hiking trails and fishing even permitted with a licence, it is a beautiful place to see how the city’s urban environment gives way to the region’s natural beauty.

Trione-Annadel State Park is at 6201 Channel Drive, Santa Rosa, 95409.

12- Watch A Live Show At Luther Burbank Center

The Luther Burbank Center For The Arts is a live performance venue owned and operated by the Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation, established in 1979.

It hosts everything from artistic displays to educational programs and community events.

With a main performance space, as well as an auditorium, pavilion, lobby, atriums and conference rooms, and even a lounge, it is a fabulous place to see some of the best local up and coming talent performing in concerts, dances, theatre shows, art and sculpture displays.

Luther Burbank Center For The Arts is at 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, 95403.

13- Embrace Aviation History In Pacific Coast Air Museum

Set on the grounds of the Charles M. Schultz-Sonoma County Airport, the Pacific Coast Air Museum opened in 1989 to collect, restore, preserve, and display American aircraft from throughout history.

It also hosts a range of events, like air shows, flight schools, boy scout classes, and cultural events.

With a collection of over 30 aircraft, including jets, propeller planes, and even military aircraft from the Korean, Vietnam, and Second World wars, it is a must-visit location for fans of American aviation.

Pacific Coast Air Museum is at One Air Museum Way, Santa Rosa, 95403.

14- Go Stargazing In Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

things to do in santa rosa Sugarloaf Ridge State Park waterfall
If you love being outdoors, one of the things to do when visiting Santa Rosa is to go hiking in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

Located to the east of Santa Rosa, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is a sprawling preserve filled with towering mountains and waterfalls, beautiful rivers and lakes.

It has more than 25 miles (40 km) of trails and a stunning plant and animal life collection.

The main attraction is the park’s observatory, where you can enjoy some stargazing on a clear night from your lofty location.

Even if you visit during the day, the stunning vistas and activities like biking, hiking, horse riding, camping, fishing, and picnicking make it a location that everyone can enjoy.

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is at 2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood, 95452.

15- Enjoy A Fun Day Out At Snoopy’s Home Ice

Snoopy’s Home Ice is an ice skating rink with an alpine theme filled with things relating to Santa Rosa’s most famous literary character, Snoopy.

With a gallery dedicated to photos and artefacts from the ‘Peanuts’ comic, as well as a gift shop with a huge amount of Peanuts and Snoopy memorabilia, it is an excellent spot for any fans of the comic to pick up some souvenirs, learn a little history, and enjoy some time on the ice.

Snoopy’s Home Ice is at 1667 West Steele Lane, Santa Rosa, 95403.

16- Embrace The Californian Landscape In Hood Mountain Regional Park

Hood Mountain Regional Park is a heavily wooded, 1,750-acre (708 ha) park centred around Hood Mountain.

19 miles (30 km) of biking, hiking, and horse riding trails offer the opportunity to embrace the Californian landscape while the wooded environment protects the blazing sun overhead.

1450 North Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, 95409.

17- Get Lost In The Lavender Labyrinth

things to do in santa rosa, ca lavender
Another unusual thing to do in Santa Rosa is to explore the Lavender maze.

The Lavender Labyrinth And Flower Gardens is a botanical garden home to the largest labyrinth in northern California made entirely from lavender.

With a wide range of different plants and flowers, beekeeping activities, pick your own events, and a shop selling a wide array of handmade lavender products, it is a perfect place to have a little fun while appreciating and learning about the beautiful plants that surround you.

The Lavender Labyrinth And Flower Gardens is at 3883 Petaluma Hill Road, Santa Rosa, 95404.

18- Learn About Local Wildlife

The Environmental Discovery Center Of Sonoma County is a small, free, educational centre in Spring Lake Park.

With exhibits and statues dedicated to the wildlife found throughout both the park and the area surrounding the city, it is an excellent place for visitors of all ages to see and learn about all of the creatures they may bump into on their adventures.

The Environmental Discovery Center Of Sonoma County is at 393 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa, 95409.

19- Unwind At The Sonoma County Fairgrounds

The Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds is the main fairground in Santa Rosa and the surrounding area.

While the events change often, you will frequently find wonderful fairs and social events, so check the programme listings when you arrive in town.

The Sonoma County Event Center is at 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, 95404.

20- Enjoy The Great Outdoors In Spring Lake Park

things to do in santa rosa ca spring lake on a misty morning
Another of the things to do in Santa Rosa is to explore Spring Lake Park.

Spring Lake Park is a 320-acre (130 ha) park in eastern Santa Rosa home to almost 10 miles of hiking trails, which run through some truly stunning landscapes on the very edge of the city.

It has a beautiful lagoon for boating, fishing, and swimming, with ample campgrounds and picnic sites.

It’s home to the Environmental Discovery Center Of Sonoma County, mentioned above.

The park is an ideal spot to spend a day relaxing and appreciating the great outdoors without ever having to leave the city.

Spring Lake Park 5585 Newanga Avenue, Santa Rosa, 95405.

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Steve Burden is an avid traveller and experienced writer. As a former pro wrestler, Steve used to travel frequently for work throughout the USA and Europe. Having spent the last decade travelling all over the world in search of new sights and experiences, he has turned his love for travel into a new career helping others decide on the best places to visit, as well as what to see when they get there.