The holidays are behind, tax day is ahead and the weather is cold and gray. Need an antidote for the January doldrums? Spend the day in Petaluma where friendly shops and cozy cafes housed in the nooks and crannies of Victorian iron-front buildings beckon you inside. Recharge your batteries for the new year browsing a book store, lingering over a latte, or satisfying a craving for your favorite comfort food. You just might leave Petaluma thinking sunny days are overrated.
1. Relax with a friend over really good coffee
At Acre Coffee, “Made by Hand” isn’t just a tagline, it’s a way of life. The owners milled and planed reclaimed wood for Acre’s tables, walls, and counters. Once you have a cappuccino at Acre, you’ll know what authenticity tastes like.
Petaluma Coffee & Tea Company began more than 25 years ago as a small batch roastery. Today, they are still passionate about the quality of their product and their community. A favorite local hangout, stop in for coffee and take home a pound of their high quality Arabica beans.
2. Comfort and joy awaits at Petaluma restaurants
Whether your winter weather cravings take the form of melty macaroni and cheese, handmade pizza or a big juicy burger and fries, you’ll find the soul-satisfying fare you’re yearning for in Petaluma.
Some local comfort food favorites include Chicken Pharm, Luma, Topsy’s Kitchen, Rosso Pizzeria and Mozarella Bar, and McNears Saloon & Dining House in the downtown area and Pub Republic off Lakeville Street in the Waterfront District southeast of town.
3. Toast the New Year where it’s toasty
Warm up while you chill out in an intimate downtown wine bar. Drop in at Adobe Road Winery, La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge, or Barber Cellars for an elegant Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir and Nicasio Valley Cheese nibbles. Once you’re settled into one of these delightful spaces, you might just never want to leave.
4. Post-holiday letdown? There’s a reason it’s called Happy Hour.
Sure, the sun sets about about 4pm but that doesn’t mean that January evenings can’t have some bright spots. Gather some friends and choose a Petaluma happy hour. All of them offer delicious libations and tasty bar bites. And best of all, you can eat drink and be merry and it won’t break the bank.
When it comes to an insider’s guide on where to get happy, Seared gets high marks. Try a Moscow Mule or Manhattan with their “Prime” Rib Dip or Filet Mignon Skewers – add a Mini Wedge Salad – and call it dinner. Central Market takes happy hour seriously; it’s literally an hour from 5-6pm but a chance to check out one of Petaluma’s finest farm-to-table restaurants. Or try The Drawing Board, Sauced, or Brewster’s.
5. Discoveries around every corner
A chilly day is the perfect opportunity for treasure hunting inside one of Petaluma’s many antique stores in historic downtown.
Start with three floors of art, furniture, jewelry and collectibles in Vintage Bank Antiques on Western. But pace yourself, there are many more unique items to be discovered at Summer Cottage Antiques, Sienna, and The Find just to name a few.