Family-focused and beyond welcoming, the twin cities of Cotati and Rohnert Park are wine country's friendliest places to call home
Often mentioned in the same breath, the twin cities of Cotati-Rohnert Park center around a welcoming, family-oriented lifestyle, but each carries a distinct personality, and both offer something unique among the cities and towns of Sonoma County.
Located at the southern edge of Santa Rosa and 20 minutes north of Petaluma, Cotati-Rohnert Park benefits greatly from their location. The proximity influences the area's largely suburban feel, offering residents modern convenience and plenty to do with the bustle of an urban environment or the remoteness of more rural living nearby.
Given its predominantly residential nature, life in Cotati-Rohnert Park is driven by the particular suburban lifestyle you're seeking. The master-planned Rohnert Park is a study in tight-knit community living with vibrant sidewalk neighborhoods, but there are also golf course communities around Foxtail Golf Club and clusters of homes near Sonoma State University.
The smaller Cotati features a similar lifestyle but with neighborhoods that have cropped up more organically than its sibling to the north. There's also a better chance to find large lots and rural landscapes in Cotati.
Tight-knit, community-driven neighborhoods spread amongst two complementary cities
Prime location central to Sonoma County's most popular destinations, including hundreds of wineries
Family-first atmosphere with a number of kid-friendly establishments, parks, and activities
World-class art and culture scene that includes the Green Music Center and Spreckels Performing Arts Center
The master-planned community Rohnert Park (one of the first such developments in the U.S.) is the larger of the two towns and is where the area derives much of its family-friendly atmosphere. Aptly nicknamed "The Friendly City," Rohnert Park is also a college town and draws much of its vibrancy from Sonoma State University's yearly enrollment of nearly 10,000 students.
If Rohnert Park is suburban-rural, Cotati flips the script with a more rural-suburban experience. Lots and homes run larger, and the city exudes a quaint, small-town identity that's had to resist.
Even with the vibrant food and drink scenes in nearby Santa Rosa and Petaluma, don't sleep on the culinary experience on display in Cotati-Rohnert Park. After all, you're still in Sonoma County, where there's always a savory meal or outstanding bottle of wine to be found.
In Rohnert Park, Amy's Drive Thru offers one of the best vegetarian experiences in the county. At the other end of the dining spectrum, the 630 Park Chophouse in Graton Resort Casino (which offers an incredible entertainment experience in its own right) plays up its lush, glamorous environs with modern steakhouse cuisine.
When exploring Cotati-Rohnert Park, the abundance of activities available for all ages is what stands out most. Foxtail Golf Club has two 18-hole courses open to the public, and there's the aforementioned Graton Resort and Casino. The Crane Creek Regional Park provides over 125 acres of outdoor fun, including hiking and biking, as well as a disc golf course.
Culturally, Cotati-Rohnert Park features two of the top performance art centers anywhere in the state. The Donald and Maureen Green Music Center is on the Sonoma State University campus, and the Spreckels Performing Arts Center is just a few minutes to the west.
The Scandia Family Fun Center is the place to go for families and large groups looking for fun and games. The Cotati Accordion Festival is a wonderfully unique event every August in Cotati's downtown La Plaza Park. Speaking of which, that same Downtown Plaza is hexagonal—one of just two similarly shaped downtowns in the entire country.
Cotati-Rohnert Park is home to a number of excellent schools. Some of the most celebrated educational opportunities include: