Santa Rosa, CA offers the best of both worlds – the laidback rural lifestyle of northern California’s wine country, and the conveniences and opportunities of an urban community. Located just around 50 miles from San Francisco, Santa Rosa is the center of economic activities in Northern California’s winegrowing region. It is also the county seat and the largest city in Sonoma County with a population of approximately 175,000.
Santa Rosa has a long history that goes back even before its founding in 1833 by Spanish and Mexican settlers. Today, the city’s downtown features excellently-preserved historic homes and buildings alongside modern structures and amenities, including a SMART train that connects it to the rest of the county and beyond.
Real estate in Santa Rosa, CA
Single-family homes make up the bulk of the housing stock in Santa Rosa. Some of the most coveted properties are stunning mansions and estates with breathtaking views of the countryside. The area’s fertile land and mild climate also provide plenty of opportunities for a vineyard or winery.
While a good number of homes in Santa Rosa are on the high-end side, you will also find quite a few options for more affordable housing. The bulk of the homes in the city were built in the 1970s and 1980s, but there are also plenty of new construction and historic homes.
Although they don’t come in great numbers, condos and townhomes also offer relatively more affordable housing options in the city.
Schools in Santa Rosa, CA
The city is served by several school districts, including:
- Santa Rosa High
- Santa Rosa Elementary School District
- Rincon Valley Union Elementary
- Bellevue Union Elementary School District
- Piner-Olivet Union Elementary
Adults also have excellent options for higher education in the following well-regarded institutions:
- Empire College
- Santa Rosa Junior College
- University of San Francisco Santa Rosa
Employment in Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa is home to artists, entrepreneurs, professionals, and people who live and work in farms, vineyards, orchards, and hopyards.
The tech sector is also making plenty of inroads with prominent tech companies establishing their presence in the city.
As the seat of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa also boasts job opportunities in other sectors. The city’s top employers include:
- Health care and social assistance
- Accommodation and food services
- Administrative support and waste management services
Lifestyle in Santa Rosa, CA
- The year-round mild weather, fresh country air, and wonderful wide-open spaces encourage an active and outdoorsy lifestyle for Santa Rosa residents. The Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks department maintains 70 parks, as well as several trails and open spaces where residents go hiking, biking, running, golfing, exercising, and picnicking.
- Santa Rosa was one of the earliest centers of the farm-to-table movement. You’ll find plenty of excellent restaurants serving dishes made with the freshest local produce.
- As part of California’s wine country, the city offers plenty of wine tasting events and tours in vineyards and wineries around the city.
- Santa Rosa has an active arts and culture scene, with a designated Arts District in the downtown area, an Art in Public Places program, and several art exhibitions throughout the year.
- Residents get together in numerous community events, such as scavenger hunts for kids, movies in the park, a holiday crafts fair, Arbor Day tree planting parties, and more.
- Santa Rosa native Charles Schulz is honored in a museum that features memorabilia, photos, and exhibits of the beloved “Peanuts” comic strip creator and the Peanuts characters.
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