The North Bay region of San Francisco is home to Petaluma, California, a city located in Sonoma County. As of the 2020 census, its population was 59,776. You can find a variety of places to visit in Petaluma, including the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park, Central Market, Helen Putnam Regional Park, and Shollenberger Park.
Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park
Visit Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park to see the largest privately-owned adobe building in Northern California. This historic building was built in the 1830s and is part of the Petaluma State Historic Park.
This park was once the rancho’s main headquarters. It was where the Vallejo family celebrated during bailes, formal ranch owner events. The Vallejo family ran a cattle business, raised sheep and horses, and grew a variety of crops. Today, visitors can view original furnishings and enjoy a picnic at the shaded picnic areas. It is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, except for Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day.
Rancho Petaluma was named for the rancho’s main source of income, which was cow hides and tallow. At the time, cow hides were very valuable for leather goods. Tallow was also used in many different ways, including candles, soaps, and lubricants.
If you’re looking for something different to do, consider attending a museum in Petaluma. This museum has an interesting collection of artifacts, including antique guns. It also hosts educational seminars and a junior volunteer program for kids 13 and older.
Helen Putnam Regional Park is another great place to visit in Petaluma. The park is 216 acres and features oak forests and grassy hillsides. There are numerous trails for hiking and bicycling. You can also fish for bluegill in the pond and picnic on the grounds.
The building itself was originally a two-story ranch with corrals. Later, the main ranch building was built on a commanding site. The construction of the massive adobe began in April 1836 and continued steadily over the following years. It was not completed until 1846, but all of the original lumber used in the building was redwood. The mill was also the first steam-powered sawmill on the Pacific Coast.
Helen Putnam Regional Park
Located less than three miles from downtown Petaluma, Helen Putnam Regional Park is an ideal spot for hiking, biking, and dogwalking. The park features a wide variety of landscapes, including oak savanna, grasslands, and ridges. It also boasts panoramic views of the Petaluma Valley and Chileno Valley. There are also several trails that allow for easy exploration. Hikers can take advantage of a 6-mile-long loop. The park also provides habitat for a variety of wildlife.
The Helen Putnam Regional Park offers beautiful views of the Sonoma and Marin counties. Its trails weave through oak woodlands and cross grassy hillsides. Many of the trails offer panoramic views of the surrounding city and south Sonoma County. The park also includes a fishing pond, a playground, and a picnic area. It also has a drinking fountain and portable restrooms at the Windsor Drive parking lot.
The park’s improvements have totaled more than $500,000. An anonymous donor awarded a $50,000 challenge grant to the nonprofit Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation, and supporters matched the gift. In addition to these contributions, Regional Parks secured more than $300,000 in grants. Another $100,000 came from Measure M parks sales tax revenue and other sources. The park also received a grant from the Bay Area Barns and Trails for equestrian projects.
Hikers and cyclists will appreciate the vistas from the Panorama Trail, which can be accessed from Chelino Valley Road. Hikers can also use the paved Ridge Trail, which provides shade in the summer. This trail also connects to the Filaree and Pomo trails.
Shollenberger Park is a 500-acre preserve surrounded by water and marshlands. It features a creek that opens up to the Petaluma River. You can hike or bike around the park. The paths are not paved, but they are wide and thick enough to accommodate a bike or a fancy stroller.
The park is also home to a variety of wildlife. It was originally a ranch that was bought by the City of Petaluma in 1970. The area was previously used for dredge spoils, but today it is a popular spot for outdoor recreation. It sits next to the Petaluma River and features a two-mile circular path as well as a one-mile cutoff trail. The trails are great for observing wildlife.
The park is home to several rare plant and animal species. There are hundreds of species of birds that live in the area. Throughout the year, thousands of birds and other animals pass through the area. The park is ranked as an important birding destination by the Audubon Society, and is a favorite of many nature lovers in the Bay Area. The park also supports several endangered plant and animal species, including the salt marsh harvest mouse.
There is also an opportunity to see a variety of native birds, including white pelicans and swans. You can even observe these birds from an observation pier. There are several benches and observation decks at the park. This is the perfect place for the whole family to enjoy the outdoors together.
Petaluma Library Museum
This Neoclassical library is home to a variety of regional history exhibits, as well as cultural events and a gift shop. It is also open to the public and offers guided tours. This historical museum is an excellent way to experience the history of this beautiful town.
While you’re in Petaluma, you can also visit the library’s Research Library. It’s named after the late Hoppy Hopkins (1921-2003), and houses books and files related to the town’s past. There are also blueprints of buildings designed by local architect Brainerd Jones, as well as yearbooks from the 1890s. It’s also home to a copy of the first Petaluma newspaper, published in August 1855.
If you have a passion for military history, you’ll love this museum. Located in a Neo-Classic Revival bank, it has three floors full of treasures from various wars and eras. Find everything from WWII relics to military antiques.
If you’re looking for a little history, you can’t go wrong with the Petaluma Library Museum. Designed by local architect Brainerd Jones, this Neo-classical library has a wide selection of local exhibits to explore. You’ll find information on the town’s dairy, poultry and Miwok Indian cultures, as well as its history. There’s also a gift shop for your convenience.
There are also several places to visit in Petaluma California that are sure to appeal to all ages. While you’re exploring Petaluma, you can also check out the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. This sanctuary not only protects wildlife and teaches about the role of wildlife in the ecosystem.