The county seat of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa has an estimated population of more than 154,000, making it the largest city in California's Wine Country. Just 55 miles north of San Francisco, the city-settled in the watershed of the Santa Rosa Creek-is known for its wildlife. It's not unusual to see herons, egrets, turkeys, or deer. Over the years, Santa Rosa has been home to several notable residents, including horticulturist Luther Burbank, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, actresses Natalie Wood and Rebecca De Mornay, professional cyclist Levi Leipheimer, and Watergate ""Deep Throat"" source William Mark Felt.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Santa Rosa's workforce is employed in manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, high-tech and service. It has a booming restaurant business and does a brisk trade in tourism, largely due to its wine production.
Five of the major employers of Santa Rosa are government agencies, four are manufacturers, two are hospitals and one is a public utility establishment. These major employers include County of Sonoma, City of Santa Rosa, Santa Rosa City Schools, Agilent Technologies, Medtronic Vascular, Kaiser Permanente and AT&T. In addition some small businesses also operate in the city including Moonlight Brewing Company and Russian River Brewing Company.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Most of the population in Santa Rosa is urban. Neighborhoods and districts of Santa Rosa accommodate around 57,500 houses, out of which more than 56,000 are occupied. Of the occupied houses, more than 32,600 are owner-occupied while renters occupy around 23,400 houses.
Popular neighborhoods in Santa Rosa include South Park, Bennett Valley, Juilliard Park, Burbank Gardens, North West Santa Rosa, Oakmont Village, Olive Park, Rincon Valley, St. Rose Historic District, Stonegate, Town & Country, and Coffey Park.
- Wine Country: Santa Rosa is a gateway to the more than 200 wineries of Sonoma County. Visitors can explore numerous area vineyards, enjoy scenic views, and sample the local wines.
- Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center: Santa Rosa's Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center preserves the work of the Peanuts cartoon creator. The museum houses more than 6,000 of Schulz's drawings for the comic strip.
- Luther Burbank Home and Gardens: World-renowned horticulturist Luther Burbank made his home in Santa Rosa for more than 50 years. The Luther Burbank Home and Gardens is a city park containing his residence, greenhouse, and gardens.
- Downtown Santa Rosa: Named one of the state's top five downtowns in the California Planning and Development Report, downtown Santa Rosa is a favorite among tourists. The area offers opportunities for shopping, dining, and taking in some history and culture. The city's downtown includes historic Railroad Square, home to a number of the area's vintage commercial buildings (many of which now house shops) and scenic Old Courthouse Square.
- Annadel State Park: Located on Santa Rosa's eastern edge, Annadel State Park is home to the Warren Richardson Trail, a favorite for biking, horseback riding, and hiking. Visitors can fish in Lake Ilsanjo and enjoy the scenic park's famous wildflowers.
- Spring Lake Regional Park: Open from May through September, Spring Lake Regional Park offers camping, hiking trails, picnic areas, and a swimming lagoon staffed with lifeguards. It is also home to a 72-acre lake with a boat ramp.
- Prince Memorial Greenway: The Prince Memorial Greenway is a bicycle and pedestrian path that runs along the Santa Rosa Creek.
- Sonoma County Fairgrounds Golf Course: The Sonoma County Fairgrounds is home to an 18-hole public golf course that offers visitors a fast, affordable game.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- 6th Street Playhouse: Santa Rosa's 6th Street Playhouse produces a season of musicals and contemporary plays. It also offers a holiday show each year.
- Annex Galleries: Located on College Avenue, and specializing in 19th, 20th, and 21st century prints by both European and American artists, this salon-style gallery is home to a collection of over 8,000 works, including woodcuts, Arts and Crafts prints, WPA prints, and Modernist and Abstract Expressionist prints. The collection also includes watercolors, photography, oils, and sculptures.
- Arts Council of Sonoma County: The Arts Council of Sonoma County offers programs and exhibitions in dance, the visual arts, poetry, and more. The council's gallery offers year-round exhibits and is home to the ARTrails Preview Show in October each year.
- California Indian Museum and Cultural Center: The California Indian Museum and Cultural Center was created to foster awareness about the history and culture of California's indigenous population. The museum, founded by the National Indian Justice Center, offers exhibits and educational programs.
- Santa Rosa Symphony: The Santa Rosa Symphony is made up of more than 80 musicians, and offers seven sets of concerts during its annual season. Other popular events include a pops series and holiday choral shows.
- Wells Fargo Center for the Arts: The Wells Fargo Center for the Arts is considered the premier arts organization in Sonoma County. It is known for its world-class performances, which draw 500,000 spectators each year.
- Harmony Festival: Santa Rosa's Harmony Festival is held each summer at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. It features live entertainment, exhibitions, and educational programming with the goal of promoting harmony through sustainable living, creative arts, and healthy living. It draws a crowd of more than 35,000 visitors.
- Sonoma County Fair: The Sonoma County Fair is one of the most popular fairs in the state. It features the nation's largest themed flower show, livestock shows, racing, live entertainment, carnival rides, and concessions.
- Harvest Fair: Held each fall at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, the Harvest Fair is the largest regional wine competition in the nation. Visitors can enjoy food, live entertainment, and more than 1000 wines as they browse the fair's many exhibits.
- Sweetheart Ball: A February tradition, the Sweetheart Ball is a formal dinner dance featuring food, auctions, dancing, and live music.
Santa Rosa is home to Empire College, Santa Rosa Junior College, and the University of San Francisco-Santa Rosa.
Santa Rosa's local newspaper is the Press Democrat. It is the largest newspaper in California's north coastal strip.
KFTY is an independent television station that broadcasts from Santa Rosa.
Radio stations in Santa Rosa include:
- KBBF 89.1-FM (Spanish)
- KRCB 91.1-FM
- KLUR 91.9-FM
- KZST 100.1-FM
- KXFX 101.7-FM
- KSRO 1350-AM
- KRRS 1460-AM (Spanish)