Make It a Day in Downtown Petaluma
Spend a Perfect Day Discovering all that Petaluma’s Historic Hub has to Offer
A surprising mix of hot spots awaits visitors to Petaluma’s bustling downtown, from boutique shops to a vibrant entertainment and dining scene. The best way to experience it? Take a walk!
10:00 a.m. Breakfast is Served
Kick-start the day with breakfast at Water Street Bistro with one of renowned chef Stephanie Rastetter’s fresh-from-the-oven, warm and buttery croissants eaten at a bistro table by the Petaluma River. Or, for a buzzing locals’ scene, head to Della Fattoria. Order a coffee and pick out a loaf of fresh brick-oven Rosemary Meyer Lemon bread.
11:00 a.m. Hunt for Treasure
Petaluma might just claim more antique, thrift and consignment stores per capita than any other Bay Area city. Top picks include Summer Cottage Antiques, Vicki’s Secret Designer Consignments, and Chelsea Antiques for plenty of design inspiration and high-quality furniture, artwork, and unusual artifacts.
12:30 p.m. Books, Books, Books
1:00 p.m. Lunch Calls!
Head to sunny Stockhome where Nordic flavor meets Mediterranean flair. Or right next door, The Bagel Mill will satisfy a serious carb craving with their chewy, house-made, artisan, sourdough bagels. You can’t go wrong with the Classic Lox or try the Pastrami Reuben on marble rye. Delish!
For dessert, stop by Angela’s Creamery for organic, handmade ice cream in a black-and-white tiled parlor that is so charming, it looks like a movie set. Whether you choose an exotic flavor like Lavender Cream or the heavenly French Vanilla, the ice cream is so luscious, you’ll start planning a return visit with the last lick.
2:00 p.m. Explore History
Drop in to the Petaluma Historical Library & Museum to learn more of Petaluma’s agricultural and Miwok Indian heritage. Built in 1905, the former Carnegie library-turned-museum offers free guided walking tours of downtown led by a costumed docent. Meet on the steps of the Museum at 10:30 a.m. most Saturdays, May through October.
4:00 p.m. Beer, Wine, or Cocktails?
7:00 p.m. Dinner Time
Ask a local to name their favorite restaurant and they’re likely to say Cucina Paradiso. Chef-owner Dennis makes everything – from pasta to focaccia to dessert – from scratch. Or go all-American at gastropub McNear’s Saloon & Dining House with a burger and one of the 20 rotating brews on offer. It’s a beloved local haunt that always hits the spot.
9:00 p.m. Time to Boogie
Built in 1911 and next door to McNear’s Saloon (stop in, if only to ogle the amazing array of memorabilia covering the walls), the Mystic Theatre is widely considered the North Bay’s premier music venue drawing regular big-name national and international acts such as Robert Cray and Van Morrison. Book early, as big shows tend to sell out.
11:00 p.m. Sweet Dreams
After a full day of exploring downtown, a cozy bed in a friendly Petaluma hotel is waiting for you. From resort-like accommodations at the Sheraton Sonoma Wine Country to historic settings of the Hotel Petaluma and Hampton Inn, or Courtyard by Marriott, even a bit quirky – the Metro Hotel offers Airstream trailers – you’ll feel right at home. If camping is more your style, check out Petaluma KOA which offers RV sites, tent sites, cagins and tiny house lodges. For longer stays, consider Home2 Suites by Hilton where the entrie family, including your pet, can stretch out.
Ahhh…the perfect ending to the perfect Petaluma day.