Simply Santa Rosa

Welcome Center Image Courtesy Of The Santa Rosa Metro Chamber

Should you navigate to 38°N, 123°W or thereabouts, you’ll have found yourself in the vibrant core of Sonoma County – the burgeoning big town / little city of Santa Rosa.  Yes, Santa Rosa is technically a Northern California city, but it doesn’t feel that way.

Meandering down the streets, past the shops, restaurants and historic homes and buildings of downtown Santa Rosa, there is an undeniable sense of change in the air.  Case in point: the recently re-unified courthouse square.  In its inception, the square served as the town center and public gathering space of the city.  The courthouse was built after the Victorian-era architectural style, as were many of the homes built in the late 1800’s & early 1900’s in Santa Rosa.  More than a courthouse, the surrounding courtyard has been described as the civic heart of the early Santa Rosa community.  Over time and modernization, the courtyard was eventually bisected by a major roadway, effectively chopping the courtyard in two and making way for greater vehicular traffic in the downtown area – which seemed like a good idea at the time.  Starting in 2016, the city of Santa Rosa undertook the large project of reunification of the square, with the intent to bring back the character that had been diminished, and to provide a new life to the big little city.  Now, the square is home to music festivals, markets, movies and even “ice” skating activities in the winter, not to mention many a place to pause and enjoy the view.

A rejuvenation and renaissance is bubbling in Santa Rosa – with large one of a kind murals popping up on hitherto unadorned commercial buildings, even more community parks in planning or underway, and vibrant, eclectic boutiques and a diverse array of restaurants tantalizing many an adventuring traveler.

Another icon of Santa Rosa that has recently undergone a transformation is The Flamingo Resort & Spa.  This writer is happy to report that the original pink flamingo is still poised like a beacon of hospitality at the entree to this mid-century marvel.  Built in 1957, the hotel was host to many traveling celebrities and musicians in its golden-era heyday.  Over the past 10 years, and especially in the most recent few, the Flamingo has fluffed up its feathers and is once again strutting proudly.  The mid-century charm of the hotel has been gracefully maintained, while updates have been made to the look, feel and experience that the modern traveler expects.  Sure, they still have mai-tai’s (three cheers for that!), but now you can have that mai-tai in on a comfortable covered patio complete with heaters and firepits if it’s chilly, and poolside cabanas if the sun is a-shining.

As everyone knows, the need for more housing naturally follows growth.  The Sonoma County airport has just expanded, the Smart Train is already here, and the influx of new residents to Sonoma County from Southern California, the Bay area and out of state is real.  Multi-family residential housing is becoming more and more prevalent, in order to meet the needs of the rental market.  Single-family home building has been going on since the fires of 2018, and with new home communities coming online soon, it’s ramping up!

The desire to live in a beautiful place is not going to go away, if the trend of working from home tells us anything, it tells us that home is even more important now than ever.  So why Santa Rosa?  Let us count the ways:

  1. Santa Rosa is close to the (real) city, but not too close.
  2. Santa Rosa is close to the coast, but not always chilly and foggy.
  3. Santa Rosa is close to the mountains, but we don’t have to shovel snow.
  4. Santa Rosa is in the middle of world-famous wine country, and the cheese and beer are great too.
  5. Santa Rosa is diverse and forward-thinking.
  6. Santa Rosa lets you get out and enjoy nature any which way go care to go.
  7. Santa Rosa makes travel to and fro easy.
  8. Santa Rosa celebrates its history while embracing the future.
  9. Santa Rosa’s people smile when you see them.
  10. Santa Rosa feels like home.

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