The other day, I was invited to Downtown Santa Rosa, on behalf of Sonoma County Tourism, and as I met some other travel writers across the Bay Area, many mentioned how they didn’t realize how thriving the downtown Santa Rosa area has become, or knew about the beauty of Railroad square, so it dawned on me, Santa Rosa, really needs to be written about, so here it is.
Santa Rosa, really a central hub to Sonoma Wine Country, is a fun place to visit, and actually a GREAT place to find some fun gifts for loved ones, especially with the impending Holiday Season! And a GEM that many outside the area of Santa Rosa don’t really know about is the Historic Railroad Square.
Railroad Square developed in the 1880’s, when the first trains descended into Santa Rosa! The city has continued to develop the area in the past few years, and for anyone local, it’s definitely a little gem within the city.
Flying Goat Coffee:
If you start your day early and need a little pick me up, begin at Flying Goat Coffee.
Begin your day with breakfast or brunch at Omelette Express. Seriously, the BEST place in Santa Rosa to get an Omelette! If omelettes aren’t your thing, do not worry, they have other breakfast options available including Eggs Benedict, Fruit Bowls, Waffles and more!
After breakfast, begin your descent along 4th St, exploring the Shops along the way. If YOU love Antique’s, then you will absolutely love Railroad Square, as this is Antique Row in Santa Rosa.
Shuffles Magical Ice Cream Shop:
Craving ice cream? Stop into Shuffles Magical Ice Cream Shop where they will perform magic for you behind the counter! They also occasionally put on full on Magic Shows! Also, a great place to throw a birthday party if you have a little one.
Holiday Carriage Rides:
During December, Carriage Rides take place along Railroad Square from 11am-3pm every weekend! A really special time of the year to visit.
6th Street Playhouse:
Love Theater? Be sure to check out a show at 6th Street Playhouse! In 2004, a new partnership reunited the Santa Rosa Players and Actors Theatre under one board of directors. Together they renovated the 107-year-old Del Monte cannery into the 6th Street Playhouse.
There’s some REALLY Great restaurants around Railroad Square, some favorites include:
Jack & Tony’s: A full on Whiskey Bar and Restaurant!
La Gare French Restaurant: Probably known as one of Santa Rosa’s most romantic restaurants! This little gem has been in Railroad Square for well over 30 years! Serving Authentic French Cuisine with many great wine offerings!
The Pullman Kitchen: Always a GREAT option when visiting the Railroad Square area!
The Brasserie & Lounge: Located right in the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel. Convenient for those staying at the hotel.
After exploring Railroad Square you could continue your holiday shopping at the nearby Santa Rosa Plaza, or across the mall, descend into Downtown Santa Rosa, and shop along 4th Street! (which, another post will have to be written about this area!)