Microadventure: Explore Petaluma

Looking for a day trip in Wine Country?  Take a short trip south to the historic town of Petaluma.  Enjoy the charm of this quaint agricultural town which was once called “The Egg Basket of the World”.  It’s a perfect setting for a relaxing day for you and your family. Petaluma is rich in history and doesn’t disappoint when it comes to entertainment, food and shopping.

9:00 – 10:00 – Arrive in Downtown
Head to Della Fattoria on Petaluma Boulevard in the heart of Downtown.  This charming establishment is an artisan bread bakery and European-style cafe, whose breads can be found at fine markets and restaurants around the Bay Area.  Try the Creamy Polenta with Havarti, Poached Ranch Egg and Breadcrumbs.  Pair it with a large, warm latte…the perfect way to start your adventure.

10:00 – 12:30 – Explore the Retail Scene
Peruse the Historic District with its many retail offerings. Pamper yourself at Robindira Unsworth, a Northern Californian dreamer and designer who creates elegant and very wearable seasonal jewelry collections which are a subtle mix of textures, fine details and beautiful gemstones. Love to clothes shop?   Ethical Clothing is locally owned and operated by two girls who love fashion, great finds, and feeling good about what they wear; they offer locally designed and mindfully manufactured clothing. And don’t miss Truck & Barter, a family owned, modern day general store, carefully curated with bespoke brands and superior quality products.

12:30 – 1:30 – Lunch on Kentucky
Stroll over to Topsy’s Kitchen, a family-friendly restaurant specializing in seasonal California farmhouse cuisine with a southern influence.   Try the Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with Jalapeno-vegetable slaw, sriracha mayo on an artisan french roll or, for something a bit lighter, the Superfood Salad Bowl with organic greens, organic brown rice & quinoa with lemon, kale, roasted beets, spiced chickpeas and miso-lime dressing.  Yum!

1:30 – 5:00 – Experience Petaluma
Explore the Past.  Explore Petaluma’s rich past and charming architecture by taking a self-guided tour of the city’s Victorian-era homes,which include architectural styles such as Queen Anne, Gothic and Colonial Revival as well as many others.  You can download a PDF of the tour here.  You can also explore the Petaluma Historic Museum;  the cornerstone for this stately Carnegie Library was laid in 1904 and now houses Petaluma poultry, dairy and Miwok Indian history exhibits from the 1850’s.

Take a Hike.  Burn off your lunch and some calories at Helen Putnam Regional Park, a wilderness park in Petaluma which offers 6 miles of trails with grassy hillsides and groves of heritage oaks. Ridge-top trails provide panoramic views of the city and the southern Sonoma County countryside. Walk as far as you want on the looped trail system, which allows hikers to create walks of varying length and difficulty. Note that trails are open to cyclists and horseback riders as well. There is also a large fishing pond and a gazebo, picnic area and playground at the park.

5:00 – 7:00 – Dinner in Town
The only trouble you will have, regrading dinner in Petaluma, is deciding on where to eat. Located in the Historic Petaluma Hotel you will find The Shuckery, a 54-seat oyster bar and restaurant featuring oysters and seafood from Coast to Coast, as well as local produce and wines.  Across the street is The Drawing Board, a new addition to the Petaluma restaurant scene which marries wholesome and delicious food with a sustainable, community-driven ethos. Try the Duck confit, Chickpea fries or Cauliflower veloute; they also offer amazing cocktails. Or you can go “old-school P-Town” at Volpi’s Ristorante & Bar where you will find big Italian food, friendly staff and red and white checkered tablecloths. Try the Chicken Parmesan, with polenta and veggies or the Pesto Gnocchi.

All in all, a wonderful day full of adventure the whole family will enjoy.  Happy travels!

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