People move to Sonoma County for the elegant landscapes, friendly neighbors, and a small-town feel. Although Santa Rosa
has a sizable population, it still has a close-knit, community-centered vibe. People here love to shop local, eat delicious food at the neighborhood's countless restaurants, and be outside on trails or in the parks. Folks in Southwest Santa Rosa
enjoy being close to the downtown heart of the city, located about three miles to the northeast.
Schools in Southwest Santa Rosa
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Restaurants & Nightlife
Many residents applaud Santa Rosa for delicious Mexican food. To find out what locals are talking about, head down the street to La Plaza Mexican Restaurant. For over 15 years, this restaurant has been serving authentic Mexican cuisine that doesn't break the bank. Try the mole sauce on a super burrito for an extra level of decadence.
For family-owned Peruvian cuisine, stop by Sazón. The chefs have compressed the food of Peru onto one menu, and the results are fantastic. Try the empanadas for a baked treat similar to a pot pie. Be sure to come back, as the variety available on the menu always allows for new tasty surprises.
For sandwiches or brunch, stop by Dada's Deli. This family-owned spot serves up some of the best breakfast burritos in Santa Rosa. The deli also makes very tasty deli-style paninis. Locals like coming here for the generous portions and quick service. If you like avocado, try the whole avocado sandwich.
For specialty cocktails, great sandwiches and live music, stop by Whisky Tip. Staff have lots of expertise when it comes to spirits. This bar offers a large variety of drinks related to whiskey. For something special, try the home-brewed whiskey.
History & Culture
Prior to the 1800s, the Pomo, Miwok and Wappo Indians resided in the area that makes up modern Santa Rosa. Mexican leaders and missionaries built the first few buildings in the area and gave the area its name. The gold rush in the mid to late 1800s brought a large migration of folks to the area looking to strike it rich, but soon these folks realized the true gold in Sonoma County was in the soil. Agriculture began to flourish, particularly the wine business. The city was incorporated in 1868.
The city grew rapidly with the railroad connecting the area to San Francisco. After WWII, the area continued to grow. The beautiful coastal lifestyle brings folks here. To learn more about the history of Santa Rosa, stop by the Sonoma County Museum on 7th Street or head to Luther Burbank Home and Gardens near downtown. This national landmark preserves the genius of biologist Luther Burbank, a well-known resident of the city in the 1800's. Learn about the way he pioneered agriculture and established an everlasting green thumb in Santa Rosa.
Most folks commute to and from Santa Rosa by car. With nearby Highway 101 and Highway 12 accessible from Southwest Santa Rosa via Hearn or Dutton streets, residents can get around easily throughout Sonoma County and the Bay Area.
During sunny days, locals enjoy the bike paths and bike-friendly roads that network through the city of Santa Rosa. The city also has a bus system. Bus route 15 (Stony Point Road) and route 12 (Roseland) connect Southwest Santa Rosa to the rest of the city. The city transportation department also provides a Paratransit system for people with disabilities or for those who cannot access the city buses.
Hailing a cab in this neighborhood can be difficult, but there are taxi services available by phone. Uber is not available in Sonoma County.
Citizens of Southwest Santa Rosa typically enjoy cheaper rent than renters in the rest of the city. A one-bedroom apartment in this neighborhood averages about $940 a month. The beer in the neighborhood can run anywhere from $4 to $7. Gas Prices are about 10 percent above the national average, and a bus to downtown from Southwest Santa Rosa costs about $1.25.
The nearby Santa Rosa Marketplace right across Highway 101 has plenty of familiar stores to pick up the day-to-day essentials. You can find Target, Best Buy and Costco as well as clothing stores such as Old Navy and Marshalls in this mall.
For local shopping, the downtown area has lots to offer, including small shops such as the Made Local Marketplace. At this marketplace, you can find goods from over 400 local artist and craftsman. Made Local carries products from local candle-makers, tailors, woodworkers and more.
Check out the Santa Rosa Plaza downtown for nationally recognized retailers such as Victoria's Secret, Express and Sears. The mall also has a variety of local shops such as Ooh La Loft. Two sisters own and operate Ooh La Loft as well as another store in Petaluma. They design all of the clothes in the store, which makes it fun to shop there.
Locals have the option of buying their groceries at the local Safeway, Trader Joe's, or Oliver's Market. There are also multiple farmers markets in the area. Check out the South Santa Rosa Farmers Market on Standish Road on Thursday nights from 5 to 8 p.m. Also take some time to visit the Santa Rosa Farmers Market on Maple Avenue. It opens on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Residents of Southwest Santa Rosa spend time in nearby Southwest Community Park that comes equipped with a picnic area and a playground for the kids. The park has lots of parking, and use is free for the public. However, dogs are not allowed at this park.
enthusiasts hike or jog through the numerous regional parks in Southwest Santa Rosa and nearby areas. Hundreds of miles of trails exist within an hour of the city, and dogs are allowed on the trails. For beautiful views of the area redwoods, check out Armstrong Woods.