General Area in Petaluma>Question Details

Halley S., Home Buyer in New York, NY

Can you describe how Petaluma looks and feels for a person that has never lived here?

Asked by Halley S., New York, NY Mon Apr 23, 2007

Do residents maintain their homes and lawns? Are there dramatic differences between different neighborhoods or zip codes? Is there a dominant architecture throughout the city?

Help the community by answering this question:


Having lived in Petaluma for over 30 years, too often we take for granted what a truly heavenly place on Earth in which we live. From the pristine weather to our cherished & beautiful downtown, with a geographic location that offers the infinite beauty & diversity of the Bay Area within an hour’s drive, and a population that is friendly and community-oriented, Petaluma is the crown jewel of the North Bay.

One of the most endearing & enduring qualities of Petaluma is the way residents, architects, and builders have honored both our history and our progress by meticulously upgrading the craftsmanship & attention to detail that allow many of Petaluma’s older buildings to remain standing strongly today with the modern amenities & comforts available in the 21st Century. There is something truly special about witnessing mills & mansions comingling, with respect & honor for the past, but always looking forward – onward & upward, toward Petaluma’s blindingly bright future.

Seemingly every week in Petaluma, there is an event or attraction taking place that brings the entire community together at once; antique faires, the Butter & Eggs Festival or Veteran’s Day parade, Art and Garden days & ARTrails, music festivals, farmers markets, or the unique Ugliest Dog contest or the delightfully quirky Whiskerino contest. Foodies are blessed with over 130 unique & creative restaurants & delicatessens to satisfy & tantalize our refined palates with globally-inspired culinary influence. Many breweries & wineries have also popped up in recent years, experiencing unprecedented success.

Petaluma is one of the best preserved Historic Downtown Areas and added to National Register of Historic Places in 1995. It has gone from being one of California’s largest cities in the 1860’s to the World’s Egg Basket in the early 1900’s. Petaluma is also known as the Restaurant Capital with more than 140 restaurants and delicatessens. Our very own Della Fattoria Bakery was named one of the best in the United States by Bon Appetite Magazine. For young and old, you won't want to miss the annual Butter and Egg's Day Parade! Combine shopping and dining with history as you wander through the downtown districts. Petaluma is a great jumping off point to the area’s 200 wineries, the redwoods, the stunning Pacific Coast and the Point Reyes National Seashore. Furthermore Petaluma and Sonoma County is a world renowned bicycling haven for cyclists of all abilities, and has been the host to the Tour of California in recent years.

The urban sophistication and rural charm of Petaluma’s wildly diverse makeup often bring together everyone from dairy farmers to coffeehouse hipsters, with collars of every color mixing & merging, celebrating the unity to be discovered within our diversity – diversity that is celebrated for helping us to understand that no matter how different we may appear, we all share one important fundamental characteristic– WE ARE ALL PETALUMANS.

My son/business partner Jeremy and I were just selected by to be Petaluma's OFFICIAL Real Estate Town Advocates. If you would like any more information on the community, we would be happy to be your contact point, though it seems like my colleagues have also done a wonderful job summing up all of the reasons we love Petaluma!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 12, 2014
There's got to be a reason why Petaluma has always been the "darling" of movie location scouts!

It's a fabulous slice-out-of-time with a true old-fashioned downtown complete with pre-1906 Earthquake Victorian commercial buildings and an active riverside complete with mooring for both commercial fishing vessels and visiting sail boats, masted scooners and kajaks.

Because Petaluma is located between the Petaluma River and the Pacific Ocean, it is one of the few places in Sonoma County that has a true Mediterranean climate and just about every type of plant and tree thrives here. Which brings out the "gardener" in just about everybody who lives here.

You can pick any residential street on either the West or East sides of Petaluma and drive down it and find beautifully maintained front yard gardens. Each year Petaluma puts on a Garden Tour so that all the avid gardeners can share their creations with other Petalumans and the many tourists who continually visit our town.

We have a very watchful police department and citizens who care about this lovely historic town, so crime is kept at a minimum. Our schools continually receive awards and our residents enjoy the arts, music, dance, live theatre, poetry and film.

Jobs are plentiful, because many companies move here to attract better employees, so the average family income is higher than normal for Northern California.

The churches are varied and many and attended regularly. We have everything from the Baha'i Faith to Islam in Petaluma worship choices along with every denomination of the Christian Church and very active Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist communities as well. So there is some place to worship for everyone. All are welcome in open-minded Petaluma.

Community events happen almost every month of the year. Everything from our two Farmer's Markets, our Butter & Egg Days Parade, our Halloween Historic House Tour, Through The Garden Gate Tour, Veteran's Parade, 4th of July Fireworks display, our Day of the Dead Celebrations, History Week, Cruisin' The Boulevard, Chili Cookoff, County Fair, Jazz & Blues Festival and more.

To learn more about Petaluma, just do a keyword search on or and you will get a real sense of what makes Petaluma such a special place to live or visit.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 10, 2008
Ever see "American Graffiti" ... That's Petaluma in the early 70's. Throw that in with a few Starbucks, Peet's Coffee, Whole foods and you've got it. That's the driving tour. Here's an interesting site with photos of the town:… Or just ask any of these agents for a quick tour
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 30, 2007
I have lived in this city most of my life - my parents grew up here and my grand-parents spent more than half their lives here in Petaluma as well. I have seen many changes in this charming little city with growth and opportunity. There are no 'bad' neighborhoods here really, there are the areas that are mostly rentals and then there are the areas that are mostly owner occupied. In historic downtown Petaluma you can find many victorian homes and California-style bungalows. However, most if the city is basic suburban homes with farms and ranches on the outskirts of town.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
It is a city with two sides. one is the eastside which the homes are more sixties and few track homes with larger lot size and more properies for the money. Westside is more victorian and vintages older homes and higher in prices and because of age factor and the look of the old town there are more buyers in that side.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
Petaluma offers 'something for everyone' in the variety of neighborhoods and styles of homes. On the eastside of the city there are newer homes that range in price from starter homes for first time buyers to upscale executive homes. On the west side of town there are homes with great character and beautiful architecture that were built in the early 1900's and there are also recently built custom homes in wonderful neighborhoods with great public schools. Both the east side and west side of Petaluma have rural areas where you can find beautiful homes on country property where children can play outdoors rather than playing video games in the house! After raising five children on country property, I am very partial to the lifestyle it provides for a family.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
Petaluma has a lot of historical buildings, farms, new subdivisions, etc. It's an eclectic mix of old and new. West Petaluma is the historical area with buildings that date back to the 1800s. The downtown has recently gone through revitalization and is a great area for tourists. East Petaluma is basically subdivisions, schools, parks, and retail (newer area of Petaluma dating back to 1950s).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
Petaluma is a fabulous community that is filled with families and young professionals who are drawn to an environment that cares about the people and the neighborhoods. The westside of Petaluma is complete with charm and simplicity with its old victorians and quaint bungalows. Everything is close to the ever changing downtown 'theater' district and river walk atmosphere. The east side of town has grand and glorious homes that are newer and elegant. Take a stroll downtown and visit the antique shops or catch a movie at the new theater. Everywhere you go, you will see the charm of yesteryear and the ambiance, charm and nostalgia woven throughout the city's architecture and the people who live here. It is truly a little piece of heaven.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
Petaluma is WONDEFFUL and diverse. A River Town from the 1860's, it incorporates its agricultural roots with a 1st class downtown city. Ironfront buildings from the 1800's and Victorian homes meet the revitalized downtown shopping/theater district where apartments and condos are available on 2nd and 3rd floors of retail/office buildings. Pedestrian friendly but with lots of free parking. Wetlands, trails, parks and boating welcome residents and visitors. Private and Public schools are good, restaurants are plentiful and diverse, Health care - from the hospital to the clinics and medical buildings - is readily available, and the people are friendly and involved in their community. It's a wonderful place to live!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
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