Santa Rosa, California

Located on the south-western gateway of the Napa and Sonoma valleys, Santa Rosa is just an hour away from the Golden Gate Bridge. The place has a large number of vineyards to offer and also boasts of a history that dates back to the 1850s.

Having seen its fair share of historical development and natural calamities, the city is a delightful adventure in several ways. Right from the climate of Santa Rosa to its water bodies, everything offers a novel twist to your journey.

There is a lot to explore here for the wildlife lover too and with the mountain ranges surrounding the city, the trekker can enjoy a good walk also. The city also offers museums and parks, each of which is unique in its own way.

Enjoy the vineyards here and go for wine tasting all over the city or check out the cultural diversity that the region has to offer.

Santa Rosa has a lot to offer those who enjoy city life as well as the outdoors. It has something to appeal to everyone's senses. Many businesses in the city also thrive.

Santa Rosa History

It is believed that the first European settlers in the region were the Carrillo family who came in during the 1830s. It was by the 1850s that the present downtown region of the city saw its first general store and also a Wells Fargo post. Julio Carrillo is said to have laid down the grid like pattern for the city, which is followed to date.

It was in the year 1868 that Santa Rosa received its official confirmation of incorporation and went on to becoming the third incorporated city of the Sonoma County. Once incorporated the city's population grew rapidly and by the year 1870 Santa Rosa was the 8th largest city in all of California.

While the San Francisco Earthquake did slow down the settlement in this region, post the World War II Santa Rosa began its upward trend once more. By the year 1970, the population had grown by two thirds its original strength. By the year 2020, it is expected that Santa Rosa will contain a population of 195,000 people.

The city has its fair share of historical buildings to offer that allow us a glimpse into the rich past of the area. The Old Courthouse Square was designed as the public square around which the rest of the city was laid out. Even today one can enjoy some of the old architecture around this region.

The Railroad Square is another area of downtown Santa Rosa that is known for its historical buildings and monuments. The tree lined streets of Santa Rosa house the older homes that survived the earthquake. Strangely, while most of the commercial properties of that time were damaged beyond repair, the private homes survived the quake and many of them exist to date.

Before the Carrillo family settled here, it is believed that the region was being used by the Mexican and Spanish settlers as their livestock slaughter house. This area is now the intersection between Santa Rosa Avenue and Sonoma Avenue. However, this activity came to a halt once the Carrillo family made their home here. The Carrillo family lent not only a structured development to the city but also understood its potential for growth and development.

About Santa Rosa, California

The county seat of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's wine county and boasts of a 41.50 square mile area. The city is roughly divided into four segments and the 2010 census indicated a population of about 167,815 people.

Santa Rosa was recognized as an incorporated city in the year 1867 and this was officially confirmed by the state in the following year. The city was damaged severely by the San Francisco earthquake in 1906 and this also slowed down the average number of new settlers in this area.

The Empire Building built in 1910 is one of the city's oldest landmarks and a huge tourist attraction too. The Luther Burbank Home and Gardens are a must see and offer a delightful insight into the history of the city. The Hotel La Rose, built in 1907, still stands tall and is a fully functioning hotel. The Sonoma County museum and the Spring Lake Regional Park deserve special mention for their exquisite displays.

Lying on the Santa Rosa Plain, the city has several tributaries of the Santa Rosa Creek flowing through it. While the Fountain Grove Lake and Lake Ralphine are two rather large bodies of water in the city, it is the Santa Rosa Creek Reservoir that enjoys the most visitors. The city is flanked by the Hood Mountains, the Taylor Mountains and the Sonoma Mountains.

These mountains and lakes allow species like the great blue herons, snowy egrets, mountain lions, turkeys, rabbits and deer to exist in the region. Raccoons, foxes and rabbits can be seen occasionally within the city limits.

The city has attracted several film makers from time to time of which Alfred Hitchcock has been the most famous His Shadow of a Doubt shows certain buildings of the city that were destroyed in the earthquake and no longer exist. The Man Who Wasn't There is a famous movie that was set in modern day Santa Rosa. Summer Repertory Theatre, the Santa Rosa Symphony, and the 6th Street Playhouse are the main performing arts companies in the city.

With prominent residents like Francis Boggs the actor, Luther Burbank and Warren Boyd, Santa Rosa does boast of a great balance between historical and modern day living. With about 259 employees in the police department, the law and order condition of the city is well maintained too.

About Sonoma County, California

Situated in the Northern coast of California, the Sonoma County enjoys the status of being the largest of all the San Francisco Bay Area counties. The largest city of the county is Santa Rosa, which is also the county seat of Sonoma County. Initially the county seat status lay with the town of Sonoma; however, with its decline in prominence, there was a choice between Santa Rosa and Petaluma. The latter lost out in an election and in 1854 Santa Rosa was declared the country seat.

The county boasts of 13 approved viticulture regions and over 250 wineries. Apart from wine, the county was also known for its poultry products, dairy products, hops, prunes and of course apples too. The immense amount of water here classified this region as the 8th most agriculturally productive area in the year 1920.

Once the Native American tribes were pushed out by the white settlement, the agricultural use of the land here was limited to grape plantations and pasture regions. It was the Russians who first broke ground in Sonoma and built Fort Ross in the year 1812. Later the Russians sold Fort Ross to the Mexicans. Sonoma has been claimed by the Spanish Empire, the Russian Empire, England, the California Republic of Mexico and finally by the US on the 9th of July 1846.

The total area on the county in the 2000 census was recorded as 1,768.23 square miles. Of this, 10.88% is water, while the rest is land. The county boasts of several mountain ranges like the Mayacamas and Sonoma Mountains that are all part of the North Coast Ranges. Sears Point and Hood Mountain are the most prominent peaks in the county.

The county is governed by a five legislative board of supervisors who serve for a period of four years. These supervisors further appoint the members for the 59 boards, commissions and committees. These cater to the economic growth of the country and also look into the management of the ecological resources and balance. Viticulture and tourism are the two most important sources of revenue generation in the county.