The heat is okay as long as you have air conditioning. I'll take the sun with the heat over the overcast with a cooler day. Plus, you can usually enjoy a comfortable evening barbecue outdoors.
It's definitely a small town but we like to have fun. In the Summer we enjoy Friday Night Live in the Plaza. There are the normal service organizations if you like to be involved in the community. I'm in Rotary and have fun supporting and volunteering for our events.
I am a local Sonoma County real estate agent and am very familiar with Cloverdale. It's a small town of less than 10,000 people. The largest city in our county is Santa Rosa (about 150,000 population) and it's about 40 minutes south. North of that are Windsor (about 25,000 population) and Healdsburg (about 10,000 population), where you will find lots of great little shops in their downtowns. Lots of people in Cloverdale travel to Ukiah for shopping and necessities. It's about 30 minutes away and has about 20,000 people. As the other agent mentioned, there are lots of interesting little towns you can visit, such as Boonville, Glen Ellen, St Helena, Calistoga, and over to the coast to Mendocino. These all make fun day trips.
A lot of people commute to Cloverdale from the Santa Rosa area where there are more jobs and commerce. It has grown over the past 15 years with lots of nice subdivisions for these people. It offers a nice quiet pace of life, more affordable housing than Santa Rosa, and lots of really nice people. They have a really nice city park, lots of access to the Russian River, lots of areas to hike, and other outdoor activities. Every year they have the Citrus Fair, coming up this month, and Cloverdale is well known for it's great climate for growing citrus. I've seen huge orange and lemon trees loaded with fruit up there. One reason they grow so well, is that it gets pretty hot in the summer. Temperatures over 100 are very common. In the winter, we get less rain than Oregon for sure, but still get quite a bit and it gets down into the 30's sometimes. Our winters are always a mix of rainy and sunny days and snow is really rare for us. Overall, we have a pretty nice climate.
I had some clients move to Cloverdale from the Central CA coast this past summer. They had both recently retired and their families had moved up here. They love it! They like the slow pace of life, the friendly people, and the outdoor activities available to explore. They bought a beautiful house for much less than it would cost in the southern part of the county and it's all working out great for them.
If you haven't done so already, you can check out the wikipedia description here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloverdale,_California
It really comes down to personal preference. Some people love small towns with a slow pace, and some people love having more options available. One major thing to consider is that to get to any decent shopping, you have about a 30-40 minute drive in either direction. I think Cloverdale has a lot to offer, it just depends on your preferences and needs. I live in Windsor, which is still semi-small but much closer to Santa Rosa. It works very well for me and I love it here. If I can answer any more of your questions or provide any more information about our area, please feel free to contact me. Best of luck to you and have a great day!
Santa Rosa is about 60 to 75 minutes north of San Francisco. There may not be lots to do i Cloverdale but you are close to the concert halls in Santa Rosa, the towns of Healdsburg, Sonoma, Glen Ellen, Calistoga and St Helena. All of those towns have some of the best resturants in the world and produce some of the best wine in the world.
Also west in the Anderson Valley is Boontown. In Boontown they have their own language, make some fantastic beers and wines and have concerts with old retired musicians from the 1960s who live in the area.