8 Beautiful Places to Go In Santa Rosa That Locals Rave About

Updated on April 26th, 2023

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Santa Rosa, California is home to some stunning scenery, there’s no shortage of beautiful destinations to visit and explore. Regardless of it you’re looking for natural wonderlands, historical landmarks, or charming wineries, Santa Rosa has something for everyone. So whether you’re a recent transplant renting an apartment in Santa Rosa or you’re looking for homes in the area, read about the many beautiful places that await you.

Photo by: Mendocino Photo & Video

One of my favorite places in Santa Rosa is Annadel State Park. It’s nearby to town but when I hike there it also really feels like I’m out of the city. The wildflowers are beautiful in springtime, there is a fresh lake for swimming in the summer, and in the fall you can see many deer walking peacefully through the forest. It also offers some thrilling mountain bike rides and beautiful views of the Santa Rosa Valley.” -Nile Sprague, Mendocino Photo & Video 

1. Trione-Annadel State Park

Trione-Annadel State Park is a natural wonderland located at the eastern edge of Santa Rosa. The park’s 5,092 acres are home to a variety of wildflowers, trees, and wildlife such as deer, squirrels, and birds. The park’s extensive network of trails, including the popular Lake Ilsanjo and Canyon trails, offer sweeping views of the park’s rolling hills, forests, and lakes.

Photo by: Elise Alieen Photography + Artistry

As someone that was born and raised here in Santa Rosa, I still find it so beautiful. The trails at Annadel are some of my favorite places to explore and take my photography clients to! From Spring to Fall, the way the seasons change with wild flowers or the golden grass in the Fall…it’s such a beautiful area of Santa Rosa.” –Elise Alieen 

2. Sonoma Botanical Garden 

Sonoma Botanical Garden is a beautiful natural sanctuary that offers an abundance of colorful flowers and plants to see. Its winding pathways and breathtaking landscapes are perfect for exploring the great outdoors. With its lush gardens and winding pathways, this is the perfect spot to relax, take a stroll, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area.

3. Spring Lake Regional Park 

Spring Lake Regional Park is one of Sonoma County’s most popular parks, featuring 320 acres of trails, boating, camping, picnic areas, a seasonal swimming lagoon, water park and boat rentals. The park’s lush greenery, sparkling lake, and picturesque hills make it the ideal place to visit on a sunny day. 

Photo by: Diana Jex Photography

“One of my favorite places in Santa Rosa is Spring Lake Park! It’s a gorgeous park filled with walking paths and trails. Beautiful year round, this park offers water recreation, camping, hiking and running!” –Diana Jex 

Photo by: Monica Krystal Photography

As a photographer, I’m always on the hunt for beautiful locations local to me. Years ago, I discovered Spring Lake in Santa Rosa. Not only does it have amazing spots for photos, but it’s a fun place to just hang, swim, and even kayak!”Monica Krystal 

4. Inman Family Wines

Nestled among the picturesque rolling hills of Santa Rosa, Inman Family Wines is a boutique winery that showcases the true essence of Sonoma County’s diverse terroir. Established in 2000 by Kathleen Inman, this family-owned and operated vineyard is dedicated to crafting small-lot, artisanal wines that capture the unique characteristics of the Russian River Valley.

Photo by: Adrian Tamblin Photography

“If you’re visiting Santa Rosa and looking for a great winery to visit, look no further than Inman Family Wines. It’s a hidden gem tucked away in a charming farmhouse just northwest of downtown Santa Rosa. The winery offers a truly unique and intimate wine-tasting experience and you’ll usually get to meet the owner and winemaker, Kathleen Inman, who is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about her craft. She takes the time to share her expertise and educate visitors on the winemaking process, making the tasting experience both fun and informative.” –Adrian Tamblin 

5. Griffith Woods 

Griffith Woods is a breathtaking nature preserve located in the heart of Santa Rosa that offers a serene and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. This lush oasis is a nature lover’s paradise, with sprawling trees, and a tranquil creek providing a picturesque setting. Its serene atmosphere and beautiful scenery make it the perfect place to unwind while surrounded by the beauty of nature. 

6. Chateau St. Jean

Chateau St. Jean Winery is a picturesque estate located in Santa Rosa, California. Established in 1973, the winery boasts stunning French-inspired architecture and beautiful gardens that offer a serene ambiance for wine tasting. Chateau St. Jean Winery produces a wide variety of award-winning wines. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings, tours of the vineyards, and picnics on the lush grounds, and even choose this beautiful place as a wedding venue.

Photo by: Alicia Parks Photography

“Calling all wine lovers! Please add Chateau St. Jean on the northern side of Sonoma Valley to your must-tour venue list. This vineyard venue comes with a dramatic mountain backdrop, whimsical gardens and a 1920s chateau. Within two steps onto the property you’ll be transported to Italy or the South of France via perfectly manicured grounds and beautiful architecture.”Alicia Parks

7. Matanzas Creek Winery 

Matanzas Creek Winery is a stunning winery nestled in the rolling hills of Santa Rosa. The winery’s sprawling estate features charming lavender fields, lush gardens, and tranquil ponds, creating a stunning backdrop. The winery’s rustic barn and beautifully landscaped grounds provide the perfect setting for a day of wine tasting. 

Photo by: Yvette Brackett Photography

One of my favorite places to visit in Santa Rosa is Matanzas Creek Winery on Bennett Valley Road.  It has a wonderful tasting room and outdoor spaces to enjoy some really tasty wines.  The gardens are so beautiful, especially in the spring when everything is in bloom.  They have a lavender garden and sell some amazing lavender products as well that smell incredible.  If you want to sip on some really good wine and hang out in a beautiful garden setting, call Matanzas Creek Winery for a reservation.  You’ll be glad you did.” –Yvette Brackett 

8. Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve

Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve is a prominent landmark in southeast Santa Rosa and offers panoramic views of the city from trails that climb to the summit. This 1,100-acre park features grassy hillsides, oak woodlands and several creeks that make it a beautiful place to go in Santa Rosa. 

9. Session Climbing 

“My favorite place in Santa Rosa is Session Climbing. This beautiful space was just completed last year. In addition to awesome indoor climbing, it has a stunning yoga studio with roll up doors to a mountain view.”Michelle Pattee

Photo by: Michelle Pattee Portrait and Event Photographer

Santa Rosa has a lot to offer when it comes to its beautiful views, charming city, and great destination for wine lovers. Whether you are looking to buy a home in Santa Rosa or just visiting, make sure you explore these gorgeous places.

Learn more about Santa Rosa

11 Popular Santa Rosa Neighborhoods: Where to Live in Santa Rosa in 2023

15 Must-Try Restaurants in Santa Rosa: Where the Santa Rosa Locals Eat

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Lexi Klinkenberg

Lexi is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about real estate and design trends. Her dream home would be a contemporary home with an open floor plan, lots of windows, and a waterfront view.

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