20 fun things to do in Santa Rosa, California – That we know you’ll LOVE!

October 7, 2021

Are you looking for things to do in Santa Rosa? If so, keep reading for lots of ideas!

If you’re visiting Santa Rosa soon, you might be on the look out for things to do in Santa Rosa! The good news? There is plenty to do in this little city. Santa Rosa has plenty of charm and scenery, and it’s a beautiful place to spend a weekend on vacation!

Santa Rosa is known mainly for one thing though… And that’s the multitude of vineyards and wineries in the area. Santa Rosa is at the heart of the Sonoma County Wine Country, so a lot of the things to do in Santa Rosa revolve around that! As you’d expect! So, if you love wine – you’re seriously in for a treat because some of the best wine in the country comes from right here.

But anyway, let’s get into it and discuss all the best things to do in Santa Rosa!


Here are some great things to do in Santa Rosa…


Safari West

Are you looking to fill your trip with nature and wildlife? If so, you’ll love Safari West. This amazing attraction is only 10 minutes from Santa Rosa, and it will transport you to the plains of Africa in a flash. If we’re being honest, Safari West is one of our favorite things to do in Santa Rosa. Acting as both a zoo and a non-profit conservation area, this is one of the things to do in Santa Rosa that makes the city a better place.

If you’d like to extend your visit slightly, why not finish off a safari tour by staying the night? Safari West is known for its tent cabins and luxury accommodation options. So, if you’d like to live amongst the wildlife for a night (safely, of course!), then this is one of the best things to do in Santa Rosa that will make that wish come true. 


Charles M. Schultz Museum and Research Center

If you have even a passing interest in the Peanuts comic strips, then you need to add the Charles M. Schultz Museum and Research Center to your list of things to do in Santa Rosa. This museum is dedicated to the work of famous artist Charles M. Schultz, and is packed with artefacts, exhibits, and photographs that document his life. 

Among the various exhibits here are permanent sculptures, a recreated studio, and even a Snoopy labyrinth! Both well-designed and a great time-killer, this museum is certainly one of the best things to do in Santa Rosa.

catwalker / Shutterstock.com

Downtown Santa Rosa

A visit to Downtown Santa Rosa will never be disappointing. Featuring the famous Night Market, the Old Courthouse, and several shops and restaurants, this is one of the things to do in Santa Rosa that is well worth dedicating an entire day to. Although you’ll find some regular stores here, it’s the local boutiques that will blow you away.

With crafts, beautiful clothing, and souvenirs available for purchase, we recommend leaving plenty of room in your suitcase for the journey home! This is a perfect choice for things to do in Santa Rosa.

Anzhelika Polyak / Shutterstock.com

Historic Railroad Square

Historic Railroad Square is located only a stone’s throw from Downtown Santa Rosa and it’s next on our list of things to do in Santa Rosa. This is one of the things to do in Santa Rosa that will appeal to history buffs, as not only is it packed with trivia and gorgeous architecture, but it’s also home to unique stores and restaurants.

We’d say that this is one of the finest things to do in Santa Rosa if you have a spare hour or two. It doesn’t necessarily need an entire afternoon dedicated to it, but we’d say there’s enough here to justify taking up a couple of hours of your time. Grab yourself a lovely cup of coffee, and sit and watch the world go by!

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If you fancy hitting the town, we highly recommend checking out the 6th Street Playhouse. This entertainment venue frequently hosts regional shows and performances, and it’s one of the best things to do in Santa Rosa for theatrical types!


Luther Burbank Home & Gardens

The next thing on our list of the best things to do in Santa Rosa? It’s Luther Burbank Home & Gardens. Once home to the prolific horticulturalist Luther Burbank, this amazing stately home is now a place of historic interest. 

Now, we’d say that this place is gorgeous enough to justify a decent entry fee. However, what we love about the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens is the fact that it’s one of the best free things to do in Santa Rosa! That’s right, you needn’t pay a cent to explore this attraction. If you’d like to learn more about Luther himself, then you can join one of the excellent guided tours on offer here


Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens

Next on our list of things to do in Santa Rosa, it’s the Kendall-Jackson wine estate! Now, we’re going to recommend quite a few wineries and vineyards on this list – given it’s one of the main attractions of visiting Santa Rosa. But we thought we’d single this place out, just in case you were looking for a really beautiful and unique experience. The grounds are simply beautiful too !

But don’t worry – if this place doesn’t look quite right for you, you’ll have plenty to choose from in the area. Santa Rosa has so many!

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Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/kjwines/

Pride Mountain Vineyards

Pride Mountain Vineyards seems to consistently rank at the top of Santa Rosa wineries and vineyards to visit, so we wanted to give this place its own spot on our list of things to do in Santa Rosa. The atmosphere here is just heavenly, and their wine experiences are really something special, with the whole experience being super luxurious and perfected.

We recommend their Estate Experience (for up to 6 guests) as it’s an amazing opportunity to learn more about wine making, and their individual process at Pride Mountain too. It’s so highly recommended, and such a beautiful day out. Definitely one of the top things to do in Santa Rosa.

Image credit: https://www.pridewines.com/

Visit (another) Winery

Visiting a winery is never a bad idea, and if you’re in Santa Rosa, it might be worth visiting 2 or 3!

As another recommendation, the St. Francis Winery is one of the most stunning ones in the surrounding area. As with most wineries, the main draw here is going to be the delicious, local wines. However, what makes the St. Francis Winery one of the best things to do in Santa Rosa is the guided tour and level of expertise on show here. This place has been making local wines for over 40 years, and each person that works here is incredibly invested in their craft. 

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Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/stfranciswinery/

If you have any queries during the wine tasting section of your tour, be sure to ask one of the friendly guides for some background information on it. Trust us, this winery is fascinating and is definitely one of the best things to do in Santa Rosa.

And while we’re here (because we don’t want this entire list of things to do in Santa Rosa to just be vineyards and wineries)… Here are plenty more you could check out!

  • Paradise Ridge Winery
  • Balletto Vineyards
  • Ledson Winery & Vineyards
  • Matanzas Creek Winery
  • Lynmar Estate Winery
  • DeLoach Vineyards
  • Dutton-Goldfield Winery
  • Russian River Vineyards
  • VJB Vineyard & Cellars
  • La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard
  • Emeritus Vineyards
  • Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards
  • Harvest Moon Estate & Winery
  • Joseph Swan Vineyards
  • Moshin Vineyards
  • Lasseter Family Winery
  • Fog Crest Vineyard

Spring Lake Regional Park

Ah, Spring Lake Regional Park. Packed with stunning greenery, trails, and fresh air, this is one of the best things to do in Santa Rosa for those looking for some all-natural TLC. Covering 320 acres of land, this regional park is one of the most sizable in California. 

If hiking or biking isn’t for you, then be sure to bring along a fishing rod and some swimming gear. The lake provides the perfect opportunity for anglers to try their luck and gives avid swimmers a wonderful opportunity for getting those lengths in! Whatever you choose to do here, we guarantee that you’ll walk away thinking that it’s one of the best things to do in Santa Rosa!


Museum of Sonoma County

Those looking to learn more about the cultural significance of Sonoma County will appreciate the Museum of Sonoma County. Now, this is considered one of the best things to do in Santa Rosa without a doubt. Not only does it educate visitors on the importance of this area to the local landscape, but it’s also housed in the most beautiful turn-of-the-century building that is worth the price of admission. 

If you’re even remotely interested in the history of Santa Rosa and its surrounding towns, then be sure to add the Museum of Sonoma County to your list of things to do in Santa Rosa.


Children’s Museum of Sonoma County

Another fantastic museum in Santa Rosa, the Children’s Museum of Santa Rosa is next on our list of things to do in Santa Rosa. If you’re looking for things to do in Santa Rosa with children, then this is the perfect choice for a day of fun. We highly recommend!


Morton’s Warm Springs

Next on our list of things to do in Santa Rosa, it’s Morton’s Warm Springs. These hot springs are beautiful and make a gorgeous activity for your time in Santa Rosa. Nestled in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country, this beautiful family-friendly swimming spot is a diverse geothermal springs, open to the public!

You’ll need to book your admission ahead of visiting – but we highly recommend giving this place a visit! It’s unlike anything else in the area, and on a sunny day, there’s honestly nothing better! Another amazing choice for things to do in Santa Rosa.

Image credit: https://www.facebook.com/mortonswarmspringsCA/

The Redwood Empire Ice Arena

Next on our list of things to do in Santa Rosa, it’s The Redwood Empire Ice Arena. If you’re looking for a fun, active, family-friendly for things to do in Santa Rosa, this is it! Ice-rinks are great fun, and they’re not weather dependent either – so if it’s looking a bit hot, or maybe a bit cold to do things outdoors, this is a great choice.

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Pacific Coast Air Museum

The Pacific Coast Air Museum may have only been around since 1989, but it’s one of the top things to do in Santa Rosa for tourists. This museum is dedicated to veterans and air force pilots that have served in the United States, so expect to see plenty of planes, machinery, and awesome exhibits dedicated to these brave folk. 

If you’re a genuine warplane enthusiast, then keep an eye out for the vintage planes. They’re pretty easy to spot, and they’re one of the main draws of this attraction that shouldn’t be missed by any visitor. It’s a really good choice for things to do in Santa Rosa with kids.


Rent a Hot Air Balloon

Take to the sky in a hot air balloon! Those looking for different things to do in Santa Rosa that will make for truly sensational photos won’t find a more incredible offering than Santa Rosa’s hot air balloon attraction. One of the best companies for ballooning in Santa Rosa is Up & Away. Not only is their name adorable, but they have unbeatable levels of experience in the industry that will have you feeling safe and looked after. 

Although a journey won’t be cheap (it comes in at around $275 for the day), the trip will truly feel like a once in a lifetime treat that will be well worth the cash investment. This is an amazing choice for things to do in Santa Rosa, and one you won’t likely forget!


California Cheese Trail

Do you love cheese? Who doesn’t! If you’d like to fill that hole in your stomach with some cheesy, stringy goodness, then we highly recommend adding the California Cheese Trail to your list of things to do in Santa Rosa. If you didn’t know, California is actually home to some of the best artisanal cheese in the country. Although you won’t be on a tour bus, you can drive yourself around various amazing cheese farms and taste the best of what they have to offer. 

There are some cheese farms on the official California Cheese Trail that require bookings in advance. So, to avoid disappointment, be sure to call in advance and check whether you’re okay to show up or need to book in first. This is definitely one of the most unique things to do in Santa Rosa.


Take a day trip to Bodega Bay

If you’ve found yourself craving a bit of beach life during your trip to Santa Rosa, don’t worry! Santa Rosa is actually relatively close to the beach and coastline, so finding a nearby beach town isn’t difficult! We recommend heading to Doran Beach near Bodega Bay, as it’s a popular spot and the views on the drive in are absolutely stunning. Just check out the photo below!


Hike at Trione-Annadel State Park

Last on our list of things to do in Santa Rosa, it’s the Trione-Annadel State Park. This is one of the biggest state parks in and around Santa Rosa, so it’s well worth visiting and checking it out.

If you’re into outdoorsy activities such as hiking or cycling, then you’ll absolutely love exploring Trione-Annadel State Park. Oh, another lovely activity you can do in Trione-Annadel State Park is bird watching! This is actually a really popular spot for local bird watchers, and there’s plenty to see. Including the Acorn woodpecker, which was photographed in the Trione-Annadel State Park below!


Hopefully this list of things to do in Santa Rosa has given you plenty of ideas!

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