Replete with charming, back-in-time, small river town atmosphere
Petaluma is a multi-dimensional travel destination: to be experienced all by itself, or used as a base/hub, from which to explore the many pleasures of Sonoma County.

Just 45 minutes from San Francisco, this is a travel delight and cornucopia of possible adventures — you’ll find:
– old-time river town fun           – history                      – great dining          – wildlife habitats
– entertainment                        – natural beauty          – state parks           – bountiful wine regions
+ your personal discoveries

And all without a car!

Our Experience – The Great Carless Sonoma Weekend
We traveled by SMART train and on foot. You can easily add biking to the options/mix.
Join us (below) on our jam-packed, carless weekend – discover what you can see and do in 3 days!



Location, Location, Location! Petaluma’s perfect locus location makes it a triple-treat travel and tourist destination: 1. Perfect for a visit focused totally on the enjoyments available solely in old river town Petaluma on the river. 2. A base for explorations of the world famous Napa...


Day 1

San Rafael via SMART to discover Petaluma Why the SMART train? To enjoy a carless adventure in a town renowned for its many facets: riverfront and nature activities, intriguing antique and vintage clothing shops, nightlife, historical and movie sites, food and libations. We’re hunting for experience treasure! 10:45 am pick up eat-on-the-train provisions Many options, all within a block of SMART train station: Extreme Pizza, Sol Food, Whistlestop Active Aging Center, House of Bagels, Lotus Cuisine of India. Or we can eat from the SMART train concession. We opt for Extreme Pizza to-go special. SMART train San Rafael...


Day 2

Petaluma + Santa Rosa RR Square  8:30 am breakfast in Hampton Inn Petaluma Once the dying facility of the Silk Mill, the dining room with 14’ ceiling and long windows define an old elegance in a new setting. Many breakfast choices: yogurt, fresh fruit, juices, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal (hot and cold), make your own waffle station, sweet rolls, bagels, bread for toasting, coffee/tea. We take our leisure with the breakfast but have much to see and tight schedule, so do not linger. 10:30 am walking tour Petaluma Historical Museum Free Petaluma History Tour starts at Petaluma’s Historical Library & Museum....


Day 3

Petaluma + return home 9 am breakfast Hampton Inn Petaluma Another challenge! So many choices…which way to go? Fruit and yogurt, yes. Waffle? Rarely have, might be good to try… but we haven’t had oatmeal in a long time, so we go there, drizzle a little Maple syrup on top, and some raisins. Healthy day start. With steaming coffee! 10:30 am facial & massage Life in Balance and Luma Esthetics In need of some pampering we head to the Burdell Building, you guessed it, another historic structure directly across from the Petaluma Train Station. Built in 1895 as a creamery, cold storage, and electrical power plant by...



Thanks to all who helped create this fine experience Fun of Travel  Joseph Cillo Publisher & Editor in Chief     Mary Buttaro Creative & Photo Editor Petaluma Visitors Program  Colleen Rustad Marketing and Events Coordinator                                ...



SMART Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is a passenger rail service and bicycle-pedestrian pathway in Sonoma and Marin counties. The initial 43 mile rail corridor includes 10 stations, from Sonoma County Airport to Downtown San Rafael. Future extensions include: Larkspur (late-2019);...



Petaluma is a happening place! (Some even go so far as to call it the west coast New Orleans.) Events and celebrations, in-town and along the riverfront, happen every month: parades festivals fairs / faires music pianos art boating food film                                ...