Petaluma, CA

16 Reviews

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Petaluma, CA

About Petaluma, CA

Petaluma, California is a charming city located in Sonoma County, approximately 52 miles north of San Francisco. The city was first settled by Europeans in the 1850s and is known today for its historic downtown area full of antique stores, restaurants and specialty shops. Petaluma has something for everyone with its unique shops, farms, vineyards, ranches, community events and scenic hikes. It has become an increasingly popular destination due to its laid-back atmosphere and close proximity to wine country and the Pacific Ocean. Whether you’re looking for outdoor recreation or a romantic getaway, Petaluma awaits! Small city / Suburban complex - Northern California, 40 miles north of San Francisco.

Location Details

State: California
County: Sonoma County
Metro Area: Santa Rosa-Petaluma Metro Area
City: Petaluma
Zip Codes: 94954 94952
Cost of Living:
Time zone: Pacific Standard Time (PST)
Elevation: 167 ft above sea level
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Dig Deeper on Petaluma

Santa Rosa, an area of rugged hills and valleys north of San Francisco, is the commercial center of a broad set of suburban communities and small towns making up Sonoma County. Geographically this area is just north of Marin County, the upscale set of San Francisco suburbs, and extends into open and unsettled areas far north of the city. Santa Rosa itself lies along U.S. 101 near the communities of Rohnert Park, home of a California State University campus and some high tech industry, and Petaluma, a growing former agricultural center. Just east across a low mountain range is the wine-growing center of Sonoma, and west the area extends to the rugged Pacific coastline.

Downtown Santa Rosa is modern and very pleasant, and has a surprisingly strong arts base considering its size and proximity to the San Francisco powerhouse. The area has a complex and mixed economy, partially self-sufficient and partially dependent on San Francisco and other Bay Area cities. Proximity to San Francisco and popular areas south, a relatively bucolic setting compared to those areas, and an excellent climate has brought considerable growth pressure. This has been managed fairly well, and the area has avoided some of the sprawl explosions seen in other parts of the region.

Health statistics are affected by poor air quality and exorbitant health care costs. Many parts of the area are quite rural in character, but that drives living and housing costs up. Finding local work is possible but challenging, many do commute towards “the City.” For those who can establish themselves economically and avoid the commutes, this area is one of California’s best.

Valleys are attractive and mainly flat, and surrounded by low, forested hills near the coast. The climate is Mediterranean marine with consistently comfortable summer temperatures and cool summer evenings. Winters vary from pleasant and sunny to chilly and wet. Most rain falls during winter and can be heavy, although the mountains reduce the force of Pacific storms. Freezing weather occurs occasionally.

Petaluma Cost of Living

Year-round climate, nearby coastline, and close to san francisco make Petaluma a great place to live.

+59.7% higher than avg
+31.2% higher than avg
$2,560 /mo
Monthly rent (2br)
+55.2% higher than avg
Petaluma Crime
28.4 / 100
Crime is ranked on a scale of 1 (low) to 100 (high). US average: 35.4
Minimum annual income
To live comfortably in Petaluma, California
for a family
for a single person
Pros & Cons of Petaluma
   Year-round climate
Cost of living and housing
   Nearby coastline
Long crowded commutes
   Close to San Francisco
Air quality
Reviews for Petaluma
    See all (16)

I agree with the low star reviews. Been here for 25 years, raised a family and seen everything turn to the left and worse. Weather is glorious, love the old Victorians  More

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We’ve lived here for 3 years and we love it. It has taken some time to grow on us. We moved from SF where we had lived over 15 years, we were not used to one year leases  More

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I’ve lived here a couple of years (after living in others parts of the Bay Area for 15+ years) and I love it! Great neighborhoods, friendly folks, good schools with  More

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