IF I HAD ONE DAY… in petaluma, california

northern california is often overshadowed by the magical city san francisco. but there is so much more outside of the city that is itching to be explored. and petaluma, california is one of the many darling towns in northern california that deserves attention.

if i had one day in petaluma i would…

…eat lunch at roy’s. if you’re a hot dog connoisseur like me, you know a good dog when you eat one. and this place serves a good dog. you can get nearly anything you like. however, they strongly discourage ketchup. a couple of my friends tried {and loved} the cheese dog. and i devoured the rueben dog. i’ve also heard wonderful things about the buffalo dog. and if you don’t like hotdogs? no problem. they have a mean selection of sandwiches and completely worth the calories french fries.


…shop for old records at vinyl planet. this store is an impeccably organized vinyl store with an impressive collection of records from nearly all genres. and the prices are right. the average record price is $2.79 and nearly everything is under $10. the store owner is friendly and is as passionate about vinyl as he is customer service. allow yourself some time to peruse the collection here and i promise you won’t be disappointed.

…spend awhile shopping at the thrifty hippy. this fantastic shop is a fairly new thrift store in petaluma, but it’s quickly becoming a downtown favorite. the selection of furniture, clothing, and nic nacs are abundant. and the absolute friendliest people work here. i scored some serious loot on my last trip here for a wallet happy price.

…recharge your batteries at powell’s candy shoppe. while it is a franchise, this tiny lil store is family owned and operated and still has the aroma of a mom and pop shop. there is an abundance of candy from the ordinary to the unexpected and a gelato selection to die for. if i was you, i’d get a bowl of nutella or lavender poppy-seed {i know-strange but fabulous!} gelato and fill up a bag of yummy candy goodies.


…stop in and oo and aww at everything in the splendid little shoppe. this store is one of the tiny treasures in downtown petaluma. the shop is filled with unique, eclectic clothing as well as household items. the store is decorated brilliantly and a majority of the display furniture is for sale. i have to note that the customer service is below par {the past two times i visited, my friend and i both felt snubbed by the same employee and left with a sour taste from her demeanor} but the wide range of clothing, jewelry, art and candles truthfully make up for it.

…eat dinner at cafe zazzle. this lil’ restaurant makes my heart sing. the atmosphere, the food, and the service are all impeccable. the menu is quite extensive with a wide range of foods from thai noodles, quesadillas, salads, to their famous wraps certain to please everyone you dine with. {my personal favorites include tara’s salad and the santa fe wrap, add chicken}.

…have a beer {and food if you’re still hungry} at taps. the service is fun and the beers on tap are deeelish. i adore the purple haze, thanks to the suggestion of my friend sarah. it’s a light beer with a berry finish to it. have one for me if you stop in!

…have {at least} one more beer at mcnears. this restaurant and bar is a landmark in petaluma. there are several pool tables in the upstairs area as well as arcade games. it’s family friendly all day and becomes a 21+ venue in the evenings. it’s a seriously good time filled with seriously nice people. and if you’re lucky, you can stumble next door to the mystic and catch an amazing live band playing.

do you still feel like you need more to do? oh good, i’m glad! taste the ports and dinner wines at sonoma valley portworks. shop for gorgeous, handmade jewelry by a local petaluma designer at robindira unsworth. or taste beer at lagunitas brewery and try one of their many sandwiches or sausages.

still looking for things to do in petaluma? well jeez, you are one lucky thing getting to spend so much time in this town. email me and i’ll flood you with more ideas. but for most of you, i think this list here will guarantee a perfect day spent in petaluma.

if you’re lucky enough to spend a day in petaluma, california, you’re lucky enough

10 thoughts on “IF I HAD ONE DAY… in petaluma, california

  1. If you are among the legions of people who love the relaxing light floral scent of lavender and you plan to visit Northern Californias Wine Country or are lucky enough to live in this pastoral paradise the Lavender Bee Farm in Petaluma is a must-see attraction. This charming family-owned and operated farm grows English Provence and Grosso varieties of lavender and has its own bee hives which are used to produce their award-winning and incredibly tasty lavender honey.

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