Guidebook for Petaluma

Scott
Guidebook for Petaluma

Food Scene

Here are a few restaurants - most are within walking distance. Some of these are also excellent bars.
Gourmet breakfast at affordable price. Stand in line, pick choices from chalkboard. Pick your table, inside or outside. Try the Salmon Toast or the quiche.
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Water Street Bistro
100 Petaluma Boulevard North
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Gourmet breakfast at affordable price. Stand in line, pick choices from chalkboard. Pick your table, inside or outside. Try the Salmon Toast or the quiche.
We love to sit at the bar and order both food and drinks. Try the mussels and clams along with the house red wine. If it's a warm night, there is outdoor seating along the river where tables are spaced over ten feet apart.
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Risibisi
154 Petaluma Boulevard North
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We love to sit at the bar and order both food and drinks. Try the mussels and clams along with the house red wine. If it's a warm night, there is outdoor seating along the river where tables are spaced over ten feet apart.
Just across the park. Check it out. Barbecue is expensive, but it ranks as some of the best I've tasted and I've tasted plenty. My brother-in-law from Kansas City even admitted (grudgingly) that it's good. It's also a cool scene - indoor/outdoor beer garden with a performance stage. Note that since all seating is open-air, it’s relatively easy to maintain social distancing with plenty of fresh air.
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Brewsters Beer Garden
229 Water St
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Just across the park. Check it out. Barbecue is expensive, but it ranks as some of the best I've tasted and I've tasted plenty. My brother-in-law from Kansas City even admitted (grudgingly) that it's good. It's also a cool scene - indoor/outdoor beer garden with a performance stage. Note that since all seating is open-air, it’s relatively easy to maintain social distancing with plenty of fresh air.
Half-block away. Oysters and seafood specialties. Barbecue oysters are pricey but reeeeally good! For public health reasons, during the pandemic, tables are located in the outdoor plaza of the neighboring Hotel Petaluma on weekends. On other nights, order food to go, and take the short walk back to the house.
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The Shuckery
100 Washington St
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Half-block away. Oysters and seafood specialties. Barbecue oysters are pricey but reeeeally good! For public health reasons, during the pandemic, tables are located in the outdoor plaza of the neighboring Hotel Petaluma on weekends. On other nights, order food to go, and take the short walk back to the house.
Perhaps the best fish tacos on the planet, served with rice, beans and coleslaw. Get them with avocado. Order two and if you can't finish the full plate, take some back to the house.
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Cafe Zazzle
121 Kentucky Street
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Perhaps the best fish tacos on the planet, served with rice, beans and coleslaw. Get them with avocado. Order two and if you can't finish the full plate, take some back to the house.
Great northern Italian "comfort food". Half-price wine on Tuesday nights! Try the Bruschetta Trio as an appetizer. The Chicken / Artichoke Piccata is briney goodness served with mashed potatoes and green beans.
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Sugo Trattoria
5 Petaluma Boulevard South
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Great northern Italian "comfort food". Half-price wine on Tuesday nights! Try the Bruschetta Trio as an appetizer. The Chicken / Artichoke Piccata is briney goodness served with mashed potatoes and green beans.
Eclectic selections and small plates. Innovative pizzas. A very nice night out for a couple. Full selection of gluten-free choices.
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Wild Goat Bistro
6 Petaluma Boulevard North
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Eclectic selections and small plates. Innovative pizzas. A very nice night out for a couple. Full selection of gluten-free choices.
Small plates indoors and outdoors, plus beer and wine. It is open till 2am!! so a good choice for a late nosh. Companion to the Big Easy nightclub next door.
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Speakeasy
139 Petaluma Blvd N
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Small plates indoors and outdoors, plus beer and wine. It is open till 2am!! so a good choice for a late nosh. Companion to the Big Easy nightclub next door.
Toss-up with Water Street Bistro for the best breakfast/brunch in Petaluma. Tiny place, so you'll likely stand in line on a weekend. TIP: If there are several of you, draw straws and send someone over to get in line and text you when a table, booth or seat at the counter comes available. It's a five-minute walk from the house and I've used this tactic many times. Everything is great. All the traditional egg, pancake, omelette choices, but done to perfection.
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Hallie's
125 Keller Street
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Toss-up with Water Street Bistro for the best breakfast/brunch in Petaluma. Tiny place, so you'll likely stand in line on a weekend. TIP: If there are several of you, draw straws and send someone over to get in line and text you when a table, booth or seat at the counter comes available. It's a five-minute walk from the house and I've used this tactic many times. Everything is great. All the traditional egg, pancake, omelette choices, but done to perfection.
Acknowledged as one of the best bakeries in the Bay Area. Be sure to visit and get there early enough to claim a loaf to take home. Everything is good, but the rosemary and meyer lemon sells out first, and there's a reason for that. Also a good spot for breakfast. The restaurant is north of the bakery a couple of doors. It's a casually elegant vibe, very different from the bakery and a fantastic place for brunch.
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Della Fattoria Downtown Café
141 Petaluma Boulevard North
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Acknowledged as one of the best bakeries in the Bay Area. Be sure to visit and get there early enough to claim a loaf to take home. Everything is good, but the rosemary and meyer lemon sells out first, and there's a reason for that. Also a good spot for breakfast. The restaurant is north of the bakery a couple of doors. It's a casually elegant vibe, very different from the bakery and a fantastic place for brunch.
Great atmosphere and food. Relatively expensive for Petaluma, but not for San Francisco. Tip: they generally have a great happy hour from Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 6 pm, with deeply discounted small plates and drinks. The idea is that they'll lube you up so you'll stay for dinner.
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Central Market
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Great atmosphere and food. Relatively expensive for Petaluma, but not for San Francisco. Tip: they generally have a great happy hour from Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 6 pm, with deeply discounted small plates and drinks. The idea is that they'll lube you up so you'll stay for dinner.
Very comfortable family-run wine bar. Sample red, white, local, international flights while sitting at tables or couches. Great hummus and other Mediterranean delights to go with your drinks.
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La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge
151 Petaluma Boulevard South
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Very comfortable family-run wine bar. Sample red, white, local, international flights while sitting at tables or couches. Great hummus and other Mediterranean delights to go with your drinks.
Pizza here is good, but I really like the atmosphere. It's one of the cozier bars in Petaluma - a good place to watch sports on the TV in a quiet and romantic setting. Family-friendly too.
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Brixx Pizzeria
16 Kentucky Street
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Pizza here is good, but I really like the atmosphere. It's one of the cozier bars in Petaluma - a good place to watch sports on the TV in a quiet and romantic setting. Family-friendly too.
Good Chicago-style (thick crust) pizza, served in an historic building with nice views of Petaluma Boulevard below. If you like your pie thick and doughy, check it out. As a former Chicagoan, I can vouch that, for California, it's as close as you can get to the real thing.
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Old Chicago Pizza Restaurant
41 Petaluma Boulevard North
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Good Chicago-style (thick crust) pizza, served in an historic building with nice views of Petaluma Boulevard below. If you like your pie thick and doughy, check it out. As a former Chicagoan, I can vouch that, for California, it's as close as you can get to the real thing.
Do you fold your slice? Then head here. They sell slices too.
The New Yorker Pizza & Restaurant
3 Petaluma Blvd N
Do you fold your slice? Then head here. They sell slices too.
Aqus is hard to classify. It's a coffee shop, a restaurant, a jazz club, a bar and a performance venue. Owner John Crowley hails from Ireland and set out to create an Irish pub experience in Petaluma. He has succeeded in developing a gem of a community resource. It's a great place to hang out - Petaluma's shared living room, if you will. Go there anytime and strike up a conversation.
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Aqus Café at Foundry Wharf
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Aqus is hard to classify. It's a coffee shop, a restaurant, a jazz club, a bar and a performance venue. Owner John Crowley hails from Ireland and set out to create an Irish pub experience in Petaluma. He has succeeded in developing a gem of a community resource. It's a great place to hang out - Petaluma's shared living room, if you will. Go there anytime and strike up a conversation.
Scandinavian meets Californian at this unique place.
Stockhome Restaurant
299-201 Western Ave
Scandinavian meets Californian at this unique place.
Local franchise combines soft-serve ice cream in creative flavors with shaved ice, of exotic selections. Result is a near-infinite choice of delicious, yes WICKED, frozen treats.
Wicked Slush Petaluma
122 B American Alley
Local franchise combines soft-serve ice cream in creative flavors with shaved ice, of exotic selections. Result is a near-infinite choice of delicious, yes WICKED, frozen treats.
Jan Rosen is the force behind this nearby restaurant and bar. Be sure to check out the Happy Hour menu from 4-6pm most days, featuring small plates and great deals on homemade beer and mixed drinks. Great dinner menu too, and suitable for a large group.
256 North Restaurant
256 Petaluma Blvd N
Jan Rosen is the force behind this nearby restaurant and bar. Be sure to check out the Happy Hour menu from 4-6pm most days, featuring small plates and great deals on homemade beer and mixed drinks. Great dinner menu too, and suitable for a large group.
Another great small-plates restaurant. Happy Hour is EVERY DAY: 4-6pm Sunday-Friday; 4-5pm Saturday., featuring a full menu of fantastic "bar bites" and specialty cocktails. Plus, they have an additional late-night Happy Hour on Friday/Saturday 9-10pm.
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Seared
170 Petaluma Boulevard North
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Another great small-plates restaurant. Happy Hour is EVERY DAY: 4-6pm Sunday-Friday; 4-5pm Saturday., featuring a full menu of fantastic "bar bites" and specialty cocktails. Plus, they have an additional late-night Happy Hour on Friday/Saturday 9-10pm.
While Lagunitas Brewing may be Petaluma's most famous beer destination, many aficionados prefer Henhouse. You can buy most of the beers at Petaluma Market, but the Palace of Barrels is worth a visit both for the vibe and also for the beers not sold in stores. They're always up to something! When you pick up a can, be sure to read the story printed on the side. They're hilarious.
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HenHouse Brewing Company Palace of Barrels
1333 N McDowell Blvd
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While Lagunitas Brewing may be Petaluma's most famous beer destination, many aficionados prefer Henhouse. You can buy most of the beers at Petaluma Market, but the Palace of Barrels is worth a visit both for the vibe and also for the beers not sold in stores. They're always up to something! When you pick up a can, be sure to read the story printed on the side. They're hilarious.
Acre is the latest addition to thriving pizza scene in Petaluma. They specialize in both New York and Detroit style pies. Detroit is thick and cut into squares. It’s my new favorite pizza in town. Check it out!
Acre Pizza
1080 Petaluma Boulevard North
Acre is the latest addition to thriving pizza scene in Petaluma. They specialize in both New York and Detroit style pies. Detroit is thick and cut into squares. It’s my new favorite pizza in town. Check it out!
A slice of Italy on Kentucky Street! This tiny bakery features Italian specialties and caffe drinks that will make you feel like you’re in Florence. Open Thursday - Monday only.
Stellina Pronto
23 Kentucky Street
A slice of Italy on Kentucky Street! This tiny bakery features Italian specialties and caffe drinks that will make you feel like you’re in Florence. Open Thursday - Monday only.
One of the newest additions to the Petaluma restaurant scene. Easy Rider offers creative cocktails and dishes with a “southern” flair. Try the fried chicken and/or the short ribs.
Easy Rider
33 Washington Street
One of the newest additions to the Petaluma restaurant scene. Easy Rider offers creative cocktails and dishes with a “southern” flair. Try the fried chicken and/or the short ribs.
Why is a fast-food place in here? Because it might be the best in the world. In-N-Out is a beloved California institution. The food is honest - you can watch the staff slice up real potatoes for the fries. Plus, they pay their staff well and hire locally. My son's first job was here. Don't get me started on the "secret menu".
In-N-Out Burger
1010 Lakeville Hwy
Why is a fast-food place in here? Because it might be the best in the world. In-N-Out is a beloved California institution. The food is honest - you can watch the staff slice up real potatoes for the fries. Plus, they pay their staff well and hire locally. My son's first job was here. Don't get me started on the "secret menu".
The Petaluma location is the newest storefront for this fabulous Puerto Rican restaurant that originated down the road in San Rafael. Everything here is great. Our favorite is the Pollo al Horno - marinated chicken thighs served with plantains, rice and beans. An excellent take-out option, but it's fun to dine in at their Theater-Square location too.
Sol Food
151 Petaluma Boulevard South
The Petaluma location is the newest storefront for this fabulous Puerto Rican restaurant that originated down the road in San Rafael. Everything here is great. Our favorite is the Pollo al Horno - marinated chicken thighs served with plantains, rice and beans. An excellent take-out option, but it's fun to dine in at their Theater-Square location too.

Drinks & Nightlife

Some of these places also offer food, but I include them here since cocktails are the principal attraction.
To get here, walk down Kentucky, then bang a left on Western. Cross the foot bridge over the river and head for the deck facing the river. If it's cold, sit inside. Dozens of great beers on tap. Get a taste before ordering. Food ain't bad either. Check out the burger with blue cheese and the house green salad.
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Taps
54 E Washington St
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To get here, walk down Kentucky, then bang a left on Western. Cross the foot bridge over the river and head for the deck facing the river. If it's cold, sit inside. Dozens of great beers on tap. Get a taste before ordering. Food ain't bad either. Check out the burger with blue cheese and the house green salad.
Check online and make sure they are open for the season. If they are, just go. This place is hard to describe. But OK, here goes. It's an outdoor wood-fired pizza restaurant alongside food trucks next to a temporary building serving about two dozen craft beers. Sit inside or outside next to picnic tables. Cold outside - no worries - there are fire pits and heat lamps. Very charming at night when the hanging lights are on. Great fish tacos and pizza. Cool scene, that's family friendly.
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The Block Petaluma
20 Grey St
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Check online and make sure they are open for the season. If they are, just go. This place is hard to describe. But OK, here goes. It's an outdoor wood-fired pizza restaurant alongside food trucks next to a temporary building serving about two dozen craft beers. Sit inside or outside next to picnic tables. Cold outside - no worries - there are fire pits and heat lamps. Very charming at night when the hanging lights are on. Great fish tacos and pizza. Cool scene, that's family friendly.
Yes, they serve "traditional" Italian dinners here, but IMO the real attraction is the speakeasy bar in the back. Check out the stuffed trophies hanging from the walls, and it's likely that someone from the Volpi family will show up and play the accordion. This is old-time Petaluma at its finest.
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Volpi's | Ristorante & Bar
124 East Washington Street
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Yes, they serve "traditional" Italian dinners here, but IMO the real attraction is the speakeasy bar in the back. Check out the stuffed trophies hanging from the walls, and it's likely that someone from the Volpi family will show up and play the accordion. This is old-time Petaluma at its finest.
Live music most nights at reasonable prices. Tables, booths and a bar featuring great craft brews. Companion to the Speakeasy restaurant, so you can order food here. This place is always entertaining.
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The Big Easy
128 American Alley
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Live music most nights at reasonable prices. Tables, booths and a bar featuring great craft brews. Companion to the Speakeasy restaurant, so you can order food here. This place is always entertaining.
The "Beer Sanctuary" at Lagunitas is always worth a visit, but be advised that it's not "night life". They close at around 9 so they don't compete with the bars that serve their brew. Go to taste the beers they don't distribute - there are many, and check out the souvenirs. There is often a line, so I recommend you visit on a weekday. Good place for live music. Check the calendar.
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Lagunitas Brewing Company
1280 N McDowell Blvd
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The "Beer Sanctuary" at Lagunitas is always worth a visit, but be advised that it's not "night life". They close at around 9 so they don't compete with the bars that serve their brew. Go to taste the beers they don't distribute - there are many, and check out the souvenirs. There is often a line, so I recommend you visit on a weekday. Good place for live music. Check the calendar.
Old vaudeville theater, then movie house, now performance venue. Great live acts book here between San Francisco and the Northwest. Check the calendar.
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Mystic Theatre
23 Petaluma Boulevard North
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Old vaudeville theater, then movie house, now performance venue. Great live acts book here between San Francisco and the Northwest. Check the calendar.
Ultimate Downtown Dive Bar, referred to as the "dead animal bar" by many due to mounted trophies and weapons behind the bar. Helga, the bartender has been here forever. Not really a gracious experience, but the jukebox is good and the drinks are cheap.
Andresen's Tavern
19 Western Avenue
Ultimate Downtown Dive Bar, referred to as the "dead animal bar" by many due to mounted trophies and weapons behind the bar. Helga, the bartender has been here forever. Not really a gracious experience, but the jukebox is good and the drinks are cheap.
Small distillery features tastings and cocktails. Walk out the back door and go down the alley. It's right there.
Barber Cellars Tasting Room
112 Washington St
Small distillery features tastings and cocktails. Walk out the back door and go down the alley. It's right there.
The newest brewpub in town is just 3 blocks from the house. Crooked Goat originated up the road in Sebastopol and the Petaluma site is a major expansion. It's a beautiful building and the brews are distinctive. Check the hours - upon opening, hours are limited to Friday through Sunday.
Crooked Goat Brewing
110 Howard Street
The newest brewpub in town is just 3 blocks from the house. Crooked Goat originated up the road in Sebastopol and the Petaluma site is a major expansion. It's a beautiful building and the brews are distinctive. Check the hours - upon opening, hours are limited to Friday through Sunday.

Arts & Culture

An old Carnegie Library right downtown that has been converted to a museum honoring Petaluma's butter & egg past. The building alone is worth a visit - check out the stained glass dome! Collection is great, showcasing clothing and artifacts from the gold rush through the filming of American Graffiti. Also note that volunteers offer walking tours of downtown and surrounding neighborhoods Saturday mornings at 10:30am, from May through October.
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Petaluma Historical Library & Museum
20 4th Street
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An old Carnegie Library right downtown that has been converted to a museum honoring Petaluma's butter & egg past. The building alone is worth a visit - check out the stained glass dome! Collection is great, showcasing clothing and artifacts from the gold rush through the filming of American Graffiti. Also note that volunteers offer walking tours of downtown and surrounding neighborhoods Saturday mornings at 10:30am, from May through October.
Museum is in the ground floor of this antique store. Look for the sign. It's nutty and interesting in a survivalist sort of way. Only in America.
The Petaluma Collective Militaria Mall
300 Petaluma Boulevard North
Museum is in the ground floor of this antique store. Look for the sign. It's nutty and interesting in a survivalist sort of way. Only in America.
Consignment gallery run by the artists themselves. Stop by and browse original paintings, sculptures and photographs. Most are themes unique to Sonoma County. I found a lot of the artwork in my home at Riverfront.
Riverfront Art Gallery
132 Petaluma Boulevard North
Consignment gallery run by the artists themselves. Stop by and browse original paintings, sculptures and photographs. Most are themes unique to Sonoma County. I found a lot of the artwork in my home at Riverfront.

Sightseeing

Yes, you can eat and drink here, but this building also features prominently in "American Graffiti". The pakring lot next door is where Richard Dreyfuss chains the police car and it lurches off its rear axle when the hoodlums drive by. Outdoor seating options during the pandemic.
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McNear's Saloon & Dining House
23 Petaluma Boulevard North
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Yes, you can eat and drink here, but this building also features prominently in "American Graffiti". The pakring lot next door is where Richard Dreyfuss chains the police car and it lurches off its rear axle when the hoodlums drive by. Outdoor seating options during the pandemic.
This little square is named for long-time Petaluma mayor Helen Putnam. Centerpiece is a fountain and a patch of grass. It's surrounded by coffee shops, restaurants, night spots, beauty salons and a tattoo parlor.
Putnam Plaza Park
129 Petaluma Blvd N
This little square is named for long-time Petaluma mayor Helen Putnam. Centerpiece is a fountain and a patch of grass. It's surrounded by coffee shops, restaurants, night spots, beauty salons and a tattoo parlor.
Since it's so close, check out the newly-restored Hotel Petaluma. On Friday and Saturday nights, neighboring Shuckery Restaurant provides oysters on the half shell in the comfortable lobby.
Hotel Petaluma, Ascend Hotel Collection
205 Kentucky St
Since it's so close, check out the newly-restored Hotel Petaluma. On Friday and Saturday nights, neighboring Shuckery Restaurant provides oysters on the half shell in the comfortable lobby.
OK, it's a bit confusing. There's a huge regional park named after famed Petaluma mayor Helen Putnam, and ALSO this tiny plaza right in the center of town. Why go? It's a wonderful shady spot surrounded by great local food and drink and their are usually musicians playing on weekend nights.
Putnam Plaza Park
129 Petaluma Blvd N
OK, it's a bit confusing. There's a huge regional park named after famed Petaluma mayor Helen Putnam, and ALSO this tiny plaza right in the center of town. Why go? It's a wonderful shady spot surrounded by great local food and drink and their are usually musicians playing on weekend nights.

Shopping

Here's a curated list of shopping destinations downtown. I don't include the Outlet Mall or Target, but they exist in Petaluma. These fun places you can walk to are just a start. See what else you can find.
Well-curated thrift store selling housewares, furniture, clothing. Proceeds benefit Hospice of Petaluma, so it's all for a good cause. I once found a full tuxedo here for $3. It fit perfectly. Bond. James Bond.
Sack's Hospice of Petaluma
128 Liberty Street
Well-curated thrift store selling housewares, furniture, clothing. Proceeds benefit Hospice of Petaluma, so it's all for a good cause. I once found a full tuxedo here for $3. It fit perfectly. Bond. James Bond.
Very eclectic thrift store just across the park. Look for fun clothing, housewares, vinyl records. They're open late, and it's a fun place to visit. Owners are Dead Heads. Look it up, if you need to. See that cement pedestal in the corner of the living room? 20 bucks. I rest my case.
Thrifty Hippy Thrift Store
218 Petaluma Boulevard North
Very eclectic thrift store just across the park. Look for fun clothing, housewares, vinyl records. They're open late, and it's a fun place to visit. Owners are Dead Heads. Look it up, if you need to. See that cement pedestal in the corner of the living room? 20 bucks. I rest my case.
Sells a lot more than hardware, and a decent place for Petaluma souvenirs (anything with a chicken printed on it). The store had been in business for 150 years when it burned to the ground in 2005. The owners rebuilt it exactly as it was, uneven floors and all.
Rex Ace Hardware
313 B Street
Sells a lot more than hardware, and a decent place for Petaluma souvenirs (anything with a chicken printed on it). The store had been in business for 150 years when it burned to the ground in 2005. The owners rebuilt it exactly as it was, uneven floors and all.
Great independently-owned guitar store with a full selection of acoustic and electric instruments, some collectible. Also used amplifiers, sheet music and expert advice. Plus, it's in a cool building and worth a visit. No "Stairway to Heaven" please!
Tall Toad Music
43 Petaluma Boulevard North
Great independently-owned guitar store with a full selection of acoustic and electric instruments, some collectible. Also used amplifiers, sheet music and expert advice. Plus, it's in a cool building and worth a visit. No "Stairway to Heaven" please!
They only sell reallly good stuff from top designers. Women's fashions only. You can hit the jackpot.
Vicki's Secret-Designer
108 Petaluma Blvd N
They only sell reallly good stuff from top designers. Women's fashions only. You can hit the jackpot.
One of my favorite antique stores since they're not absurdly overpriced and have a great variety. Friendly people too.
Summer Cottage Antiques
153 Kentucky St
One of my favorite antique stores since they're not absurdly overpriced and have a great variety. Friendly people too.
Full service bookstore less than a block away! Newspapers, best-sellers, author events (check their calendar). Great selection of used a collectible books downstairs! Bonus tip: There are often buskers performing in front of the store. Many are quite good. Drop a tip in the guitar case. Open until 9pm most nights.
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Copperfield's Books
140 Kentucky Street
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Full service bookstore less than a block away! Newspapers, best-sellers, author events (check their calendar). Great selection of used a collectible books downstairs! Bonus tip: There are often buskers performing in front of the store. Many are quite good. Drop a tip in the guitar case. Open until 9pm most nights.
Regional cycling store located just across the park. They sell Specialized, Cannondale, Felt and Orbea. Service department handles everything, usually while you wait. They also have a full line of accessories for both road and mountain bikes.
Mike's Bikes of Petaluma
264 Petaluma Boulevard North
Regional cycling store located just across the park. They sell Specialized, Cannondale, Felt and Orbea. Service department handles everything, usually while you wait. They also have a full line of accessories for both road and mountain bikes.
Unique selection of rare seeds that you can take home and plant. A very interesting place, even if only to browse.
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Seed Bank
199 Petaluma Boulevard North
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Unique selection of rare seeds that you can take home and plant. A very interesting place, even if only to browse.
Interesting kitchen and housewares store that's worth browsing for unique items, some locally made
i Leoni
120 Kentucky St
Interesting kitchen and housewares store that's worth browsing for unique items, some locally made
This place defies description and is well worth your visit. Fun novelty gifts abound, along with only-in-Petaluma clothing and souvenirs. Especially great for kids of all ages. Generations of Petalumans have photographed their kids riding Sandy (the mechanical horse) on the sidewalk out front. Walk down there for a guaranteed smile!
Heebe Jeebe General Store
46 Kentucky St
This place defies description and is well worth your visit. Fun novelty gifts abound, along with only-in-Petaluma clothing and souvenirs. Especially great for kids of all ages. Generations of Petalumans have photographed their kids riding Sandy (the mechanical horse) on the sidewalk out front. Walk down there for a guaranteed smile!
Great selection of gifts (essential oils, lotions, jewelry), or schedule a massage at this fine locally-owned boutique.
Soft Shell
18 Kentucky St
Great selection of gifts (essential oils, lotions, jewelry), or schedule a massage at this fine locally-owned boutique.
Owned by Petaluma spice enthusiast Wind McAlister, this tiny shop on the ground floor of a historic home offers fresh milled spices of every description. Wind offers creative blends for just about any cooking or barbecue style. A wonderful place to pick up gifts that add fragrance to your luggate.
Sonoma Spice Queen
407 C St
Owned by Petaluma spice enthusiast Wind McAlister, this tiny shop on the ground floor of a historic home offers fresh milled spices of every description. Wind offers creative blends for just about any cooking or barbecue style. A wonderful place to pick up gifts that add fragrance to your luggate.

Essentials

Some would consider coffee "essential", but I list those places under "food", or you can make coffee here!
Short walk from the house. Good selection of produce, and fine selection of craft beer (right rear of store), and wine (left front). Meat is great, but expensive. Look for the daily special. 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on Thursdays. Also look for the T shirts emblazoned with the market logo against the left wall as you check out. For my money, one of the best Petaluma souvenirs available.
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Petaluma Market
210 Western Avenue
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Short walk from the house. Good selection of produce, and fine selection of craft beer (right rear of store), and wine (left front). Meat is great, but expensive. Look for the daily special. 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on Thursdays. Also look for the T shirts emblazoned with the market logo against the left wall as you check out. For my money, one of the best Petaluma souvenirs available.

Parks & Nature

Almost too much to choose from. Here are some must-see destinations.
Hilltop park just outside the city limits offers views in every direction. Fine place for short or long hikes. $5 to park inside the gates, or find a spot along Chileno Valley Road and walk in.
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Helen Putnam Regional Park
411 Chileno Valley Road
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Hilltop park just outside the city limits offers views in every direction. Fine place for short or long hikes. $5 to park inside the gates, or find a spot along Chileno Valley Road and walk in.
A short walk from the house through the historic district. Check out the housing styles along the way.
Oak Hill Park
A short walk from the house through the historic district. Check out the housing styles along the way.
Forget the crowded mayhem of Muir Woods. Here's a beautiful stand of redwoods next to a quiet creek that locals love. Excellent spot for a picnic. It can get crowded on weekends (but NEVER like Muir Woods), so if you go on Saturday/Sunday, try to get there before noon. If you can, visit on a weekday and you'll have the place to yourself. There's a wonderful 5-mile walking/biking trail on the old railroad right-of-way. It's a state park, so you'll need to pay (per car) to enter.
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Samuel P Taylor State Park
8889 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
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Forget the crowded mayhem of Muir Woods. Here's a beautiful stand of redwoods next to a quiet creek that locals love. Excellent spot for a picnic. It can get crowded on weekends (but NEVER like Muir Woods), so if you go on Saturday/Sunday, try to get there before noon. If you can, visit on a weekday and you'll have the place to yourself. There's a wonderful 5-mile walking/biking trail on the old railroad right-of-way. It's a state park, so you'll need to pay (per car) to enter.
The North Bay's national park. Look it up online for full description. There are too many trails and attractions to list. When in doubt, head for the visitor's center. It's a beautiful 45-minute drive from the house.
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Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd
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The North Bay's national park. Look it up online for full description. There are too many trails and attractions to list. When in doubt, head for the visitor's center. It's a beautiful 45-minute drive from the house.