Located 40 miles north of San Francisco, Petaluma was chartered in 1858 along the banks of the Petaluma River and spans 14.5 square miles. It is one of the oldest, most historic cities in the state, and THE oldest city between San Francisco and Eureka. The Petaluma River divides the community into the Eastside, and the Westside which was first to develop, offering wonderful pre-1906 buildings and Victorian homes.
The foundation of the city’s buildings was laid a century-and-a-half ago, and reflect some of the nation’s finest examples of iron-front architecture. Downtown Petaluma retains its small-town mid-19th century charm, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, and today houses over 600 businesses as well as 65 historical properties.
The city’s prime riverfront location made it a bustling spot during the Gold Rush, when locally grown produce, poultry and dairy products were sent along the river to feed the booming San Francisco and Oakland populations. Petaluma’s prosperity resulted in the creation of beautiful homes and impressive commercial buildings that thankfully survived the 1906 earthquake that ruined many other Bay Area cities.
With beautifully preserved architecture and many fun things to do, it’s no wonder Travel & Leisure Magazine named Petaluma one of the “Nation’s Top Ten Getaways near a Major City.” A loaded calendar of fairs and festivals brings the community together to honor Petaluma’s heritage and history, such as the annual Butter & Egg Days Parade celebrating what was once called the “Egg Basket of the World.”
Other attractions include the Warehouse Waterfront District, Petaluma Village Premium Outlets, Petaluma Trolley Living History Museum, Historical Library & Museum, the national landmark Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park, eclectic antique shops, a walking tour of location shoots for famous classic movies filmed in the area, a Segway nature tour at Shollenberger Park, paddle boarding or kayaking along the river.
Average price of a 3-bedroom home in Petaluma: $600,000
Average square footage of a home in Petaluma: 1580 SF