What to do and see in Santa Rosa, United States: The Best Places and Tips

January 12, 2018 Cedrick Jardin

If you're into wine-tasting, a weekend in Santa Rosa is certain to be satisfying. But this region of magnificent redwoods, rolling hills and ocean vistas has a great mix of other fun pastimes as well. Located right in the center of the Sonoma County wine region, Santa Rosa is home to several vineyards with world-class wines, rich histories and beautiful surroundings. The Matanzas Creek Winery offers June and July visitors a chance to enjoy its aromatic fields of blooming lavender, but its Estate Gardens and spectacular scenery are tourist draws year-round. If golf is your passion, grab your clubs and spend a relaxing afternoon at Fountaingrove or one of the other popular courses. Young and old alike will delight in the Charles M. Schulz Museum, which chronicles the evolution and history of Snoopy and the "Peanuts" gang. With wine or without, a trip to Santa Rosa is one you'll never forget.
Restaurants in Santa Rosa

1. Safari West

3115 Porter Creek Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404-9655 +1 707-579-2551
Excellent
79%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Safari West

Escape to Africa by way of Sonoma County…Come discover the Sonoma Serengeti. The classic African safari is a trip of a lifetime for intrepid travelers from around the globe - and, it is closer than you think! The entire Safari West experience is a kid-friendly adventure for families to enjoy together. Our tours are designed to educate guests of all ages and we have found that families are truly inspired as they learn from and share with one another. At Safari West we strive to actively promote conservation and environmental education concepts to our guests, whether they are with us for an hour or a week. The whole experience at Safari West is one of building connections and making discoveries; getting back to basics and enjoying the profound simple pleasures of family and nature that are all too often overlooked. If anything is “not to be missed,” it is that sense of serenity one finds while gazing at graceful giraffe nuzzling her newborn or the surge of raw adventure while witnessing an energetic herd of wildebeest galloping across the horizon. Overnight lodging is also available - the true 'glamping' experience!

Reviewed By KarenKAFVL - Forestville, California

Family visit on the safari! Nice to see animals not all caged up, they are out free. Giraffes came up to the jeep, very cool! Will have to go back and spend the night in one of the tents.

2. Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens

5007 Fulton Road, Fulton, CA 95439 +1 707-571-8100
Excellent
71%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 262 reviews

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens

Reviewed By etraveler123 - New Jersey

A wonderful experience of fantastic food and wine pairings in a beautiful setting. Three friends enjoyed a delightful experience on a Sunday afternoon, within days of the winery opening after being closed due to nearby fires. Fortunately there was no damage to the facility or it's beautiful gardens and vineyards! The staff was very attentive and welcoming. The farm to table food truly amazing and paired very well with a their many wonderful wines! Well worth the visit. One friend joined the Kendall-Jackson wine club and our wonderful tastings were comped plus free shipping on the case of wine we collectively purchased! Terrific experience and worth the cost of the tasting/food pairing!

3. Patrick Amiot Junk Art

2371 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol, CA 95472-8225 +1 707-824-9388
Excellent
82%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 139 reviews

Patrick Amiot Junk Art

Reviewed By Don L - Sebastopol, California

Patrick and his wife's "junk art," which enlivens the front yards of half the homes on downtown Florence Avenue, is the most unique and interesting attraction in "Peacetown." A fire truck, doggie, Superman, motorcycle and rider are just a few examples of the whimsical and well-constructed pieces on display along two blocks of mostly charming, small older homes. The Amiot's house is particularly noteworthy, where they sometimes give away calendars from past years that show a dozen of their works.

What a nice contrast to the cold, industrial, self-important Barlow complex on the east side of downtown.

4. Weill Hall - Green Music Center

1801 E Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3613 +1 866-955-6040
Excellent
68%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 75 reviews

Weill Hall - Green Music Center

Reviewed By msaioli - California

We heard Richard Goode play Bach, Brahms, Chopin and Beethoven last night. It really is a lovely hall with great accoustics. I look forward to return visits and reliving my Tanglewood memories on the lawn on a summer evening. Very disappointing, though, to sign up for the pre-concert lecture, rush to arrive an hour early, to be told the speaker had a last minute "schedule conflict".....really?

5. St. Francis Winery and Vineyards

100 Pythian Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95409-6529 +1 800-543-7713
Excellent
77%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 371 reviews

St. Francis Winery and Vineyards

Award-Winning Wine | Wine & Food Pairings | Weddings | Private Events For more than four decades, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards has hand-crafted fruit forward, luscious and full-bodied wines from the superior mountain and valley vineyards in Sonoma County's best appellations.

Reviewed By Tim P

The wines are very good, but you must try the pairing. It was 5 courses with 5 wines. The chef did a wonderful job not only on the food preparation, but also with the wine selection. Our first course was Pan Seared Cobia. Second course was a Chicory-Mushroom Salad with lardons. Third course was Duck Rillettes. Fourth course was Seared Flat Iron Steak (which had been cooked in a sous vide first). Fifth course was Bittersweet Chocolate Crémeux. Everything was fantastic. Keep an eye out on Open Table for discounts.

6. Lynmar Estate Winery

3909 Frei Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472-2317 +1 707-829-3374
Excellent
70%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 125 reviews

Lynmar Estate Winery

Located in the heart of Sonoma County's Russian River Valley, Lynmar Estate is a producer of premium quality and limited-quantity Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. Tasting by appointment only.

Reviewed By Morgan K - Santa Monica, California

We visited this winery after a friend's recommendation and it was a great find! We made an early reservation and were one of only a few tables there. Get there early or plan to stay a few minutes late to enjoy the property and gardens. They also serve light snacks at the tables. You'll want to make a reservation in advance - we called on Friday to get in on Sunday without a problem. We had a personal 1:1 tasting experience and our guide even took us down to the vineyard to show us the various grapes. Great experience, we'll be back!

7. Charles M. Schulz Museum

2301 Hardies Ln, Santa Rosa, CA 95403-2668 +1 707-579-4452
Excellent
63%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 944 reviews

Charles M. Schulz Museum

View the largest collection of original Peanuts art work in the world at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Visitors can laugh at Schulz’s original comic strips, learn about the art of cartooning and Schulz’s role in its development, view a re-creation of Schulz’s art studio, watch animated Peanuts specials and documentaries in the theater, and draw cartoons in the hands-on education room. The Museum features a Peanuts tile mural (made from comic strips), a wrapped Snoopy doghouse, morphing Snoopy, Snoopy labyrinth, Kite-Eating tree, and three exhibition galleries that change every 6 months.

Reviewed By awoods2018 - Santa Rosa, California

Took my 3 1/2 year old grandson and family to the museum. He loves Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, etc. so he was enthralled. He tried drawing his own cartoons but enjoyed the skating rink more so we lunched while watching the skaters. There was interesting info about Charles Schulze and themed areas displaying the early years of the comics so the museum is for the entire family.

8. Spring Lake Park

5390 Montgomery Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95409-5527 +1 707-539-8092
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 200 reviews

Spring Lake Park

Reviewed By Patti J

Spring Lake is a beautiful Sonoma County park. Walking trails: both paved and dirt/gravel. Great for walking, hiking, etc. Paved path connects to Howarth, gravel & dirt paths connect to Annadel State Park. Spring Lake offers picnic areas, fishing, paddle boats & kayaks. There is a swimming lagoon open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

9. Annadel State Park

6201 Channel Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95409-5701 +1 707-539-3911
Excellent
70%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 156 reviews

Annadel State Park

This park offers a great variety of wildflowers.

Reviewed By Great_Beer_Now - Houston, Texas

Urban centers often include city parks and other attractions that, while not as vast and sprawling as a rural park, are nonetheless a pleasant respite from the usual sites of the city. But in the American west, some cities are close enough to natural beauty that they can enjoy a true wilderness- like experience close to home. Such is the case with Annadel State Park, located adjacent to Santa Rosa, California.

I spent a few days in Santa Rosa in support of my beer blog, Great Beer Now, and I got to experience the local beer scene to the fullest. But no matter where I travel, I like to seek out natural scenery if any exists and that is what led me to Annadel State Park. Like many things in Santa Rosa, it isn’t far away at all and with a few clicks of the gps, I was on my way.

Annadel State Park consists of hills, trees, hiking trails, and wildflowers. Lake Ilsanjo is inside the park, which is encircled by Lake Trail and has several other trails that lead to it. Fishing is allowed with a license. I had a little bit of trouble entering the park at first because, not used to state parks being so near to a city and with so many entrances, my gps led me to a residential area that, to me, didn’t seem like it could possibly be close to a state park. A quick check of a park map on my phone confirmed that that Annadel State Park really was right there, next to the houses. I entered from the west side, on the Vietnam Vets Memorial Trail, and continued on my way.

I didn’t have a ton of time on my hands, but if I had, I would have probably hiked to the lake. I did, however, walk into the park and I stayed long enough to soak up the fresh air and scenery. The wildlife I noticed most was birds- they looked like wild turkeys, but I’m not completely certain. More than the wildlife, I was there for the natural scenery. Where I live on the Gulf Coast, there are no hills so anything that requires uphill walking and views looking down is something that I find fascinating. And I did get some good views and pictures as I walked along the trails into the park. The trails I was on were dirt trails and, as far as I know, there are no paved trails in the park. The hiking is relatively easy, too. If you want to go way up high, the trial to follow, I was told, is Marsh Trail, which reaches the highest elevation among all of the trails.

Santa Rosa is a small to medium sized city and I like how easy it is to get from one part of the city to the next, in relatively little time. Annadel State Park is situated directly next to Santa Rosa and it takes almost no time at all to get there. It’s a nice little piece of nature close to the city and I’m glad I took the time to get to know this state park and take in the views.

10. Paradise Ridge Winery

4545 Thomas Lake Harris Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95403-0108 +1 707-528-9463
Excellent
63%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 165 reviews

Paradise Ridge Winery

This place is temporarily closed. Nestled on a 156-acre estate in the heart of Sonoma County wine county, Paradise Ridge winery offers spectacular natural vistas overlooking the Russian River Valley. Expansive decks and terraces open to panoramic landscapes. Visitors can sample handcrafted wines seated on the veranda or from our tasting bar. This stunning wine country property was discovered in 1977 by Walter Byck & Marijke Byck-Hoenselaars. The winery was founded in 1991 and is family owned & operated. Every attention to detail is personally overseen to give a complete wine country experience. Wander through the outdoor sculpture exhibit in Marijke's Grove, enjoy the Fountain Grove Winery historical exhibit. For those planning a wedding or special event, Paradise offers a romantic & magical setting. Whatever your fantasy, Paradise Ridge Winery is a wine country experience not to be missed.

Reviewed By dutchbike - Kitchener, Canada

Showed up too late for wine tasting but very helpful staff told us about Wine & Sunset evening - it was INCREDIBLE! There was good wine, great food available, live music & dancing, self-guided vineyard tours, ending evening with glorious sunset! SUCH a beautiful location...MoreSo happy to hear that you had such a great experience - we hope to see you in Paradise again soon!

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