35 Fun Things to Do in Santa Rosa, CA

Updated 13 min read

Destguides may receive commissions from purchases made through affiliate links in this article.

Fun things to do in Santa Rosa, CA, include going to Santa Rosa Reservoir
There are many fun things to do in Santa Rosa, CA, like going to Santa Rosa Reservoir

Santa Rosa is a unique and exciting Californian city that's just under two hours from San Francisco. The city is conveniently located near Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport, making it easy to reach by car or plane.

Visitors will find an array of activities to enjoy, with fun things to do in Santa Rosa, CA, ranging from sipping local wine at wineries to visiting pretty gardens and parks.

Interestingly, you can find many Peanut's-themed attractions here, including the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Snoopy's Home Ice! Want to discover more things to do in and around Santa Rosa? Then keep reading for 35 suggestions.

Planning a last minute trip to Santa Rosa?

When visiting Santa Rosa, book your accommodation and experiences before you go. We've pulled together top suggestions below.

Top Accommodation in Santa Rosa

Top Tours and Experiences in Santa Rosa

  • 35 Santa Rosa things to do

35 Fun Things to Do in Santa Rosa, California

  1. Santa Rosa, CA, Things to Do
    1. Stroll around the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens
    2. Bike to the best breweries on a bike and bar tour
    3. Get a coffee at Crooks Coffee
    4. Buy local produce at Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market
    5. Shop at the Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market
    6. See Snoopy exhibits at the Charles M. Schulz Museum!
    7. Sip local wine at Francis Winery & Vineyards
    8. Stay at Flamingo Resort
    9. Visit the Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts
    10. Learn new things at the Museum of Sonoma County
    11. Taste wines at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens
    12. Tee off at Bennett Valley Golf Course
    13. Treat yourself to cocoa at Warm Puppy Cafe
    14. View military aircraft at the Pacific Coast Air Museum
    15. Skate at Snoopy's Home Ice
    16. Explore the Railroad Square Historic District
    17. Take your kids to the Children's Museum of Sonoma County
    18. Relax with a beer at Bear Republic Brewing Co. Brew Pub
    19. Enjoy outdoor activities at Spring Lake Regional Park
    20. Dine at Bird and The Bottle
    21. Drink craft cocktails at Beer Baron Whiskey Bar & Kitchen
    22. Watch a performance at the 6th Street Playhouse
    23. Play sport at Sports City at Epicenter
    24. Eat at Sazón
    25. Hike through Trione-Annadel State Park
    26. Hang out at Russian River Brewing Company
    27. Check out the attractions at Old Courthouse Square
    28. Pick up breakfast or lunch at Criminal Baking Co.
  2. Things to Do Near Santa Rosa, CA
    1. Kayak on the Russian River
    2. Plan a trip to San Francisco
    3. Wander through Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve
    4. Spend the weekend in the Napa Valley
    5. Have a day out at Bodega Bay
    6. Camp at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
    7. Go to Jack London State Historic Park

Show all

Santa Rosa Things to Do Map

A map of Santa Rosa. Use the map to explore all the things to do.

Santa Rosa, CA, Things to Do

A white arch in a garden surrounded by greenery and pink roses
The Luther Burbank Home & Gardens comprise pretty gardens and a Greek Revival home

Stroll around the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens

The Luther Burbank Home & Gardens are one of the most beautiful attractions in Santa Rosa. Opened in 1875, the gardens feature beautiful blooms that vary with the seasons.

After seeing the pretty floral displays, you can head inside the Greek Revival-style Luther Burbank Home. The property features a museum and was owned by renowned horticulturist Luther Burbank.

Bike to the best breweries on a bike and bar tour

Santa Rosa and Sonoma County have some excellent breweries. A fun and unique way to visit these spots is by going on a Santa Rosa brewery biking tour.

Your guide will take you to multiple breweries, where you can try samples before ordering a pint of your favorite. You'll also get to enjoy the beautiful scenery around Santa Rosa as you bike between stops.

Get a coffee at Crooks Coffee

You can discover many coffee shops in the area, and one of the best places to go in Santa Rosa, CA, for coffee is Crooks Coffee. Beverages to order range from espresso and cappuccino to a creme brulee latte or Mexican hot chocolate. Tea drinks are also available, and you can pick up snacks like bagels or fresh pastries as well.

Buy local produce at Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market

The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market is held at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts and features many local vendors. Just a handful of the items to purchase include seasonal fruit and vegetables, spices, handcrafted chocolates, and fresh bread and other baked goods. Non-food items are on offer, too, like handmade candles and ceramics.

You can visit the market on Saturdays all year and on Wednesdays from March through December. The market generally runs from 8.30 AM to 1 PM on both days.

Shop at the Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market

The Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market is another excellent market to go to if you want to find some locally produced products. Vendors to check out include those selling food items, including fresh produce and meals, and arts and crafts products.

In addition, you'll discover some fun entertainment at the market, like live music acts and an area for kids with art activities, face painting, and more! As the name suggests, the market is held on Wednesdays. It's also seasonal and runs in the summer only, generally from May through August from 5 PM to 8.30 PM.

Stan DaMan/Shutterstock.com
A Charlie Brown statue next to a wall with a sign that says "Schulz"
The Charles M. Schulz Museum has exhibits on the cartoonist and Peanuts characters

See Snoopy exhibits at the Charles M. Schulz Museum!

One of the most fun Santa Rosa activities is going to the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Opened in 2002, the museum is dedicated to the life and work of Charles M. Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip.

Things to see include a replica of Schulz's studio, a life-sized Snoopy dog house, and a Snoopy labyrinth. You can also learn more about Charles M. Schulz and see some vintage comic book strips, among other artifacts. Before leaving, you can buy Peanuts merchandise from the museum shop.

Sip local wine at Francis Winery & Vineyards

As Santa Rosa is around Sonoma Wine Country, it's no surprise that you can find many excellent wineries in the area. A must-visit winery is Francis Winery & Vineyards.

While visiting this beautiful winery, you can tour the vineyards, learn about the production process, and participate in a wine tasting. You can also book wine and dining experiences that allow you to try seasonal dishes with wine pairings.

Stay at Flamingo Resort

If you're visiting the area and are wondering what to do in Santa Rosa, CA, in terms of accommodation, consider staying at Flamingo Resort. The stylish hotel features modern rooms, plus a pool, hot tub, and spa. You can also dine at a pool-side restaurant, and there's a fun retro-style lounge to relax in during the evening.

Visit the Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts

The Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts is another of the amazing Santa Rosa attractions to visit for a memorable night out. The venue hosts many concerts, including those by well-known bands and singers and up-and-coming local acts. Dance shows, cultural events, and various seminars and talks are also hosted at the Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts.

Learn new things at the Museum of Sonoma County

The Museum of Sonoma County opened in 1985 and is housed in a post office building from 1910. The art and history museum has an array of exhibits, including those on Santa Rosa and Sonoma County history. This Smithsonian affiliate museum hosts temporary exhibitions as well, which include artworks by renowned artists and Smithsonian artifacts.

Taste wines at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens

The Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens is another must-visit winery in Santa Rosa. During a visit to the beautiful estate and winery, you can tour the grounds, participate in wine tastings, and enjoy wine and food.

Dining options include a multi-course culinary experience with wine pairings and a picnic experience with charcuterie boards and bottles of wine.

Tee off at Bennett Valley Golf Course

Golfers will definitely want to book a tee time at Bennett Valley Golf Course. Golfers can play an 18-hole, par 72, 6,500-yard course that's surrounded by trees and hillside views. Golf lessons are also available, and after a game or lesson, you can get refreshments at the on-site Bennet Valley Grille.

Treat yourself to cocoa at Warm Puppy Cafe

If you're a Snoopy fan or visiting with kids, one of the best things to do in Santa Rosa, CA, is going to Warm Puppy Cafe to get cocoa. The Snoopy-themed cafe is located at Snoopy's Home Ice skating rink and serves various types of hot cocoa.

Flavors of cocoa include peppermint and peanut butter, as well as plain cocoa and drinks topped with whipped cream, marshmallows, or crushed Oreos. You can also purchase some snacks, like grilled cheese, pretzels, and brownies.

Karen Culp/Shutterstock.com
A fighter jet with a face painted on it inside a museum
Pacific Coast Air Museum houses military aircraft and military history exhibits

View military aircraft at the Pacific Coast Air Museum

The Pacific Coast Air Museum is a fascinating attraction in Santa Rosa that features an array of military aircraft. Planes to see include those used in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and range from fighter jets and helicopters to a business jet. There are also exhibits on aviation in US military history and a flight simulator.

Skate at Snoopy's Home Ice

Snoopy's Home Ice is another fun and unique Peanuts-themed attraction in Santa Rosa. The skating rink opened in 1969 and was owned by Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz.

The rink is open throughout the week for public skating. You can also attend skating lessons here, and the rink hosts hockey leagues and figure skating groups too.

Explore the Railroad Square Historic District

Wandering around the Railroad Square Historic District is one of the best things to do in Santa Rosa, California, and allows you to discover some unique local stores. The neighborhood, sometimes called Historic Railroad Square, features boutiques, antique shops, and restaurants that are housed in 19th-century buildings.

Stores to visit range from furniture shops to jewelry stores and even a quaint yarn shop. After exploring the shops, you can stop at one of many local eateries serving cuisines from around the world. Entertainment venues, like a theater, can also be found here.

Take your kids to the Children's Museum of Sonoma County

The Children's Museum of Sonoma County is the ideal place to take your younger kids. This exciting and interactive museum has exhibits like a pretend kitchen and cafe, an art studio, and a crocodile dental clinic! There's also an outdoor area to explore with water activities and a real vegetable garden.

Relax with a beer at Bear Republic Brewing Co. Brew Pub

Bear Republic Brewing Co. is a California-based brewery with a brewpub about ten minutes outside central Santa Rosa. At the pub, you can sip beers on the outdoor patio next to the scenic Roberts Lake. Cocktails and food, like sandwiches, pizza, and burgers, are also available.

A lake surrounded by trees next to a hill under a blue sky
Spring Lake is an ideal place to go boating, paddleboarding, or kayaking

Enjoy outdoor activities at Spring Lake Regional Park

Spring Lake Regional Park offers an array of activities to enjoy. Things to do include hiking or biking along trails and boating, kayaking, or paddleboarding on Spring Lake.

You can also swim in the lake from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and lifeguards are on duty during this time. In the summer, there's a fun inflatable water park, too, and you can even camp at the park.

Dine at Bird and The Bottle

Bird and The Bottle is one of the most popular eateries in Santa Rosa and is well worth booking a table at. Menu items include sharing plates, tacos with Asian-style fillings, and larger dishes like Korean chicken.

For dessert, you can enjoy treats like indulgent chocolate cake or ice cream sundaes. To accompany your meal, you can order wine, beer, and cocktails, including sharing cocktails.

Drink craft cocktails at Beer Baron Whiskey Bar & Kitchen

Beer Baron Whiskey Bar & Kitchen serves craft beers, an array of whiskies, and cocktails. Relaxing at this trendy bar with some drinks is a great way to spend the evening!

You can order food like tacos, Cajun mac and cheese, and smoked olive oil guacamole to accompany your drinks as well. There are also live music nights, and if you enjoy the whiskey here, you can join the Whiskey Club and get a bottle delivered each month.

Watch a performance at the 6th Street Playhouse

Located in the Railroad Square Historic District, the 6th Street Playhouse is the perfect place to spend an evening. You can see numerous shows at the theater, including musicals and plays. If you have kids, you'll also find some fun, family-friendly plays to see, like A Year with Frog and Toad.

Play sport at Sports City at Epicenter

Another excellent kid-friendly attraction in Santa Rosa is Sports City at Epicenter. Things to do at this indoor sports venue include playing soccer or flag football. Kids can also attend camps during school breaks, and there are on-site eateries to refuel at after playing.

Eat at Sazón

Sazón Authentic Peruvian Cuisine is a must-visit restaurant in Santa Rosa. The eatery serves classic Peruvian dishes in a cozy space. The restaurant also has a deli with sandwiches if you want to pick something up on the go.

An acorn woodpecker on a branch with green tree leaves behind it
You can see lots of wildlife in Trione-Annadel State Park, like acorn woodpeckers

Hike through Trione-Annadel State Park

Outdoor enthusiasts will want to plan a trip to Trione-Annadel State Park. Visitors can follow numerous hiking and biking trails that take you through woodlands and fields full of wildflowers. There are also some lakes, like Lake Ilsanjo, to walk around, and you'll see lots of wildlife. Note that dogs are not allowed on the trails in this park.

Hang out at Russian River Brewing Company

Another great bar in Santa Rosa is the Russian Brewing Company. At the brewpub, you can taste the brewery's locally made beers, which include ales, lagers, and Belgian-inspired brews. With your beer, you can enjoy snacks like pizza, and there's an excellent happy hour every day, including all day on Sunday.

Check out the attractions at Old Courthouse Square

Old Courthouse Square is a historic landmark in Santa Rosa that dates back to the 1800s. Today, you can find many shops and eateries around the square. Simply visiting Old Courthouse Square to wander around is a great idea; you can check out shops that appeal to you and stop for food and drinks at one of the many eateries serving cuisine from around the world.

Pick up breakfast or lunch at Criminal Baking Co.

Criminal Baking Co. is found in Downtown Santa Rosa and is an excellent spot to check out for breakfast or lunch. At the bakery and cafe, you can order sandwiches, salad bowls, and burritos, with many vegetarian and vegan options available. Smoothies, baked goods, and tea and coffee drinks are also available.

Things to Do Near Santa Rosa, CA

A person kayaking on a river with green trees surrounding under a blue sky
The Russian River is the ideal place to kayak and is under an hour from Santa Rosa

Kayak on the Russian River

If you want to enjoy Sonoma's scenery and get out in the fresh air, one of the best things to do near Santa Rosa, is kayaking on the Russian River. While you can head to the river yourself, joining a Russian River kayaking tour is recommended.

Your guide will take you to the most beautiful parts of the river and teach you some new things about the area. Depending on traffic, you can reach the Russian River from Santa Rosa in about 50 minutes.

The Golden Gate Bridge over water with hills on one side under a clear blue sky
San Francisco is a world-renowned destination located under two hours from Santa Rosa

Plan a trip to San Francisco

San Francisco is located approximately an hour and 30 minutes from Santa Rosa, depending on traffic. While you could plan a day trip to this renowned destination, staying overnight will allow you to see more San Francisco landmarks and attractions. Staying overnight also allows you to enjoy San Francisco at night!

Just a few of the things to do in San Francisco include walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, exploring Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39, and going to a sports event, like a Golden State Warriors NBA game.

Wander through Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve

Located around 30 minutes from Santa Rosa, Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve is a great place to go hiking. The park features stunning woodland trails and many coastal redwoods, among other trees and plants. As you wander around, you can marvel at the old-growth forests and will see many birds and other woodland creatures.

A sign next to a vineyard that says "Napa Valley"
You can visit incredible wineries during a weekend in Napa

Spend the weekend in the Napa Valley

California's famous wine-producing destination of Napa is only an hour or so from Santa Rosa. If you enjoy visiting world-renowned wineries, planning a weekend trip to Napa is a must!

When visiting, you can explore wineries and other attractions yourself or book one of many Napa Valley tours and excursions to make planning easy. While many think of Napa as an adults-only destination, it's actually quite family-friendly, and you'll find many things to do in Napa with kids if you visit with children.

Rock cliffs and some sand next to the ocean with small waves under a clear blue sky
Bodega Bay is a beautiful coastal town near Santa Rosa with many attractions

Have a day out at Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay is a stunning coastal area situated around 40 minutes from Santa Rosa. If you're looking for an all-day activity, heading to Bodega Bay is definitely one of the best things to do near Santa Rosa, California.

Bodega Bay activities include going on a coastal walk, relaxing at a spa, or surfing. You can also find many incredible oceanfront restaurants and some beautiful hotels and lodges if you'd like to stay overnight.

A view over trees and greenery-covered hills under a blue sky with clouds
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is a scenic place to go hiking and camping

Camp at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is located around 30 minutes from Santa Rosa in Kenwood, California. The park sits within the Mayacamas Mountains and has numerous hiking and biking trails that allow you to enjoy the stunning mountainous surroundings.

Visitors can also camp at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. Campsites for tents and RVs are offered, which sit next to scenic creeks and are surrounded by forests. If traditional camping isn't your thing, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park has luxurious glamping tents!

kinolebid/Depositphotos.com
A stone house next to green trees under a blue sky
Jack London State Historic Park features the home of US novelist Jack London

Go to Jack London State Historic Park

Jack London State Historic Park sits slightly outside Santa Rosa, taking approximately 30 minutes to reach when driving. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966 and was originally owned by novelist Jack London.

At the park, you can explore the grounds and historical buildings, including Beauty Ranch. Interestingly, you can also see Jack London's gravesite where his and his wife's ashes are buried.

In Conclusion

After reading this article, you should have a good idea of what to do in Santa Rosa, California. No matter what types of things you like to do, this Californian city will have something for you. From exploring local markets to visiting wineries and even checking out fun Snoopy-themed attractions, Santa Rosa has something for everyone!

This article was first published on Nov 5, 2022 10:00 UTC.

Give us feedback about this article

For more interesting articles about United States, read:

For some great articles about things to do, check out:


Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Thank you for subscribing

We will be in touch soon with discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Thank you for subscribing

We will be in touch soon with discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

By entering your email address you agree to our Terms & Conditions, Privacy policy, and consent to receive emails.