5 Best Neighborhoods in Santa Rosa, CA

Best Places to Live in Santa Rosa, California 

Looking for the best neighborhoods to live in Santa Rosa? Here are 5 of the best places to live!

Found in Sonoma County in northern California, the city of Santa Rosa is situated just north of the Bay Area. Known for its beautiful wine country, rolling hills, and expansive parks, Santa Rosa is a laid-back community with a lively culture. Considered a good place to live, Santa Rosa is the perfect destination for both young professionals and retirees alike. Plus, located only 55 miles north of San Francisco and 40 minutes from the nearest beach, its location and prime real estate have made it into one of the most desirable destinations in the country.

Best Neighborhoods in Santa Rosa - Here are the best places to live in Santa Rosa, CA!

As the largest city in the wine country, Santa Rosa was named one of the best places to live in California. If you are making the big move to California and have decided to make Santa Rosa your home then you are probably wondering where you should live. Though Santa Rosa may be expensive, there are plenty of safe and nice neighborhoods to choose from that will appeal to any lifestyle. With the help of this neighborhood guide, our team has compiled a list of the best places to live in Santa Rosa while staying away from any bad parts of town. Read on to learn more about the 5 Best Neighborhoods in Santa Rosa, California!

1. Downtown Santa Rosa

Though Santa Rosa may be on the smaller side, the Downtown center of the city can be found between 3rd and 4th street. This urban neighborhood is where most of the cities restaurants, bars, shops, and businesses are located. Considered a very walkable neighborhood, young professionals choose to move to this area to not only cut down on commute times but to be surrounded by top amenities. Great for single adults and couples, Downtown Santa Rosa is characterized as a young suburban neighborhood with a hip and trendy vibe. Well maintained, the streets are lined with beautiful trees and the storefronts are historic. While many of the single-family homes available are older, there are many newly renovated townhomes and loft-style apartments located above popular businesses to check out. If you are looking for city life in a relaxed atmosphere then living in Downtown Santa Rosa may be just the place for you.

Local Favorites:

  • Treehorn Books: Open since 1979, this independent and locally owned bookstore is a must-visit for its vast collection of both new and old books. There is even a rare book room that holds only the most obscure books and rare finds that can only be visited by making an appointment. If you love all things reading and books then this is a must-visit. 

  • Corrick’s Santa Rosa: A local favorite since 1916, this stationery store is the go-to for all things fancy and historical. Find a variety of colorful ink pens, home goods, and items that can not be found anywhere else. If you are looking for a unique gift then make sure to stop by. 

  • Stanroy Music Center: This old-school music store is a blast from the past. Find all types of musical instruments, books, and vinyl records. 

  • Museum of Sonoma County: This non-profit organization located downtown is a popular contemporary art gallery and sculpture garden. Though the museum may be small, this is a great place to visit to get a glimpse into the history of Sonoma County and Santa Rosa. This is a cool place to bring the family.

2. Oakmont

This master-planned adult community is a sought-after residential area. Living in Oakmont is ideal for adults who want a tight-knit community and neighbors that are welcoming and friendly. With a strong homeowners association, the neighborhood is well-maintained and kept clean at all times. Plus, since this is a master-planned community, the area is extremely safe and looked after. Featuring a golf course, tennis courts, pools, beautiful gardens, a dog park, and recreational centers have access to top amenities without even leaving the neighborhood.

Home to over 4,500 residents, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Prioritizing healthy living, most residents love to get involved and spend their time outdoors. Plus, located in the heart of wine country, be surrounded by stunning views and an abundance of recreational activities. With a variety of home styles available have your pick of the floor plan and square footage. Depending on home style and location in the neighborhood, the median home price starts at around $500,000 in Oakmont. In our opinion - Oakmont is one of the best neighborhoods in Santa Rosa, California. 

Local Favorites:

  • Howarth Park: This 152-acre public park surrounds a lake and is a popular community hotspot. A great place to bring the family together, this park features children’s play areas, walking trails, picnic tables, tennis courts, and a boathouse. There is even a small train that can take you around the park. 

  • Luther Burbank Home and Gardens: This former historical home and garden was once the house of Luther Burbank who was an American Horticulturist. Not only is the house pretty but this is a cool place to learn about the history and admire many plant varieties. Take a tour today! 

  • Paradise Ridge Winery: A beautiful winery, this family-owned business features cool pieces of art that are scattered around the grounds. Visit for a tasting and bring your own picnic to enjoy after on the balcony. 

  • Trione-Annadel State Park: Located on the northern side of Sonoma Valley, this park spans over 5,000 acres and is home to multiple recreational activities. Featuring hiking trails, fields of magnificent wildfires, and a lake for fishing, bring the family out for a day of fun. Keep in mind that most of the trails are not dog-friendly.

3. Bennet Valley

Are you retired and looking for a new place to live? Then look no further than the neighborhood of Bennet Valley. Named after James Bennet who once lived on the land in the 1860s, this historic neighborhood is found on the southeast edge of town. Situated only 10 minutes away from Downtown Santa Rosa, Bennet Valley is in the perfect location near popular amenities and entertainment. Many residents living in this residential neighborhood enjoy wine tastings, hiking, exploring new walking trails, gardening, eating at amazing restaurants, and golfing.

Part of the reason why Bennet Valley is great for retirees is that it is the home of the Bennet Valley Golf Course. Notorious for attracting an older demographic, this golf course is kept in great condition and has multiple membership options for players. Plus, with multiple shopping centers and popular outdoor parks in the neighborhood, Bennet Valley is considered a modest place to live that has a lot to offer its residents. Though there is no planned community and no official homeowners association, Bennet Valley has no shortage of beautiful homes to choose from. Most homes in the area have their own private pools built in the backyards and many residents choose to become members of the golf club. Since most residents living here are retired and considered well-off, the median home value can reach anywhere up to $1.2 million. 

Local Favorites:

  • Galvin Park: This public park has multiple recreational fields and large greenspaces. Featuring off-leash areas to let your dog loose and picnic areas to enjoy, this is a cool place to spend the day in the nice weather. 

  • Castello di Amorosa: This famous winery is found inside a castle! What took over $40 million to construct, this castle and winery are most popular for their beautiful architecture and gorgeous scenery. Take a tour and tasting today while admiring the beauty of this unique winery.

  • Safari West: This 400-acre wildlife preserve is located just north of the city and is home to different species of wildlife that are native to Africa. While visiting this park, learn about conservation and wildlife research and see with your own eyes species that are unfortunately extinct in the wild. Some of the animals at this wildlife park include zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas, and rhinoceros. 

  • Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Garden: This breathtaking estate and vineyard are making and selling some of the highest quality and premium wine in the United States. Try it for yourself!

4. Historic Railroad Square

Found just west of Downtown Santa Rosa and the 101 freeway, the Historic Railroad Square is the perfect place to call home for any history buff. This neighborhood is most well known for its handful of historic buildings that remain standing after the earthquake of 1906. This infamous earthquake shook Santa Rosa and the San Francisco Bay Area so hard that over 500 city blocks were destroyed. Several fires were also started around the city after the earthquake that burned for three days straight causing massive amounts of damage. 

Named after the train depot building that was thankfully not damaged, this neighborhood celebrates its history through its architecture and array of vintage stores. Today, this quaint historic district is designated by its railway buildings, flourishing businesses, local boutiques, restaurants, and fun entertainment. Designated as Santa Rosa’s “Old Town,” this part of the city is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Featuring multiple parks and many beautiful historical single-family homes, living in Historic Railroad Square is quite the experience. 

Local Favorites:

  • A’roma Roasters Coffee and Tea: Roasting fresh and organic coffee in-house, this popular coffee shop is a must-try. Beloved for its complex flavors and trendy drinks, coffee lovers are flocking from all over to get a taste. This local favorite is also serving tea and features live music from local artists throughout the week. 

  • Jack and Tony’s Restaurant and Whiskey Bar: This American eatery and bar is an upscale establishment with great service. While the menu items may get a bit pricey, this is a cool place to enjoy a cocktail thanks to its extensive alcohol list. 

  • Grossman’s Noshery and Bar: This New York-style deli is serving up only the best authentic Jewish dishes in a chic atmosphere. Serving up sandwiches, soups, salads, and bakery items alongside craft cocktails, see for yourself why Grossman’s is so highly rated. There are even outdoor picnic tables to eat at in the nice weather. 

  • Olive and Rose Studio: Selling beautiful home furnishings and decor, turn your new home into the Pinterest board of your dreams. There are even one-of-a-kind items to shop from that will make all of your neighbors jealous.

5. Roseland

Thought to be one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Santa Rosa, living in Roseland is great for young families and couples with kids. This neighborhood is also considered one of the most affordable places to live in Santa Rosa which makes this a great option for those with a limited housing budget. This commercial and residential area is known to be safe and is the location of many stores and businesses. In fact, many Santa Rosa residents may find themselves working in Roseland. If you are moving with school-aged children, then be happy to know that Roseland has a fantastic school district with many top public schools. In fact, the schools in Roseland are considered the most diverse in Sonoma County. It is safe to say that your kids will love their new home in Roseland just as much as you will. 

Local Favorites:

  • Sugarloaf Ridge State Park: This state park is home to over 25 miles of hiking trails, Bald Mountain, and a 25-foot tall waterfall. There is even a campground and creeks to explore. 

  • DeLoach Vineyards: A one-of-a-kind wine tasting experience. Locals are raving about this vineyards pinot grigio. 

  • Schramsberg Vineyards: Founded in 1862 by a German immigrant, this vineyard has grown into one of the most popular wineries in the region. 

  • Dutton-Goldfield Winery: Visit this winery for a tour and tasting. The Zinfandel is a must-try for any wine enthusiast!

The Best Neighborhoods in Santa Rosa - The Bottom Line

Whether you are moving to Santa Rosa for work or simply for a change of scenery, there is a neighborhood for you. Before moving, make sure to reach out to one of our knowledgeable and outgoing Realty Specialists to aid and guide you through the home buying process. Contact us today to find the home and neighborhood of your dreams in Santa Rosa, California!

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.