It’s not unusual to hear “sleepy” and “small town” used in the same sentence. While Petaluma could be considered “small” (population 60,336), the Bay Area knows that Petaluma is definitely not sleepy when it comes to options for enjoying a night on the town.
Dotting the downtown district, you’ll find warm and welcoming wine bars that pair distinctive Petaluma Gap wines with savory noshes or delectable desserts. In the mood to enjoy live music with your libation? Petaluma is known as a community that overflows with talented musicians. Sit back and enjoy the perfect soundtrack for sipping a local brew or wine.
Sometimes it’s fun to just be part of a group and share in the eclectic, energetic vibe at a great bar or pub with friends. In Petaluma, you’re never far from a good time.
WINE WALKING IN PETALUMA
Sure, you could drive to a winery, taste their wine, drive to another winery, taste, drive, repeat until you’re road weary and worn out.
Or you could park once in downtown Petaluma (it’s free all day at one of the covered parking garages) and stroll Petaluma’s historic downtown where wine bars rub shoulders with the architectural gems from the 1880s. Step into one of Petaluma’s intimate wine bars and get ready to find your bliss for the afternoon. While you’re enjoying a flight of Petaluma Gap wines, you can chat with the server and learn why the unique growing conditions in the region produce such deliciously distinctive wines.
Finish up the day with a gourmet meal from one of Petaluma’s fabulous farm to table restaurants, catch a little night life and then crawl safely into bed, just by putting one foot in front of the other.
PETALUMA WINE BARS
IN PETALUMA, WE KNOW HOW TO BREW
Sonoma County is heaven for beer lovers and Petaluma might just be the town that started it all. Dempsey’s, overlooking the Petaluma River, is Sonoma County’s oldest brewery. Their Red Rooster Ale – named with a nod to Petaluma’s past as the “World’s Egg Basket” – remains a local favorite.
Brewing on a larger scale, Lagunitas Brewing Co. put Petaluma on the map – and we’re talking a map of the world. Lagunitas, now the ninth-largest American brewery and distributed world-wide, is based in the Maker Alley district of Petaluma. Fans of Lagunitas Brewing Company ‘s IPA make a pilgrimage to Petaluma to drink it and their special release brews at their manufacturing facility. Be sure and take their tour and stay for munchies and music in their TapRoom and Beer Sanctuary. Lagunitas is also kid and pet friendly.
If you are a home brew fanatic you simply must sign up for our newsletter. You won’t want to miss our annual Sonoma County Home Brew Competition hosted right here in Petaluma. You may toast over 60 home brews, grab whatever you crave at an array of food trucks and taste some of Petaluma’s local cheeses.
PETALUMA BAR HOPPING
Book your hotel, park your car, and go have some fun. Our walkable downtown is packed full of fun drinking holes to stop in and have a cocktail. Take your pick of dive-bars, wine-bars, breweries, pool-halls and everything in-between.
Because Petaluma is one of California’s oldest cities, it boasts a rich history. But Petaluma’s past isn’t just about iron-front Victorians and stately art deco bank buildings. Petaluma also has a history of knowing how to have a good time.
Petaluma’s legacy as a libation destination is in full view at Volpi’s Ristorante on Washington and Keller. Established in 1925 as an Italian market with a small tavern in the back, Volpi’s was a speakeasy during prohibition. Looking for authentic character? Surrounded by stuffed animal heads, an accordion collection and yellowed dollar bills stuck to the ceiling, you can’t help but think, “If these walls could talk.”
A couple of more recent additions to the pub and dining scene have quickly become favorite neighborhood hangouts. Brewsters on Petaluma Boulevard north of Washington has more than 30 local craft beers on draft to be enjoyed while playing Bocce Ball in an open-air setting along the Petaluma waterfront. Also with a view of the Petaluma River, Taps Beer Co. & Kitchen is relaxed, friendly and a great place to spend the afternoon.
Beer not your libation of choice? Petaluma knows a thing or two about the craft cocktail. Pay a visit to The Drawing Board, Seared or Speakeasy – just to name a few!
Not exactly a walkable destination, but one we can’t help but mention is Ernie’s Tin Bar. A locals favorite, but often missed out on by tourists because it’s location is off the beaten path at the intersection of Lakeville and Highway 116. Ernie’s Tin Bar, founded in 1923, is part roadhouse dive and part working garage. They take their “No cellphone use” rule seriously.