Downtown Petaluma

Petaluma is a Perfect Place to Retire

Once called the “Egg Basket of the World” for its bustling egg industry in the early 20th century, Petaluma is now known for its friendly, small town feel, artisan foods, and close proximity to the Sonoma Wine County. A vibrant community of less than 60,000 residents, Petaluma is located just 35 miles north of downtown San Francisco. Often called the Gateway to the California Wine Country, the city is surrounded by rolling hills, covered with vineyards and dairy farms. Its year-round moderate climate makes it additionally desirable for retirees.

Set on the banks of the Petaluma River, Petaluma has a welcoming atmosphere and is a fun and relaxed place to visit, live, and work. The city has also been recognized as one of the most popular choices in the nation for baby boomers who are relocating. There is always something happening around town, including music, live theater, art, and numerous festivals held throughout the year.

Built on secure bedrock, the city was one of the few Bay Area communities not damaged in the 1906 earthquake. Today, Petaluma’s well-preserved city center is filled with an engaging mix of boutiques, antiques shops, and specialty stores, many in historic buildings. Behind downtown, there is a walkway along the Petaluma River. In the works is a 7-mile riverside trail network connecting current and planned points of interest along the river.

For those who love dining out, Petaluma is a foodie haven, with options that include a mix of ethnic cuisines and awarding-winning restaurants, using the best locally grown and produced products. Known for its wines, Petaluma also boasts world-class beers and ales, award-winning olive oils, and artisan cheeses that are served in some of the finest restaurants nationwide.

Outdoor activities for retirees

Petaluma’s moderate climate enables residents to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities year-round. Seasonal averages for January are a high of 58 degrees and a low of 37 degrees, while the averages for July are a high of 84 degrees and low of 51 degrees.

Petaluma has 3 golf courses, and there are 16 more to play within Sonoma County. With 15 state and regional parks in the area, there are many opportunities for hiking, bicycling, trail riding, scenic touring, picnicking, camping, and fishing. The city is a very popular boating destination, since boaters can tie up and walk to the historic downtown. 

A great base for exploring the region

Located along Highway 101, Petaluma is in an ideal location for exploring the surrounding region. Point Reyes National Seashore is just 20 miles away, with its miles of trails, expansive beaches, and breathtaking ocean vistas. Bodega Bay, a coast side village known for its Dungeness crab restaurants and beaches, is 27 miles through farms and rolling hills. The nearby Sonoma Wine Country has more than 400 wineries, many of which welcome tourists and offer wine tasting. And, of course, with San Francisco just 35 miles away, there is always ample opportunity for a day trip to enjoy a museum, restaurant or concert. 

For those who would rather travel by coach than drive, the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) Train runs through Petaluma, from San Rafael (to the south) to the Sonoma County Airport (north). Plans are in place to offer service to Larkspur, where riders can catch a ferry into San Francisco.

If you are considering retiring in Petaluma, please give The Cottages of Petaluma a call. We would love to explore options with you.

The Cottages of Petaluma is a 55+ fully updated, cottage manufactured home community in desirable, historic Petaluma, the affordable wine country alternative.