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Wait, Petaluma is the place to be? Yep, the sleepy town that causes all the traffic backups on the way to wine country now has a handful of reasons to exit 101 before you hit the vineyards. Here are six cool new things to check out the next time you venture across the Golden Gate.

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the drawing board petaluma san francisco
Molly DeCoudrreaux


Don’t let the words holistic gathering place deter you. This is no hippie healing center. The new downtown Petaluma restaurant does emphasize good, healthy eating, but it does so with delicious dishes like duck confit cassoulet and rosewater cardamom cake, plus cocktails made from locally foraged botanicals. Wholesome food never looked so good.

190 Kentucky St., Petaluma; 707-774-6689 or

barber cellars sf petaluma
Hotel Petaluma


Venture over to Petaluma’s first tasting room to sample small-production, single-vineyard wines from the winery’s Sonoma coast and mountain vines—such as the refreshing 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Gris “Rougissant” and richly layered 2014 Sonoma Mountain Cabernet “Scuro.” Then stay for vintage games and live music every Thursday night.

112 Washington St., Petaluma; 707-981-7034 or

truck and barter sf petaluma
Truck & Barter


What started as an online-only shop is now a beautiful brick-and-mortar. Expect to find blankets, home goods, totes and jewelry crafted by independent American makers alongside established brands like Filson and Faribault. Don’t leave without picking up one of Truck & Barter’s own handmade candles or soaps—the best sellers have been flying off shelves for months.

108 Washington St., Petaluma; 707-658-2131 or

hotel petaluma sf1
Hotel Petaluma


This gorgeous Art Deco hotel (the last of its kind built in California) dates back to 1924, but it’s currently in the midst of a major revamp. The lobby and courtyard have been restored to their original grandeur, and guest rooms are being updated with modern hotel amenities.

205 Kentucky St, Petaluma; 707-559-3393 or

artisan cheese festival sf petaluma
Artisan Cheese Festival


The 11th annual event (March 24 to 26) brings together cheese makers and cheese lovers from all over the Pacific Northwest. Highlighting the artisanal process behind the craft, the weekend-long festival includes creamery tours, a cheese marketplace, bubbles brunch and special producer dinners. Mark your calendar and get tickets now. We can smell the goat gouda already.

745 Baywood Dr., Petaluma; 707-283-2888 or

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mcevoy ranch petaluma san francisco
McEvoy Ranch


It’s not every day that you can wander about the fields among olive trees just a stone’s throw from San Francisco. But now the Bay Area’s favorite local olive ranch is open for visits by appointment. So if you’re headed up to Petaluma for a weekend or day trip, book yourself a wine and olive oil tasting, a walkabout in the fields or a ranch tour (the next one is May 27) for an inside look at McEvoy’s special olive presses. 

5935 Red Hill Rd., Petaluma; 866-617-6779 or

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