Santa Rosa Travel Guide: What to Know for Your Visit

Travel guide California

Nestled in the heart of California’s wine country, Santa Rosa offers an enchanting mix of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and rich history. This travel guide aims to help you navigate the city, ensuring you experience all the essential sights and experiences Santa Rosa has to offer.

Why Visit Santa Rosa?

Santa Rosa is more than just a gateway to wine country. It’s a city where nature meets innovation, with activities to suit everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to art lovers. The city is a perfect blend of scenic trails, prestigious wineries, and engaging museums, all enriched with a welcoming community spirit.You can also read What to Do in Santa Rosa: Top Activities and Attractions.

How to Get to Santa Rosa

By Air

Santa Rosa is served by the Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport, which offers direct flights from major cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland. Alternative nearby airports include San Francisco International and Oakland International, which are about a two-hour drive away.

By Road

Driving to Santa Rosa is straightforward, with well-connected highways and scenic routes. Highway 101 runs directly through the city, making it accessible from nearly any direction.

What to Do in Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa bursts with activities and attractions. Here’s how you can make the most of your visit:

Visit Wineries

As part of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa is in the midst of wine country. Spend a day touring vineyards and tasting rooms. Don’t miss the opportunity to try some local Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Explore Parks and Nature

Howarth Park and Annadel State Park offer extensive trails for hiking, biking, and simply enjoying the outdoors. Spring Lake is a perfect spot for a family picnic or a leisurely walk.

Experience Local Art and History

The Museum of Sonoma County and the Santa Rosa Arts Center showcase local art and historical exhibits. For Peanuts fans, the Charles M. Schulz Museum is a must-visit.

Where to Eat in Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa’s culinary scene is a delightful exploration of local flavors and innovative cuisine. Here are a few spots you shouldn’t miss:

  • The Spinster Sisters: Known for its creative American cuisine, this restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to craft unique dishes.
  • LoCoco’s Cucina Rustica: Experience authentic Italian dining in the heart of Santa Rosa, famous for its pasta and wood-fired pizzas.
  • Russian River Brewing Company: While known globally for their iconic Pliny the Elder IPA, they also offer a great menu of pub fare.

Where to Stay


Hotel La Rose offers elegant accommodations with a historic touch, perfectly located for exploring downtown Santa Rosa.


Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country provides comfortable lodgings and excellent amenities, making it a great base for wine tours.


The Astro is a uniquely refurbished motel offering a stylish yet affordable stay, complete with a vintage charm that reflects the area’s history.

Tips for Travelers

When to Visit

The best time to visit Santa Rosa is between September and November when the weather is pleasant, and the wine harvest is in full swing.

Getting Around

Renting a car is highly recommended as public transportation options are limited. This gives you the flexibility to explore at your own pace.

Local Events

Check the local calendar for festivals and events, such as the Santa Rosa Marathon or the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, which can provide a deeper glimpse into local culture.

This comprehensive Santa Rosa travel guide aims to equip you with all the information you need for a memorable trip. Whether you’re here to sip wine, enjoy the great outdoors, or soak in the local culture, Santa Rosa welcomes you with open arms.


Santa Rosa offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and culinary excellence. From its world-renowned wineries and picturesque parks to its vibrant arts scene and historical sites, there’s something for every type of traveler to enjoy. Whether you’re planning a leisurely escape to unwind and sip wine or an adventurous excursion through the great outdoors, this city promises memorable experiences. With its welcoming atmosphere and diverse attractions, Santa Rosa ensures a visit filled with delightful discoveries and relaxing moments. So pack your bags, set your itinerary, and prepare for a wonderful adventure in the heart of California’s beloved wine country. Remember, Santa Rosa is not just a destination; it’s an experience waiting to be cherished.