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Petaluma, California Travel Guide

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Petaluma is located in the heart of the beautiful northern California Wine Country. One of the oldest cities in California with the best preserved downtown, Petaluma includes an historic area with great architecture and restaurants overlooking the river. Highlights not to be missed during your visit include Petaluma Boulevard, the McNear Building and the Clock Tower on the Masonic Building. When visiting, don't be surprised to notice some renovations and rehabs of older buildings that are historic, but may require retrofit or reinforcement for safety. The good news is that Petaluma is proud of its past and is working hard to preserve it rather than tear it down.

If you had visited Petalama several decades ago, you may have noticed the whiff of chickens, an interesting odor from the huge egg production and farms that Petaluma once was known for. Much of the city's egg history has been preserved in buildings and museums to honor the earlier days. One of the most unique and fun events annually is the Butter & Eggs Days Parade in which children dress up in chicken attire and vie for prizes as the cutest "chick" or rooster. In addition to this festive salute to the hen, rooster and chickens, the city also celebrates other holidays such as Living History Days; All Nations Big Time, a salute to Native Americans; Great Petaluma Quilt Show; and the popular Holiday City of Lights Driving Tour.

For us tourists thinking of visiting the area, why would you choose Petaluma over the more publicized Sonoma Wine Country, San Francisco, Napa or Santa Rosa? Sonoma has its very own charm that offers visitors something quite special, and not available elsewhere.

One of the top draws for military buffs (and there are many) is the Military Museum. It features the largest Military antique and collectibles store in the United States. In addition, the Petaluma Collective, Sgt. Richard Penry Medal of Honor Memorial Military Museum offers a unique treasured glimpse into World Wars I and II. Military items, photos and all sorts of artifacts from these wars are on display. With free admission, it's one of the better deals you'll find in California travel (

We appreciate the military remembrances, but are particularly drawn to the city's early 20th century Carnegie Building, home to Petaluma Historical Library and Museum. Petaluma's history is documented from the 1850s, and on display. In addition, poultry and dairy items are shown as a significant part of Petaluma's past in another free admission museum.

If you visit Petaluma on Saturdays and first and third Sunday from May through October, you might get lucky and catch costumed docents providing historical walking tours. These are ideal for getting a verbal narrative of the city's past, and often include anecdotes not found in books or museum printed materials. Of course one of the most fun places to visit during special events days is the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park. We try to post its events but sometimes we miss a few ( So why would you want to visit Petaluma? We hope you have gathered a few ideas that may tempt you into exploring this unique destination.


Petaluma, CA's Bay Area Vacations

US - California Hotels > Bay Area Hotels :

Americas Best Value Inn Suites
5135 Montero Way
Petaluma, CA 94954

1 Star

Americas Best Value Inn and Suites - Petaluma is conveniently located near the Sonoma and Napa Valle

Best Western Petaluma Inn
200 S McDowell Boulevard
Petaluma, CA 94954

3 Star

Discover this full-service Petaluma, California hotel conveniently located to Sonoma County wineries

Metro Hotel And Cafe
508 Petaluma Boulevard South
Petaluma, CA 94952

Small Inn - French charm - AAA approved - 140 year old building restored in 2009 - Located near hist

Quality Inn Petaluma
5100 Montero Way
Petaluma, CA 94954

3 Star

The Quality Inn is the gateway to Sonoma Wine Country. Forty-five minutes north of San Francisco, th

Sheraton Sonoma County - Petaluma
745 Baywood Drive
Petaluma, CA 94954

3 Star

At the gateway to northern California’s wine country, Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma is ready to

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Petaluma Hotel Chains

Americas Best Value Inn
Best Western
Independent Hotels
Quality Inns
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts

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