Less than an hour from the coast and two hours north of San Francisco, you’ll find the beautiful, tranquil city of Petaluma. This city in the heart of California’s Wine Country is a top choice for families, with plenty of work opportunities, stunning homes, and top-rated schools. If you’re moving to Petaluma, you’re making a fantastic choice, but if you need more information before making your decision, keep reading.
Who Lives in Petaluma?
Today, Petaluma is home to a population of about 60,000 people across the city’s 14.5 square mile area. The median age in the city is 41.6, though the largest age bracket among residents is children aged 5-17. About three-quarters of the population is white, while 20% identify as Hispanic or Latino, and 4.5% are of Asian descent.
The median household income for people living in Petaluma is $81,000, which is $26,000 higher than the national median! The majority of residents earn their income through a salary, though about 18% of the population is self-employed. Overall, the city is moderately liberal; Sonoma County is commonly regarded as a “blue” area, and generally votes Democrat.
Schools in Petaluma
Families living in Petaluma are spoiled for choice when it comes to schools; between private and public institutions, the city has 74 schools in total. Two of the main public high schools in the area are Petaluma High School and Casa Grande High School. Casa Grande High School offers 18 Advanced Placement courses, as well as unique learning programs like Small Learning Communities for 11th and 12th-grade students. Petaluma High School also provides AP classes, as well as leadership opportunities through organizations like SkillsUSA.
Wondering what the top industries and employers are in Petaluma? The city’s local economy supports more than 30,000 jobs across numerous occupations. Healthcare is the largest industry in the area, followed by Retail Trade and education. Top employers in the city include Aabalat Fine & Rare Wines, Calix Inc, and Petaluma Valley Hospital. Since Petaluma is part of Sonoma County’s Wine Country, the wine industry is also a major part of the local economy, and many locals work at vineyards and tasting rooms throughout the County.
Best Petaluma Neighborhoods
Wondering where to live in Petaluma? The city has eight main neighborhoods, along with smaller housing developments for you to choose from, each with its own unique community feel. Finding the perfect neighborhood can take some time, but we hope the list below helps get you started:
- Maker Alley: Want to live just steps away from Petaluma’s top breweries and distilleries? Them Maker Alley might be the perfect residential area for you! The area is characterized by its industrial buildings and loft-style apartments.
- Adobe: If you’re looking for a family-friendly neighborhood in Petaluma, you need to check out Adobe. This large neighborhood is comprised of quiet streets with homes mostly built in the 1950s.
- College: This Petaluma neighborhood is bordered by the Petaluma Junior College Campus. Here you’ll find a mix of student housing and apartments, along with high-end homes on large plots of land.
- Oakhill Brewster: Homes in this desirable Petaluma neighborhood sell in the mid-$700,000s on average. The district is known for it’s beautiful Victorian, craftsman, and bungalow-style homes, and is conveniently located near local parks and Downtown.
The Weather in Petaluma
Like much of California, Petaluma benefits from amazing year-round weather. The city gets 260 sunny days every year, compared with the national average of just 205. Normally, the average temperature stays between 40-80 degrees, though it can dip into the 30s or rise into the low 90s depending on the time of year. Petaluma receives less rain than the national average, and you won’t find any snow in this west coast paradise!
How Much Does it Cost to Live in Petaluma?
The reality is, living in Petaluma isn’t cheap. The median home value in the area is $557,000, and about 60% of all homes in the city cost at least $500,000. Property values have only increased in recent years, so we might expect the cost of living here to keep going up. While two-thirds of residents choose to own their homes, the remaining third of the population is made up of renters, who pay an average of $1,500 per month for their apartments.
Other Petaluma living costs are also expensive, including healthcare, groceries and goods & services. Transportation costs in the city are 34% higher than the national average, and both repairs and fuel here cost more than in other parts of the country. Since most families in Petaluma own two vehicles and commute nearly 30 minutes to work, those expenses can quickly rack up.
Things to do in Petaluma
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One of the best parts about living in sunny California is the amazing weather and the coast’s incredible scenery. So it’s no wonder that the best things to do for fun in Petaluma is to get outside! While there are plenty of different green spaces in and around Petaluma, here are two of our favorite spots to visit.
Spanning 165 acres, this wetlands park is the perfect place to get up close and personal with California wildlife. The park has three different trails open to both pedestrians and cyclists, each between 1 1/2 – 2 miles from start to finish. A variety of birds nest in the park, making this a perfect place to visit if you enjoy bird watching!
- Park Hours: The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset, usually from about 8AM-6PM
- Directions: 1400 Cader Ln, Petaluma, CA 94954
- Visitor’s Center Phone: (707) 778-4303
Helen Putnam Regional Park
Helen Putnam Regional Park is another stunning park, located on Petaluma’s southeastern edge. The park offers 6 miles of looped trails, which are open to hikers, bikers, and equestrians! Like Shollenberger Park, this is a perfect area to visit for birding and has a fishing pond. You’ll also find playgrounds for kids, picnic areas, and some of the best panoramic views of Petaluma around.
- Park Hours: 8AM-9PM Daily
- Directions: 411 Chileno Valley Rd, Petaluma, CA 94952
- Visitor’s Center Phone: (707) 539-8092
Petaluma’s Top Restaurants
El Roy’s Mexican Grill
In addition to their sit-down restaurant, El Roy’s Mexican Grill also has a food truck that you can find in Petaluma, usually accompanied by a long line of customers. The large menu includes a variety of tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and more.
- Hours: 11AM-9PM Monday-Saturday, 11AM-8PM Sunday
- Order Online: https://www.doordash.com/store/el-roy-s-mexican-grill-petaluma-539413/
- Address: 210 Edith St, Petaluma, CA 94952
- Phone: (707) 774-3738
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Enjoy organic, locally-sourced meals when you visit Pub Republic in Petaluma any night of the week. The upscale pub cuisine includes everything from juicy half-pound burgers to fresh and light salmon, making it a perfect choice for everyone in your party.
- Hours: 11:30AM-9PM Monday -Wednesday, 11:30AM-10PM Thursday-Friday, 10AM-10PM Saturday, 10AM-9PM Sunday
- Website: http://www.pubrepublicusa.com/
- Address: 3120 Lakeville Hwy, Petaluma, CA 94954
- Phone: (707) 782-9090
Old Chicago Pizza Restaurant
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Some days, there’s just no substitute for a fresh-from-the-oven, deep-dish pizza. On those days in Petaluma, locals flock to Old Chicago Pizza, where you can choose from a variety of toppings for a personalized pizza experience that will keep you coming back for more.
- Hours: 11:30AM-10:30PM Monday-Thursday, 11:30AM-11:30PM Friday-Saturday, 11:30AM-9:30PM Sunday
- Website: http://www.oldchgo.com/
- Address: 41 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952
- Phone: (707) 763-3897
Moving to Petaluma Tips
Petaluma is a paradise city, surrounded by the beauty of nature and full of friendly, welcoming people. We hope this complete city guide has helped to show you all the reasons you should move to Petaluma! Before you relocate, here are a few last tips for moving to Petaluma:
- Visit neighborhoods you’re interested in to get an in-person feel for the community.
- Talk to locals about why they love living here. You can visit any local eatery to get a good idea of what the area is like (plus
- you’ll get to enjoy a delicious meal!).
- Choose a local moving company you can trust. This will make the whole moving process easier and less stressful!
If you have more questions or want help with your relocation, the team at Smooth Move USA is always here for you. Give us a call today at (661) 325-6683 to get started on your journey towards living in Petaluma.