As the air begins to clear, and the final heatwave of the summer nears... just in time for the long holiday weekend, we explore the charming town of Petaluma! Offering family fun, tasty food, and maybe a date night or two, we’ve compiled a list of tried and true social-distancing-approved activities and destinations in and around Petaluma.
Wiseman Park, Petaluma: St Augustine Cir, Petaluma, CA 94954, open from Sunrise to sunset.
Enjoy a stroll with the pups, a bike ride with a view of rolling hills, or a picnic under the trees. Unfortunately, play structures are closed, but there is plenty of space to spread out on the grass for the kids to run free without running into others. There is a paved path that runs through the park that spans from Casa Grande along Hidden Valley Drive, St Augustine Cir, and Caulfield Ln to the creek where Caulfield ends in a cul-de-sac. We suggest parking alongside the path on St Augustine Cir.
Cornerstone Sonoma: 23570 Arnold Dr, Sonoma CA 95476
Just over the hill from Petaluma sits Cornerstone Sonoma featuring lush gardens, unique art, wine tasting, and more.
Enjoy garden or patio seating daily from 10 am – 5 pm at Prohibition Spirits, Highwayman Wines, Obsidian Wine Co, and Meadowcroft Wines. Or visit the Ramekins Pop-up in the outdoor Sunset Test Kitchen, offering delicious bites including artisan pizza as well as beer, wine, and cocktails Friday – Sunday from 11 am – 5 pm.
Stafford Lake: 3549 Novato Blvd, Novato CA
For a scenic hike or a lazy afternoon of fishing, head to Stafford Lake Park in rural Novato. Bring a chair and some food to enjoy a picnic or bring your mountain or BMX bike to ride hills and jumps in the 17-acre bike park! There is plenty of parking, and the entry fee is $5/vehicle. No dogs allowed with the exception of trained service animals.
The Block: 20 Grey St., Petaluma CA 94952 - (707) 775-6003, open Monday to Thursday 4 pm – 8 pm, Friday to Sunday 12 pm – 8 pm.
The Block introduced the concept of a food truck park/beer garden just a few short years ago and quickly became a favorite hangout for many Petalumans – and that was before the bar was expanded to include a shiny new beer fermenter along with a full bar and a menu full of delicious cocktails. Both Jackie Boys BBQ and Firetrail Pizza are permanent residents at The Block, and on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays you can expect a rotating selection of food trucks and tents offering anything from Japanese BBQ, Greek food, tacos, and even sushi burritos! Check the website under Trucks to see who will be there and plan your visit!
What you need to know: Masks to be worn when not at your table, open seating both sheltered and open-air, kids and well-behaved dogs welcome (kids must stay at the table)
*Risibisi: 154 Petaluma Blvd North, Petaluma CA 94952 - (707) 766-7600, open 7 days a week with Happy Hour 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm, Dinner, and Takeout 4 pm – 8:30 pm.
Risibisi has gone the extra mile to make their delicious Italian dishes available to those who want a served meal in a relaxing, beautiful outdoor setting. With daily happy hours – featuring small bites and a handful of drink specials for $7 or less – and shaded seating by the river, you’re in for a treat!
What you need to know: Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the restaurant or via their website, masks required when not at your table, no more than 10 people per party, the outdoor seating is behind the restaurant on Water St.
*Brewsters: 229 Water St., Petaluma CA94952 - (707) 981-8330, open 7 days a week, hours vary.
Brewsters’ massive beer garden has made social distancing easy, particularly with directional flow walkways to ensure everyone has enough space. While the rotating beer selection is impressive, the cocktail list is the star of the show with unique craft cocktails like the Petaluma and the Spritz Carlton. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am – 2 pm with delicious rotating menu offerings.
What you need to know: Reservations encouraged (via Opentable), masks must be worn when not at your table, kids and well-behaved dogs welcome but kids must remain at the table (the play area and the bocce court are closed).
Two Niner Diner: 561 Skyranch Rd Ste A, Petaluma, CA 94954 - (707) 765-2900, open Wednesday to Friday 8:30 am – 3 pm.
Do you like the idea of enjoying delicious breakfast or lunch dishes in the warm summer sun while watching small airplanes take off? Located at the Petaluma Municipal Airport, the Two Niner Diner offers brunch foods, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and a modest selection of beer & wine (plus generously poured MIMOSAS!). For a perfect afternoon activity, walk the path through Weisman Park from Casa Grande then break off onto the dirt path to continue toward the airport then grab a table and relax!
What you need to know: Masks must be worn when away from your table, the bathroom is a short walk from the dining area and requires a key, you must bus your own table using the trays your meal was served on.
*The Shuckery: 205 Kentucky St, Petaluma CA 94952 - (707) 981-7891, open Thursday to Monday 5 pm – 8 pm
Did someone say Oyster Happy Hour?? If $1.50 oysters are what you need in your life, head over to The Shuckery’s outdoor dining space in the beautiful courtyard of the Hotel Petaluma. The full menu is available outdoors and Happy Hour is on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 5 pm – 6 pm.
What you need to know: Reservations are recommended and can be booked via Opentable. Masks required when not at your table. Children and well-behaved pets welcome!
Adobe Road: Currently offering tastings at the Riverfront Café – 224 B St Petaluma CA 94952 - (707) 774-6699
Adobe Road is a Petaluma favorite for those who love big red wines and though their brand new riverfront tasting room is still under construction, they partnered with the Riverfront Café to offer outdoor tastings on the river while county restrictions require it. Feel free to bring the family – yes, even the dog! – and enjoy a Classic Tasting including 4 wines for $35/person ($20 for members) for groups of up to 8 people.
What you need to know: Reservations recommended (see website), masks required when not at your table, tables spaced at double the recommended distance.
La Dolce Vita: 151 Petaluma Boulevard South Ste #117, Petaluma, CA 94952 - (707) 763-6363, Thurs – Sat 2 - 8 pm.
La Dolce Vita has become a go-to gathering place for wine lovers of all kinds due to their extensive selection of wines from wine regions all over the world as well as a reliable selection of delicious food choices on the menu. You can choose from a single taste, a flight (build-your-own or pre-set), or a glass then purchase whatever you like most by the bottle to bring home.
What you need to know: seating for up to 10 people is available on the patio but advanced notice is highly recommended. Masks to be worn when not seated at your table.
McEvoy Ranch: 5935 Red Hill Rd, Petaluma, CA 94952 - (866) 617-6779, open every day from 11 am – 5 pm.
McEvoy Ranch, a name that may sound familiar even if you’ve never been to the Ranch due to the selection of olive oils, balsamic vinegar, tapenades, and other culinary treats often found in specialty grocery stores. The Ranch is located in the hills of Western Petaluma and hidden in a beautiful valley surrounded by alternating rows of vines and olive trees.
Currently, the Taste of the Season experience is $70/person (minimum 2 people, maximum 6) and includes a selection of pre-boxed fruits, local cheeses, charcuterie, and complimentary culinary items.
What you need to know: Masks required unless seated at your table. The experience lasts from 1 to 1.5 hours and tables must be vacated promptly after 1.5 hours to ensure time for proper sanitation between tasting groups. Cell signal can be spotty depending on the carrier, so it is recommended to search for directions while service is not an issue.
Cline Cellars: 24737 Arnold Drive, Highway 121, Sonoma, CA 95476 - (707) 940-4044, open Thurs – Mon 11 am – 5 pm by reservation only.
Cline Cellars is a local favorite due to its vast selection of varietals, an accessible price per bottle, and beautiful scenery. At the moment, tasting options include:
· A 1-hour seated tasting for $15/person (max 8 guests)
· A complimentary 1-hour tasting for Pendulum club members and up to 3 guests
· A private cabana for 2-hours that includes a bottle of Nancy’s Cuvee sparkling wine, a provisions basket full of cheeses, crackers, nuts, and charcuterie as well as a private host to facilitate additional bottle purchases - $60/person ($50 for members) 4-6 guests
What you need to know: Masks must be worn unless seated in your designated tasting area, your temperature will be checked upon arrival via touchless thermometer, no outside food or beverage.
And that's just a small selection of the places to enjoy...
Stay tuned for next week's article featuring our favorite curbside/takeout spots in Petaluma!
In the meantime remember that with the ever-changing regulations and business-specific situations, it is important that you verify business hours and make any recommended or necessary reservations prior to visiting any of the places listed above. While visiting it’s important that you follow not only the rules of the County but also the rules of the businesses, helping keep everyone safe. With that said, get out your calendar and start planning your next outing!
*Restaurants that offer delivery via Petaluma Food Taxi – help support local businesses!
Enjoy the adventure! Guest Author - Stacy Luther