General Area in Sebastopol>Question Details

Michelle E, Other/Just Looking in Novato, CA

What does the term banana belt region mean? Will I be living amongst monkeys??

Asked by Michelle E, Novato, CA Tue Oct 16, 2007

Help the community by answering this question:


LOL! I'm amused at how many folks consider their particular area the "Banana Belt". Truth be known there are BB's all over the USA. As far south Vista, CA renouned for it's "MIcro" Banana belt climate with an average year around temp of 72 degrees, over 300 days a year of sunshine and less than 14 inches of annual rainfall.

And as far North as Sequim, WA, aka "The Blue Hole" named by pilots flying over the area from Seattle to Vancouver BC who alwas noted how the sky opened up whence flying over Sequim. The average annual rainfall is around 16 inches and the average year around climate is in the high 60's and it seldom snows.

Unlike many opinions so far Banana Belts are not exclusive to the California Coast or the Pacific Coast for that matter. There's BB's in the Black Hills and even in areas of Montana and on the East Coast. Take a look at the Wikipedia definition provided by Deborah below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2012
Dear Michelle,
Call me a monkey, but yes, I live here in Forestville, heart of the Sonoma County 'banana belt.' While it is not a tropical climate by any means, it is extremely comfortable, great for growing plants, and wonderful for outdoor activities. We do reach the high summer temps in the low 100 range for a few days each summer, but the beauty is that we cool off at night with the coastal breezes, usually after 7pm even on the hottest days. I have lived in this town for 14 years, west county for over 20 years, and the northern Sebastopol/Forestville area just can't be beat.

Susan Bryer
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Hi Michelle,
Here is the definition from Wikipedia:

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2007
I have a friend who lives in a retirement area here in Sonoma County. I asked him what is the big difference in living in a retirment area versus the general population. He replied, "We don't buy un-ripe bananas!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 28, 2007
It's a humorous term meaning an area that is slightly warmer than the surrounding the Bitterroot Valley in Montana. Actually the entire western slope of the Rockies from Kalispel, Montana to Sun Valley, Idaho is considered a "banana belt" . It's my business name because when I first moved to Montana everyone told me it was a "banana belt", meaning warmer than eastern Montana. My first was 89 below in February 1989...hahaha...Celia, Broker, Banana Belt Realty, Stevensville, MT .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 28, 2007
That depends. . .do you WANT to live amongst monkeys?
(Sorry, I couldn't resist).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Western Washington's so called banana belt is considered to generally cover the rain shawdow marked in yellow on the map below.

This would include the areas both east and west of the San Juan Islands. You'll hear quite frequently that Sequim is in the "banana belt." Sequim is on the Olympic Peninsula west of the San Juans. You'll also hear Anacortes being in the "banana belt" and it's located to the east of the San Juans.…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
I have heard of banana belts, and knew the term referred to a specific area that enjoyed a particular climate. I assumed it meant warmer, but have heard the term banana belt applied to several areas outside of CA. This thread inspired my curiosity, and I still am not totally clear. is an interesting link with short reading
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Michelle, The Term “Banana Belt” does NOT mean "Sunny area" but an area with very temperate climate with no big lows and no big highs. In Sebastopol the "Banana Belt" area is east of Occidental running through the hills going to Sebastopol and Forestville. I've had clients who have lived in these areas and they constantly talk of the mild weather as the best feature. Here in Santa Rosa we get very cold as we are "ON" the Valley Floor plus our heat index is much higher for the same reason. Moving towards Sebastopol you start hitting the "coastal" influence of cool evenings and more mild days. I can drive to Sebastopol in the summer and experience a drop easily of 10-20 degrees! The "Banana Belt" is not a strongly defined area however. I'd check with a local nursery in the area and query them further. But it is VERY desirable. I don't know how this translates into $$$$ but it sure makes the living easier! Luther Burbank, famed botanist who called Sonoma County home, mapped many “micro-climates” throughout the county. One of his experimental farms is located off Bodega Avenue in Sebastopol. I’ve sold properties which had his plantings on them. I sold a property in the town of Bodega which has an apple tree with 3 apples grafted onto one root stock. Another property in Healdsburg had orange and avocado trees! This shows you the varied nature of the Sonoma County climate. Burbank called Sonoma County the greatest growing region in the land!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Wow, thanks. Honestly, I would never have guessed. I think 'sunny region' would sound much better in a description of a home than 'banana belt' but maybe that's just me :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
I assume you are referring to Sausalito. The Bay Area has pockets of different climates. Fog rolls through the North Bay causing cooler temperatures in many parts of Sausalito and Mill Valley. The banana belt in Sausalito tends to be warmer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
lol. Too funny. It means the sunny area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer