Home to about 500,000 residents, Sonoma is nestled in the northernmost part of the San Francisco Bay area. The county borders Napa County to the East before getting its share of the glistening waves of the Pacific.
With 25 years in the paving industry, we have been in all the nooks and crannies of the county and know Sonoma like the back of our hand. We also have some insights into why visitors come to the country, fall in love with it, and never leave. How about we let you in on the secret?
While the beautiful views and vineyards draw in visitors throughout the year, the mild year-round weather converts some into residents.
Being a coastal county, Sonoma has a range of climates and microclimates. However, the averages are in the 50s for winter and mid-80s in the summer. The coastal areas and Bodega Bay will typically be wetter and cooler, thanks to the breeze wiping in. These areas also get some afternoon fog. Santa Rosa and Petaluma also have a bit of fog, but they are warmer than Cloverdale and Healdsburg.
This county is also the ultimate gardener’s paradise. With 75 days of rainfall yearly, 40 inches of rainfall, and many crops that do well here, you can garden to your heart’s content.
The county’s beautiful rolling hills are dotted with several neighborhoods for residents to take their pick.
Some of the more popular areas are El Verano and Temelec.
El Verano offers residents a sparse suburban feel. If you come from a big city and are tired of the ‘living on top of each other’ aesthetic, this is just the place for you. Throw in families, professionals, and a solid school system; you might have the perfect place to call home.
Temelec is a little different, as every household must have a resident who is 55 years and older. This makes it more of a retiree spot, with the town of Sonoma a couple of minutes away.
Downtown Sonoma is the best place to begin apartment hunting for younger professionals and families with young children. Here, you will find new and renovated old buildings at varying price ranges. Other neighborhoods to consider are Fairville, Four Corners, Schellville, Railroad Avenue, and Mission Highlands.
Home doesn’t feel too homey if you constantly worry about your safety and property.
The violent crime rate in Sonoma is significantly lower than the national average, making it a reasonably safe place to live. Sonoma clocks in at 17.1, while the national average is 22.7. This is 4 points lower.
Similarly, the national property crime rate is 35.4, while Sonoma’s is 27.8.
It doesn’t matter if you are a lake person, a mountain one, or a beach lover; it’s all here. Picture that!
Have you ever heard of the Russian River? It winds from Cloverdale down to the estate side of Windsor. This offers a quick drive on weekends and holidays with the kids or when your pals come to town.
There is also Lake Sonoma, Spring Lake, and Laguna Santa Rosa. If you’re looking for something to get your blood moving, hiking at the Mayacamas, Sonoma Mountains, or Mount Saint Helena, Rangers should get the job done. Just remember to bring your climbing and biking gear as the adventure awaits.
Most counties are an either-or affair. Sonoma is different; you can choose to go urban or rural without leaving the county.
You can live downtown, in the coastal area, or settle inland on a ranch. Santa Rosa has 200,000 people, while Cotati has 7,000 people. You can pick the lifestyle you are looking for, and you’ll find a place in Sonoma where you fit right in.
Life is also about slower outside the larger cities; people linger longer in bookstores and coffee shops. Residents say hello and welcome you, and there is that warm, country sensibility and value of agriculture.
Sonoma is home to restaurants serving cuisine from all over the world. You will find Mexican, Peruvian, Italian, Portuguese, and French food around the corner.
And because we were saving the best for last, get this. Sonoma has 18 wine regions and over 425 wineries and counting! We need not say more.
In all fairness, every county, city, and country has some downsides, and Sonoma is no exception. The following stick out, but not enough to drive you away.
Living costs in Sonoma are 69% higher than the national average, with annual costs being pegged at $ 51,729 per person.
This amount is significantly higher than the national average of $ 38,000 for food, accommodation, childcare, healthcare, transport, taxes and other expenses.
Purchasing a house is not cheap either, with a median cost of $ 986,452 and rents going for $ 2,000.
Still, the county has a high homeownership rate because it is a preferred retirement destination.
…although this depends on where you are coming from. If you are coming from a large city, you will barely notice it. However, the traffic will likely be frustrating if you come from a small or rural town.
Luckily, you don’t need to be on the major roads during peak hours. The backroads in Sonoma are beautiful, faster, and far from the huge, bullish trucks monopolizing the highways. If you get worked up in traffic, opt for the back roads.
Sonoma is definitely a yay for people looking for a slower pace in a rural, albeit vibrant town.
The open spaces, greenery, schools, leisure activities, and country values make this county ideal for families with young ones. Retirees will also find a peaceful haven here among peers.
And you are not short on help. Once you settle in, First Class Paving will be happy to welcome you to Sonoma with that irresistible, famed country hospitality. Don’t hesitate to call us for all your paving needs.