Petaluma’s the New Hot Spot (We Promise) and Here’s Where to Go

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.

Eat: The Drawing Board

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.

Drink: Barber Cellars

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.

Shop: Truck & Barter

What started as an online-only shop is now a beautiful brick-and-mortar. Expect to find blankets, home goods, totes and jewellery 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.

Stay: 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.

Do: 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.

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