Old-timers will remember Petaluma as the egg basket of the country. Once, thousands of chicken farms operated on the outskirts of town. Today, Petaluma retains its rural feel, but those chicken farms have given way to cattle ranches, vineyards, and increasingly, housing developments for residents who appreciate the access to affordable homes and the direct commute to San Francisco 35 miles south on U.S. Route 101.

If there is a single word to describe Petaluma and its homes, it is picturesque. The older part of town to the west of U.S. Route 101 has retained many of its old Victorian homes, the former mansions of the chicken barons. Petaluma’s commercial core is on the National Register of Historic Places. The central shopping district, mainly two-story stone buildings, has recently undergone a revitalization that includes an emphasis on downtown living. More than 30 antique shops operate in the old-town district.

Petaluma is graced with a riverfront – once the third busiest in California – that has been restored, as well as a river walk. The galleries along the river showcase some of the best artists in the North Bay. Restaurants along the river provide a perfect place to gaze at sailboats as they pass through the distinctive D Street drawbridge. The annual Butter and Eggs Parade, held in April, hearkens back to a simpler time.

The schools in Petaluma are ranked among some of the highest in the county.

For information about the current real estate market in Petaluma, check out our Petaluma real estate market conditions page.