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The seat of Sonoma County is the most populous city in California's wine country, but it still retains its sleepy character. The area has been home to native Pomo tribes, European settlers, and a Wells Fargo outpost.

Santa Rosa is part of the North Bay region that includes Petaluma, Healdsburg, Sonoma, and Sebastopol. In this part of California, US Route 101 is called the Redwood Highway or Highway 101. It's the main thoroughfare to and from San Francisco, about 55 miles to the south.

Major employers in the northwest Santa Rosa area include Kaiser Permanente, Agilent Technologies, and River Rock Casino.


Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Santa Rosa, CA is $1,489 for one bedroom, $1,962 for two bedrooms, and $2,582 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Santa Rosa has decreased by -2.8% in the past year.

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33 Walk Score® Car-Dependent
24 Transit Score® Minimal Transit
0 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable



Willi's Wine Bar serves tapas and small plates of flavorful dishes such as curried crab tacos, wok-charred Monterey calamari salad and Moroccan style lamb chops. To whet your appetite try the roasted bone marrow with toasted brioche, marmalade and red onion. Find Willi's at 4404 Old Redwood Highway in northwest Santa Rosa.

Start any day of the week with a bountiful breakfast and bottomless cup of coffee at Piner Café. Specials change daily and include stuffed French toast with seasonal local berries, fresh salmon and eggs any style, chili relleno casserole and huevos rancheros. Find the restaurant on Piner Road just west of Redwood Highway 101.

Have a taste for Thai food? Sea Noodle Bar in Coddingtown Center prepares authentic Asian dishes with a Sonoma County twist. For starters, try the coconut soup with kaffir leaves and galangal or Thai style papaya salad with peanuts and lime vinaigrette.

Locally-owned Sazón Peruvian restaurant prepares traditional family recipes including lomo saltado, pescado frito and ali de gallina. Be sure to try a slightly sweet chicha morada beverage. Sazón sits at 1129 Sebastopol Road.

Be ready for Santa Rosa nightlife after a few salsa, ballroom or cha-cha dance lessons at JAS Dance Academy. Hopeful hoofers can find northwest Santa Rosa's premiere dance school west of Redwood Highway 101 on Airway Drive.


Long ago, native tribal trading routes converged where modern Highway 12 and Farmers Lane come together near Santa Rosa Creek. California's gold rush and subsequent statehood lured many hopeful settlers to the area. People are still attracted to Santa Rosa by its pleasant weather and proximity to the Pacific Ocean.

Notable past and present residents include noted horticulturist Luther Burbank, renowned chef and wine educator John Ash and Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schultz. Santa Rosa loves Schultz and his colorful characters so much, the town installed Peanuts statues all over town. Visit the Charles M. Schultz Museum & Research Center at 2301 Hardies Lane.


Santa Rosa sits along the Redwood Highway 101 corridor. San Francisco lies about an hour south, depending on traffic. Get to Sonoma by way of CA-12. The median commute time in northwest Santa Rosa is 16 minutes, comparing favorably to the national average of 22 minutes.

Santa Rosa CityBus takes people around Santa Rosa via 17 fixed routes. The low-floor buses are wheelchair accessible and can accommodate two bikes. A 24-hour day pass costs $4 and a half-day pass costs $2. Sonoma County Transit provides local and intercity transportation to and from Cotati, Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, Cloverdale and other parts of Sonoma County. A one-way ride in Santa Rosa costs $1.25.

Santa Rosa is served by more than 10 taxi companies. You may hail a cab on some of the busier streets in commercial areas, but your best bet is to call a cab when you want a ride.

Uber service can be used in Santa Rosa and throughout Sonoma County.


The cost of living in Santa Rosa is approximately 8 percent lower than the cost in nearby Sonoma. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in northwest Santa Rosa is $1,360. A gallon of gas here costs around 9 percent more than the national average cost.

A bus ride from northwest Santa Rosa to the center of town costs $1.25 via Sonoma County Transit and $2 on Santa Rosa CityBus. A pint of draft beer at a typical local pub will set you back $5.


Molsberry Market has been feeding Santa Rosa for three generations. The family-owned grocery store presents an astonishing array of cheeses, smoked meats, crusty sourdough breads, and other deli and bakery delights. It provides first-class catering services, too. Find Molsberry Market in the Larkfield Shopping Center.

The Railroad Square historic district houses a number of unique retail establishments that sell everything from antiques to appliances. Grab an eye-opening cup of coffee or a chocolate ice cream cone at A'roma Roasters. Stop in for a tasty lunch of chili-basil lamb, tamarind fish, or a plate of crispy spring rolls at Khoom Lanna Thai restaurant.

Coddingtown Mall houses some of the usual venues, including Target, Whole Foods, and Starbucks. Here you can also find a few locally owned restaurants, art galleries, and designer boutiques.

If you like to shop at farmer's markets, you're in luck. The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market is held twice a week, on Saturday and Wednesday. Shop for organic fruits, nuts, and veggies. Depending on the day, you may find vendors selling fresh hummus, locally sourced olives and oil, oysters from California waters, and cookies from local bakeries. The farmer's market is held at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:30 am until 1 pm.


Ernest Finley founded a local newspaper, The Press Democrat. He and his wife Ruth contributed much to the city they called home. Santa Rosa returned the favor by naming the biggest park and recreation facility in town after him. Finley Community Center at 2060 W. College Avenue offers more than 20 acres of playing fields, basketball and tennis courts, picnic tables and playgrounds. The Finley Aquatic Center offers year-round swimming lessons, lap swims, water aerobics and lifeguard training. Special events are held here throughout the year.

Legendary horticulturist and scientist Luther Burbank lived most of his long life in Santa Rosa. The freethinking Burbank created the Shasta daisy and other new plants at his home laboratory. Today, Luther Burbank Home & Gardens is a fascinating museum. Find the landmark location on Santa Rosa Avenue near Sonoma Avenue.

For off-leash dog walking, bring your pooch to Doyle Park. The large and elaborate park just off Sonoma Avenue provides plenty of shade trees and ample grassy areas where your dog can frolic.


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NW Santa Rosa Apartments for Rent

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2001 Piner Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
1 / 19
2 wks
$1,687 - 2,588 1-3 Bed Available 09/28/17

Apartments for Rent in NW Santa Rosa, Santa Rosa, CA

The seat of Sonoma County is the most populous city in California's wine country, but it still retains its sleepy character. The area has been home to native Pomo tribes, European settlers, and a Wells Fargo outpost.

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