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Take a 40-mile drive north from San Francisco on the 101 Highway through the Sonoma Mountains, and find the small, historic town of Petaluma. Characterized by turn-of-the-century buildings, moderate Mediterranean climate and spectacular views, people retreat to Petaluma for a quieter life without sacrificing the perks of the modern California economy.

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Rent Trends

As of October 2017, the average apartment rent in Petaluma, CA is $2,457 for a studio, $1,919 for one bedroom, $2,078 for two bedrooms, and $3,022 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Petaluma has increased by 3.1% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
627
$2,457
1 BR
709
$1,919
2 BR
983
$2,078
3 BR
1,383
$3,022
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

63 Walk Score® Somewhat Walkable
28 Transit Score® Some Transit
0 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable

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Restaurants

Discovering the perfect dining experience comes easily in Petaluma, a gateway town to Sonoma County wine country. A destination for day trippers and home to discerning diners, all you need to do is choose what style of cuisine you crave, and book a reservation at one of the many top-notch restaurants available.

Enjoy a leisurely small plate-style meal at Speakeasy on Petaluma Boulevard, open long into the night so you are free to nibble on fantastic micro-portions of gourmet foods and sip local wines while conversing at length with your company. Don’t skip the lobster mac and cheese or the savory lamb meatballs. If you prefer a vegetarian option, try the creamy butternut squash risotto. Finish with a rich dessert of house-made flan or maple bacon donuts for the complete culinary experience.

Visit Wishbone to enjoy a rancher's meal of locally sourced meats and produce. Wishbone raises its own heritage beef and bakes loaf bread each day, guaranteeing optimal freshness, quality and flavor. The ever-changing menu makes for exciting options whether you stop in for breakfast, lunch, dinner or weekend brunch. The beer and wine menu fluctuates as well, so come prepared for a well-picked discovery every time you visit.

Whet your whistle at the Buckhorn, and enjoy a lively evening at the small local bar, where you feel like a regular even if you never set foot in the building before. Bring cash, because they don’t accept credit or debit. The lively neighborhood atmosphere more than makes up for the trip to the ATM. Grab a pint at the bar with your friends, and challenge them to a pinball tournament while you jam to your favorite tunes on the jukebox.

History

The first inhabitants of the land beneath Sonoma Mountain were the Coast Miwok Native Americans, who lived in a network of villages around the mountain and up and down Adobe Creek. Petaluma’s first European Settlers came under the command of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo from the Presidio military base in San Francisco in 1836. The general built an adobe ranch that still stands today.

In the 1960s San Franciscans began migrating to Marin County from the city, causing rapid population growth in many North Bay cities. Petaluma cemented a slower growth by giving out only 500 building permits annually, preserving the small-town feel current residents still enjoy today. Visit the Petaluma Historical Library & Museum for a look back at this rich history.

Transportation

The city of Petaluma is well-connected within the city limits by a local bus system. Buses run from most stops every 30 to 60 minutes. Street parking is freely available for those who choose to drive around town. Commuters who need to travel into San Francisco can use the 101X commuter bus, which takes about two hours. Alternateively, they can drive into the city on Route 101 and across the Golden Gate Bridge, which cuts the time in half.

While no biking lanes exist in Petaluma, Northern California drivers are accustomed to yielding to cyclists and pedestrians, and sidewalks follow most streets. Don’t expect to be able to hail a cab, and Uber doesn't serve the area, but a variety of traditional taxi companies do provide service to the area, so you can always call one to arrange a pickup.

Cost

The quiet and peaceful way of life in Petaluma is more affordable than living the urbane lifestyle in San Francisco. Rent for a one bedroom apartment goes for about $1,600 in Petaluma, as apposed to around $2,900 in San Francisco. Filling your gas tank will run about 16 percent more than the national average. Petaluma commuters pay $10.75 for the bus ride into the city. If you grab a beer with friends before heading home for the night, expect it to set you back about $5.

Shopping

Locals as well as travelers on the way to Sonoma’s wine country alike enjoy shopping in Petaluma’s relaxed and luxurious downtown. Enjoy a sunny afternoon of window shopping, or come with a plan to restyle your wardrobe. Either way, Petaluma’s collection of boutiques, thrift stores and specialty shops won’t disappoint.

Walk into Ethical Clothing on Kentucky Avenue to give your wardrobe a sustainable makeover. Browse through one rack of clothes after another that will have you looking fantastic and leave a light footprint on the earth. Featuring organic cotton clothes, recycled fabrics made into new fashions and local designers, Ethical Clothing doesn’t expect you to sacrifice style for sustainability. There is also a wide selection of women’s clothing and accessories, including outwear and scarves for the Northern California evening chill.

If you want the style of San Francisco with the laid-back friendly small town feeling, come into Ooh La Loft Clothing Boutique and Exchange. Personal shopping is available if you need a little help getting the right look for you. Fashion-minded bargain hunters can shop the small collection of consignment clothing, but even the new styles are reasonably priced and on-trend.

Everyone has to stock their fridge, and fortunately Petaluma houses many groceries with both local and chain store options. Trader Joe’s on North McDowell Boulevard and Whole Foods on East Washington Avenue are neighborhood anchors that provide high-quality meats and produce to Petaluma residents. Petaluma Market in the heart of downtown features savory local cheeses and high-quality cuts of meat. Wine lovers browse the aisles searching for the perfect bottle from the selection of over 1,500 varieties, with a large quantity representing the Northern California wine regions.

The Petaluma East-Side Farmers' Market operates on Tuesdays from 10 am to 1:30 pm year-round. Local farmers come and set up along North McDowell to meet their patrons and sell locally grown produce, meats and baked goods.

Parks

People move to Petaluma to be near the irresistible parks. Strict zoning and city borders make room for acres of green space for hiking, jogging and mountain biking. Downtown residents enjoy Walnut Park, Wickersham Park, Mcnear Park and Oak Hill Park for children’s playgrounds and fields for running around in the sunshine. Pet owners capitalize on the fenced-in Deer Creek Village Dog Park on North McDowell Blvd. Your dog can run free and make dog friends with the neighbors without fear of streets, and you can sit quietly on a bench and watch the fun, or throw a ball for a game of fetch.

Historic Petaluma was a river town, and Steamer Landing Park on the McNear Peninsula in the center of the city honors that past with the annual Rivertown Revival, a festival of Americana music, sculpture art walks, airboats and fantastic foods. Each year locals and vacationers alike join up on the peninsula to kick back and celebrate together long into the summer evenings.

Nature lovers travel a short distance east to the Tolay Lake Regional Park for hiking and animal watching. A permit is needed to access the park, which can be obtained by sitting through a one-hour ranger-led class at the park. Once you hold this permit, you can expect to see nearly untouched nature and animals living in the wild undisturbed, as well as grazing cattle along the hills and even in the trails. A picnic area is available for use, as well as many well-marked trails. The East Ridge Trail requires a bit of an uphill hike, but the spectacular San Francisco skyline views on clear days more than makes up for it.

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37 El Rose Dr
Petaluma, CA 94952
$1,700 Townhome for Rent Available Now
4 days

Townhomes for Rent in Petaluma, CA

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