Moving to Santa Rosa


Welcome to the adventure of moving to Santa Rosa, California! As a city that proudly showcases rich culture, vibrant art scene, and world-class wine - Santa Rosa is always buzzing with life and activities. Tucked away in the heart of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa embodies the very essence of the Californian dream - amazing weather, picturesque landscapes, and an inviting community. Our comprehensive relocation guide is designed to provide you with an in-depth understanding of what to expect and tips on settling smoothly into this charming city. So, buckle up and let us journey into the excitement that awaits.

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What to Know Before Moving to Santa Rosa

1. A City of Wine and Roses

Amongst the rolling hills of Northern California, tucked away in the heart of wine country, lies the inviting city of Santa Rosa. Here, vineyards intersperse with historic neighborhoods, and the aroma of blooming roses perfumes the air, hence it's often called a "City of Wine and Roses". Whether you're a wine aficionado, a nature lover, or a history buff, Santa Rosa has a little something for everyone.

2. Unpredictable Weather

Sure, California may be known for its eternally sunny disposition but Santa Rosa sure knows how to keep you on your toes. In this part of the Golden State, it's not unusual to experience all four seasons in one day. Layering, therefore, isn't just a fashion statement here. It's a necessary survival skill.

3. Epicurean Delight

Santa Rosa is a genuine food lover's paradise. It's home to some of California's most mouthwatering cuisine, with an emphasis on farm-to-table offerings. The local produce is so fresh; you might find it difficult to enjoy fruits and veggies elsewhere again. The gastronomic variety also ranks off-charts, with a veritable smorgasbord of ethnic eateries, high-end restaurants, and food trucks for that midnight burrito.

4. Peek into the Past with the Unique 'Charlie Brown' connection

Here's one for the trivia-seekers: Santa Rosa is famously known as the longtime home of Charles Schulz, the creator of the iconic "Peanuts" comic strip. The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center located here is a homage to the cartoonist's work. So if you're a fan of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and their animated comrades, Santa Rosa, is the place to be.

5. Little Known Eucalyptus Tip

When in Santa Rosa, make sure to amp up your eucalyptus identification skills. Not just because these trees are a common sight here, but also because Santa Rosa has an intriguing, but little known eucalyptus tree - the Marsden Mansion. This tree doubles up as a hidden treehouse, providing a fun, and free leisurely activity for both children and adults alike. Have fun spotting it!

6. The Great Outdoors

Last but not least, Santa Rosa is a haven for those who love outdoor adventures. From hiking and biking to hot air ballooning and kayaking, there's never a dull moment here. Take advantage of the city's picturesque landscapes and extraordinary parks, including the stunning Trione-Annadel State Park and Howarth Park. Enjoy the serene vistas of Spring Lake or step back in time amidst the 5,000 rose plants at the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens.

Moving to Santa Rosa, CA signals an enthralling chapter in life complete with the enchantment of nature, historical intrigue, world-class cuisine, unpredictable weather dynamics, and a Peanuts-inspired walk through memory lane. While the city checks all boxes for conveniences, hold that special note for the magnificent eucalyptus tree with the hidden treehouse. Undeniably, Santa Rosa adds not just a sparkle, but a whole glittering galaxy to the Golden State's charm.

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Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Rosa

Pros of Living in Santa Rosa

Proximity to Wine Country

One of the key benefits of living in Santa Rosa is immediate proximity to world-renowned wine country. With Napa Valley and Sonoma County just a short drive away, wine lovers will revel in the ease of access to countless world-class wineries and vineyards.

Vibrant Art Scene

Santa Rosa boasts a diverse and vibrant art scene, with a myriad of museums, art galleries, and festivals throughout the year. The iconic Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center is also located here, showcasing the creativity of the "Peanuts" cartoonist.

Outdoor Activities

The outdoor activities in Santa Rosa are endless. From places like Howarth Park or Annadel State Park, one can enjoy hiking, biking, boating, and horse riding experiences. Santa Rosa is also close to the Pacific Ocean beaches and other scenic points of northern California.

Diverse Culinary Scene

Being so close to Napa Valley and Sonoma County means not only that there's great wine, but also a diverse and tantalizing culinary scene. The locally sourced ingredients are a huge selling point for foodies who love exploring different cuisines.

Great Climate

With its mild Mediterranean climate, Santa Rosa offers year-round good weather. The summers are dry and warm while the winters are mild and wet, making it an excellent place for those who prefer more temperate weather.

Cons of Living in Santa Rosa

Cost of Living

As with most areas of California, the cost of living in Santa Rosa is relatively high. The everyday expenses such as groceries, healthcare, and specifically housing can exceed national averages, making it less affordable for some.

Wildfire Risk

Santa Rosa has an increased risk of wildfires, a concern that has grown in California in recent years. These wildfires have resulted in loss of property and occasionally have necessitated evacuations, representing a serious challenge to living in this area.

Traffic and Commute

The traffic and commute times in Santa Rosa can be problematic, especially during peak hours. While not as bad as some larger cities, residents still complain about congestion on major roads and highways.

Less Urban Feel

For those who prefer a more urban lifestyle, Santa Rosa might feel a bit too peaceful and slow. The city doesn't have the high energy or fast pace often associated with metropolitan living.

Earthquake Risk

As with much of California, Santa Rosa is prone to earthquakes. It's in an active seismic region. While strict construction codes are in place to manage the risks, it can still be a worry for some.

Modern day picture of Santa Rosa, CA highlighting pros and cons of living in Santa Rosa, CA

Is Santa Rosa a Good Place to Live?

Santa Rosa, CA is a great place to live because it offers a wonderful blend of urban and suburban amenities with great schools, fabulous weather, and a lively arts scene. Nestled in the heart of the famous Sonoma County Wine Region, it provides an unparalleled experience to wine enthusiasts and foodies alike. Moreover, its scenic beauty, from lush vineyards to stunning coastlines, adds an extra charm to the overall quality of life here.

What Is Santa Rosa Famous For?

World-Class Wines

Sitting at the heart of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa is renowned for its world-class wine production. With numerous wineries and vineyards in the surrounding area producing exceptional Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel varieties, wine enthusiasts will certainly find Santa Rosa a veritable wine haven. You may check out Sonoma County's wineries directory for a list of local wineries to visit.

Birthplace of Peanuts Creator, Charles Schulz

Santa Rosa is notably famous for being the long-time home of Charles Schulz, the famed cartoonist behind the "Peanuts" comic strip. Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, where you can explore the life and art of this legendary cartoonist, is one of Santa Rosa's notable landmarks.

Safari West Wildlife Preserve

Yes, you can go on safari without leaving California! Santa Rosa houses the Safari West Wildlife Preserve, a whopping 400-acre wildlife sanctuary where visitors can commune with and observe exotic animals like giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, and countless species of birds, in an environment that closely mimics their natural habitats.

Stunning Natural Beauty

Located amidst rolling hills and boasting numerous trails, parks, and open spaces, Santa Rosa never fails to impress with its splendorous natural beauty. Whether you're a fan of hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a picnic under the California sky, Santa Rosa's landscapes, including the Spring Lake Regional Park and Trione-Annadel State Park, offer great spots for outdoor entertainment.

Capital building of Santa Rosa, CA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate in Santa Rosa, CA is approximately 0.793%. This is slightly lower than the average property tax rate across the United States which is about 1.1%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in Santa Rosa, CA is currently at 9.25% in 2023. Unlike many other states, California has a relatively high sales tax rate. The average across the United States is approximately 7.12%.

Income Tax

California uses a progressive income tax system, and so for Santa Rosa residents, rates can range from 1% to 13.3% as of 2023, depending on the taxable income. This is significantly higher than most other states in the US where the average highest tax rate is around 6.5%.

Housing Market

The housing market in Santa Rosa, CA is more expensive compared to other parts of the US, with a median home value of $667,781, which saw an 8.6% increase over the past year. The rental market is also expensive, with the median rent sitting at $2,395 per month. Buyers should be prepared for competitive bidding, as homes often sell for around list price and go pending in around 25 days. Meanwhile, renters will need to factor in higher living costs. In comparison, the national median home value is $278,200 and median rent is $1,650.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Santa Rosa, CA, is significantly higher than the US average, largely attributable to housing prices. Compared with cities such as San Francisco and San Jose, the cost is notably less, making it relatively more affordable within the Bay Area. However, when compared to national midsize cities, Santa Rosa tends to be more expensive. Key factors contributing to its cost-effectiveness are higher wages due to the tech industry nearby, a low unemployment rate, and the high quality of life it offers.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Santa Rosa, CA, is graced with a Mediterranean climate characterized by cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The annual average temperature is a pleasant 72degF with plenty of sunshine. Summer temperatures can sometimes rise above 90degF, while winter rarely sees temperatures below freezing. Rainfall is most common from November through April, yet extreme weather events are not unusual. Santa Rosa is unfortunately prone to several natural disasters due to its geographical location. Wildfires, such as the devastating Tubbs Fire of 2017, pose a significant threat. The echo of constant vigilance against earthquakes resonates due to its proximity to the notorious San Andreas Fault. Flooding is also a potential hazard during the winter months. Despite these challenges, Santa Rosa's agreeable climate and stunning landscapes continue to charm its residents and visitors.

Typical weather in Santa Rosa, CA

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare & Social Assistance

* Retail Trade

* Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services

* Education (Including both public and private sector jobs)

* Construction

The economic engine of Santa Rosa, CA is powered by a myriad of industries. The city, steeped in history and blessed with bountiful natural resources at its disposal, initially thrived on agriculture and manufacturing. Over time, however, Santa Rosa has seamlessly transitioned into a vibrant, modern economy ushering in a diverse range of industries that contribute to its growth. Today, the heartbeat of Santa Rosa's economy reverberates in the busy hallways of healthcare institutions, the bustling aisles of retail trade, the innovative corridors of professional, scientific & technical services, the vibrant classrooms of education, and in the buzzing construction sites.

If you're contemplating a move to Santa Rosa, CA and aiming to nose dive right into the job market, you're in luck! Santa Rosa parries job seekers in all directions with an admirable employment rate. Naturally, you might want to gravitate towards the healthcare and retail trade; these sectors continue to absorb a significant chunk of professionals. Nevertheless, the city's economy also beams a friendly wink to those tethered to education, the professional, scientific & technical services, and construction, with a promising market. Moreover, Santa Rosa is a place that celebrates innovation and creativity; hence, professionals in the tech space will also find ample opportunities to discover and flourish.

Traffic and Transportation

Scoot over to Santa Rosa, CA, where traffic and transportation are smooth rides! Average commute times hover around 26.8 minutes, slightly quicker than the national average. That means you have more time to catch the sunrise, smell the roses, and grab that last cup of java! Speaking of java, if you're in no mood for driving, hop aboard one of Santa Rosa's buzzing CityBus services or hail a whimsically-named Uber or Lyft. Long-distance travelers can rejoice too, with the Sonoma County Airport just a stone's throw away. Oh wait, they even have Alaska Airlines! So, whether you're land cruising or sky surfing in Santa Rosa, the journey is always part of the fun! Buckle up, enjoy the ride, and leave your worries in the rear-view mirror. Santa Rosa is not just a destination; it's a way of life!

What is the traffic like in Santa Rosa, CA?

Best Neighborhoods in Santa Rosa

1. Fountaingrove

For someone looking for an upscale neighborhood with a touch of sophistication, Fountaingrove is at the top of the list! Known for its luxury homes nestled atop rolling hills, the neighborhood offers breathtaking views of Santa Rosa and the surrounding wine country. This neighborhood attracts those who love style and sophistication with a quiet and safe environment. It has an aura of serenity and peacefulness that makes it an oasis in the busy world.

2. Montecito Heights

Montecito Heights is a hidden gem where residents enjoy lovely homes set among picturesque spires of redwood trees. This neighborhood is a haven for nature lovers and those seeking the tranquility that comes with being near healing greenery. It boasts well-kept parks for residents who revel in outdoor activities. Families and individuals alike would find Montecito Heights a perfect balance of tranquility, community spirit, and natural beauty.

3. Junior College

In contrast, Junior College neighborhood offers a bustling vibe. The neighborhood is known for Santa Rosa Junior College, one of the revered community colleges in California. It's a diverse, vibrant area, teeming with historic homes, cute bungalows and architectural gems. Weekend Farmer's market is a popular ritual among residents offering a diverse range of food and local produce. In addition, the neighborhood also houses some of Santa Rosa's best eateries and coffee shops.

4. Bennett Valley

Bennett Valley attracts those who cherish the subtler, mellower side of life. Complementing the vineyard-studded landscape are the verdant greens of the Bennett Valley Golf Course. The Spring Lake Regional Park that is located nearby is a great place for picnicking, walking, jogging, and wildlife viewing. This quiet and family-oriented neighborhood offers a balanced life - you get the suburban peace while still being close to the city life of Santa Rosa.

5. Railroad Square

Last but certainly not least, Railroad Square is the place to be if you crave a neighborhood filled with historic charm and modern convenience. It's Santa Rosa's 'Old Town' with a fashionable twist, filled with antique stores, chic boutiques, and cool tasting rooms hosted by local wineries. The neighborhood, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is also a hub of festivities during holiday seasons oozing festive charm and local spirit.

To wrap up, Santa Rosa has neighborhoods that cater to varied tastes and lifestyle needs. Whether you want the sophisticated aura of Fountaingrove, the tranquility of Montecito Heights or Bennett Valley, the vibrant life of Junior College, or the historic charm of Railroad Square, Santa Rosa has something to offer for everyone. All you need to do is pick the one that suits your vibe the best and voila, you will feel at home!

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Things to Do


Looking for your next adventure in sunny California? Santa Rosa, the largest city in California's Redwood Empire, Wine Country and the North Bay, is just the place for you! Saturated with vibrant culture, overflowing with fine wineries, and abound with outdoor activities, Santa Rosa lays out an exciting welcome mat for anyone planning to relocate and establish roots. Here are the top seven things to do in Santa Rosa!

1. Explore the Charles M. Schulz Museum

A must-visit for devoted Peanuts fans, this museum is dedicated to the comic strip's creator, Charles M. Schulz. It holds the largest collection of original Peanuts artwork in the world, along with personal artifacts representing Schulz's life and career. The museum offers exhibits, educational programs, and Peanuts-themed events that bring to life the joy and philosophy embedded in Schulz's timeless work.

2. Immerse in Nature at Trione-Annadel State Park

Experience the beauty of California's outdoors in the 5000+ acres of Trione-Annadel State Park. It's a perfect place for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and photography with more than 40 miles of trails winding through open grasslands, wildflower meadows, and stands of Redwood and oak. In spring, the park's Lake Ilsanjo is a delight to view with a bloom of water lilies.

3. Sample Wine at Russian River Vineyards

A stop at Russian River Vineyards is a must for any wine enthusiast. Savor world-class, sustainably grown wines in the outdoor wine garden, overlooking scenic vineyards. Apart from wine tasting, the vineyard also offers delicious food at its farm-to-table restaurant.

4. Visit the Children's Museum of Sonoma County

An interactive wonderland designed to inspire creative learning in children, the Children's Museum of Sonoma County offers a wealth of exhibits. The museum's flagship exhibit "Spirit of Santa Rosa" is a hydraulic replica of the city ideal for learning and fun-filled exploration.

5. Stroll Through Historic Railroad Square

Experience the nostalgic charm of Santa Rosa at Historic Railroad Square, a vibrant neighborhood known for its vintage shops, unique dining experiences, and special events. The district, adorned with restored old buildings and quaint brick sidewalks, offers a glimpse into Santa Rosa's rich history.

6. Discover the Secret Sculpture Garden

One of Santa Rosa's best-kept secrets, the Paradise Ridge Winery's Sculpture Garden, is a delight for art and nature lovers. A unique outdoor exhibition, it blends magnificent artwork within the stunning landscape of the surrounding vineyards. A leisurely stroll here reveals thought-provoking installations that challenge the boundaries of contemporary art.

7. Hike the Santa Rosa Creek Reservoir

A hidden gem even to many locals, the Santa Rosa Creek Reservoir is an offbeat hiking destination featuring a secluded forest setting, vibrant wildlife, and tranquil waters. Ideal for a quiet, restorative walk, this spot truly embodies the raw beauty and tranquility of Santa Rosa's wilderness.

In all its diverse beauty, Santa Rosa is sure to charm the socks off anyone willing to explore its depths. From its secret sculpture gardens, hidden hiking trails, to its well-known historical neighborhoods and world-class wineries, there's so much to love about this glorious gem in the heart of Wine Country. So pack your bags and ready your spirit for a Californian adventure like no other!

' Things to do in Santa Rosa, CA?

Find Movers for Your Santa Rosa Relocation

As you contemplate your move to the vibrant and serene city of Santa Rosa, let Great Guys Moving simplify the process for you. We have a longstanding tradition of partnering with top-notch, affordable movers known for their quality service. With our user-friendly system, we'll connect you with licensed and insured moving companies ready to make your move as smooth as possible. The adventure of settling into your new Santa Rosa home awaits. Start this exciting journey on the right foot by requesting a free moving quote through Great Guys Moving today.

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