If you’re looking for a fun-filled vacation spot, look no further than Santa Rosa! This charming city in California offers plenty of attractions and things to do for tourists. From its world-famous wineries to its stunning nature reserves, you’ll never be bored. In this post, I will highlight the 12 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Santa Rosa, CA that will keep you busy for days on end. Plus, with the majestic Sonoma County hills as your backdrop, it’s hard not to have a good time here!
Things to Do in Santa Rosa, CA
1. Old Courthouse Square & Downtown Santa Rosa
One of the most historic Santa Rosa attractions is Old Courthouse Square. The square was originally the center of Santa Rosa, and the courthouse sat in the middle of it. The courthouse is long gone, but the square is home to a number of other historic buildings, including the post office, bank, and blacksmith shop.
Today, the square is a popular place for locals and tourists to gather, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops surrounding it. This makes it a great place to walk around and take in the history of Santa Rosa. It’s also home to a number of events throughout the year, including art walks and concerts.
Old Courthouse Square is located in the heart of downtown Santa Rosa, just a few blocks from the Museum of Sonoma County and Charles M. Schulz Museum. There are also other great attractions in downtown Santa Rosa, including a number of art galleries and theaters. It’s also home to Santa Rosa’s Farmers Market, which is held every Wednesday and Saturday morning.
The Farmers Market is a great place to find locally-made food and products, as well as to get a taste of Santa Rosa’s culture. There is always a great selection of food, and you can find everything from fresh produce to local cheese and wine. It’s a fun place to wander around, and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Santa Rosa.
2. Safari West
If you’re looking for interesting and different things to do in Santa Rosa, then Safari West should be at the top of your list. Safari West is a 400-acre wildlife preserve that features an amazing array of animals from around the world. The preserve is home to over 900 animals, including lions, tigers, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, and more.
One of the coolest things about Safari West is that you can get up close and personal with the animals. There are a variety of safari tours available, from walking tours to open-air safari vehicles. Tour guides are available to answer questions and provide information about the animals. You can also stay overnight in the preserve’s luxury safari tents. This is a great way to get a closer look at the animals and experience the beauty of Safari West.
There are numerous programs and activities available for kids, including a Junior Ranger program, a “meet the animals” program and a safari adventure play area. This is definitely one of the top tourist attractions in Santa Rosa and a great place for kids. It’s an amazing place that offers a unique and unforgettable experience.
3. California Cheese Trail
If you love cheese (and who doesn’t?), you’ll want to check out the California Cheese Trail. This is a self-guided tour of cheese-making facilities located throughout California’s North Coast region. The trail includes over 10 cheesemakers, all of whom welcome visitors for tours and tastings.
The cheese trail is a great way to learn about the cheese-making process and taste some delicious locally made cheese. The Santa Rosa area is home to a few cheesemakers on the trail, so it’s a great place to start your journey.
Some of the Santa Rosa cheese-makers on the trail include:
- Cowgirl Creamery
- Achadinha Cheese Company
- Bravo Farms Cheese
- Bohemian Creamery
- Harley Farms Goat Dairy
- Matos Cheese Factory
For a complete list of cheesemakers on the trail and more information on the tour, visit the California Cheese Trail website.
So, if you’re looking for fun things to do in Santa Rosa activity, be sure to check out the California Cheese Trail. This is a great way to learn about the cheese-making process and taste some delicious locally made cheese. Santa Rosa is home to a few of the cheesemakers on the trail, so it’s the perfect place to start your journey. Be sure to visit the California Cheese Trail website for more information.
4. Trione-Annadel State Park
Trione-Annadel State Park is one of the most popular state parks in California, and for a good reason. It offers visitors a wide variety of activities and experiences, from hiking and biking to fishing and bird watching.
The park is 5,092 acres large, making it the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Santa Rosa. It’s also only a 15-minute drive from downtown Santa Rosa, making it easy to get to.
There are over 40 miles of trails for hiking and biking, making it a paradise for outdoors enthusiasts. The park is also home to Santa Rosa Creek and Spring Lake, both popular fishing spots. Bird watchers will love the park, as it is home to over 200 species of birds.
I had the opportunity to hike a few of the trails in this park, and I was impressed by how beautiful it is. The trails are well-maintained, and there’s a great variety of scenery to enjoy. I hiked a loop that took me through rolling hills, dense forests, and open meadows. The park is definitely one of the top attractions in Santa Rosa for nature lovers.
5. Spring Lake Regional Park
If you’re looking for a place to get out and enjoy nature, Santa Rosa has plenty of parks to offer. My personal favorite is Spring Lake Regional Park, a sprawling park of over 72 acres. The park has something for everyone, with miles of hiking and biking trails, a large lake for swimming and boat riding, picnic areas, and a playground.
The park is well-maintained and has a number of amenities, including restrooms, drinking water, and a fishing pier. And if you wish to spend the night, there are also campsites available that can accommodate tents and RVs.
Spring Lake Regional Park is a great place to spend a day with the family, as it is also one of the best things to do in Santa Rosa. However, note that this park is always busy on the weekends, so be prepared for large crowds. If you’re looking for a more peaceful experience, try visiting on a weekday. All in all, I would highly recommend a visit to this park if you’re looking for a great outdoor experience.
6. Charles M. Schulz Museum
The Charles M. Schulz Museum is one of the top tourist attractions in Santa Rosa and a must-see for fans of the Peanuts comic strip. The museum is dedicated to the life and work of Charles M. Schulz, who created the Peanuts comic strip for over 50 years.
The museum has a large collection of Peanuts artwork, including original sketches and drawings, as well as memorabilia from the Schulz family. There’s a replica of Schulz’s studio, where you can watch him at work. Also worth mentioning is the exhibit about the history of Peanuts and interactive exhibits where you can learn more about Charles Schulz and his work. The museum also has a theater, where you can watch documentaries about Schulz and Peanuts.
I found the museum to be one of the most interesting and interactive museums I’ve ever been to. The staff was passionate about Schulz, and the exhibits were well-done and engaging for all ages. I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in comics, cartooning, or the history of Santa Rosa. It’s definitely one of the top things to do in Santa Rosa.
7. Pacific Coast Air Museum
If you’re looking for Santa Rosa attractions with a bit more of an edge, the Pacific Coast Air Museum is a must-see. This museum is dedicated to the history of aviation and is one of the largest of its kind on the west coast. The museum is home to over 30 aircraft and exhibits, as well as a library and archives.
The aircraft on display at the museum are from all eras of aviation history, with a focus on planes that were used in the Pacific Theater during World War II. In addition to the aircraft, there are also many interactive exhibits that teach about all aspects of aviation. Kids will love the hands-on exhibits, while adults can enjoy learning about the history of aviation.
During Open Cockpit Weekends, you can get up close and personal with some of the aircraft on display and even have a chance to sit in the cockpit of a real fighter jet. Wheels & Wings Car Show is another popular event at the museum, where classic cars are on display alongside the aircraft.
I really enjoyed my visit to the Pacific Coast Air Museum and found it to be a great place for anyone interested in aviation or aerospace history. It’s another one of the top attractions in Santa Rosa not to be missed.
8. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
A short distance from downtown Santa Rosa, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is a great place to spend a day or half-day hike. The park is home to over 30 miles of hiking trails, many of which offer stunning views of the Sonoma Valley and Santa Rosa. The park is nearly 4,000 acres, making it one of the largest state parks in California.
The park has a variety of terrain, from oak-and-bay woodlands to coniferous forests and rolling hills. There are also trails that take you by streams, meadows, and a pond. You can even explore a cave on one of the park’s trails. If you’re looking for a challenging hike, I recommend taking the Vista Trail to the summit of Bald Mountain. The summit offers amazing views of the surrounding area.
Accommodation is available at the park in the form of campsites, a group camp area, and an RV’s/trailer area. Robert Ferguson Observatory is also onsite, which offers public stargazing programs on select evenings.
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is also popular for mountain biking, picnicking, and horseback riding. There’s something for everyone at this beautiful state park. So make sure to add it to your list of Santa Rosa attractions.
9. Museum of Sonoma County
The Museum of Sonoma County is another of the top Santa Rosa attractions, telling the story of the county’s rich and diverse history. The museum has rotating exhibits featuring the works of local, regional, and national artists. It also has an extensive collection of California impressionist paintings and a growing contemporary art program.
The Museum of Sonoma County was founded in 1985 by a group of community-minded citizens who saw the need for a public art museum in Santa Rosa. The museum has since become an important cultural institution in the city and a top attraction in Santa Rosa. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, students, disabled, and free for kids. This makes it one of the most affordable things to do in Santa Rosa.
The museum is housed in a modern building in downtown Santa Rosa, with a large sculpture garden in the back. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon, especially on a sunny day. The museum has a cafe on site, as well as a gift shop. This is definitely the perfect stop for history buffs and art lovers alike.
10. Railroad Square Historic District
Railroad Square is a charming district in Santa Rosa that’s home to many of the city’s top tourist attractions. It was once the heart of Santa Rosa’s railroad industry, and the buildings you see date back to the 1800s and early 1900s.
Today, Railroad Square is a popular destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. It’s also home to Santa Rosa’s Arts District, with galleries, theaters, and studios all within walking distance of each other. The best way to experience Railroad Square is on a self-guided walking tour. There are plenty of things to see and do in the district, thus making it one of the top attractions in Santa Rosa.
The centerpiece of Historic Railroad Square is Depot Park, a 4.6-acre park with gazebos, a playground, and a water feature. The park is also home to Santa Rosa’s largest collection of public art, including a number of Peanuts sculptures.
Railroad Square Historic District is a great place to spend an afternoon, especially if you’re looking for a little bit of everything. You can find more information on the Santa Rosa Convention & Visitors Bureau website.
11. St. Francis Winery and Vineyards
Another Santa Rosa attraction not to be missed is St. Francis Winery and Vineyards. The winery is located in the heart of Sonoma Valley and is one of the oldest and most respected wineries in the area. It’s also one of the most beautiful, with a Tuscan-style villa as its centerpiece. The winery has been in operation for 40 years and has a rich history that can be seen in its buildings and gardens.
The farm boasts 400 acres of vineyards with different grape varieties. The winery produces a wide range of wines, from dry to sweet, and everything in between. It also has a tasting room where you can sample its wines, as well as a shop where you can buy wine and other merchandise.
St. Francis Winery and Vineyards is a popular tourist attraction in Santa Rosa and is a great place to spend an afternoon. The winery offers vineyard tours of its property and wine tastings. It’s definitely one of the top things to do in Santa Rosa.
12. Luther Burbank Home and Gardens
One of the most popular Santa Rosa tourist attractions is the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens. This National Historic Landmark was the home of horticulturalist Luther Burbank. He was an agricultural pioneer who developed over 800 strains and varieties of plants, including the Santa Rosa plum.
The home was built in 1884 and is one of the few remaining homes of California’s early agricultural settlers. Burbank lived in the home until his death in 1926. The property was turned into a public garden in 1933 and is now open to the public containing examples of many of the plants Burbank developed.
The gardens are spread over 0.5 acres and include a variety of plants, trees, and gardens. There’s also a greenhouse, nature trail, and butterfly pavilion. The gardens are also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, turkeys, and hawks. Visitors can take self-guided tours or participate in guided tours.
In general, the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens are a great place to learn about the history of horticulture and see some of the rarest plants in the world. It’s one of the must-see Santa Rosa attractions.
These are just a few of the top attractions in Santa Rosa, but there are plenty more to choose from. So, whatever your interests, Santa Rosa has something for you. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and interesting vacation destination. So be sure to add it to your list of places to visit. You won’t be disappointed.