Santa Rosa is said to have gotten its name when a Spanish missionary baptized a young Native American woman in the area and named the stream in which the baptism took place after Santa Rosa de Lima. It was that particular saint’s feast day. Today, it is the largest city in California's wine country, a vibrant modern urban area with great shopping, fine dining and plenty to see and do. Book your hotel room in Santa Rosa with Choice Hotels and find activities that include:
Anyone who grew up in the United States in the second half of the twentieth century has fond memories of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang. You will rediscover them all at the Charles M. Schultz Museum. See an early mural of Charlie Brown and Snoopy and a wood relief sculpture of Snoopy that shows the changes in his appearance over the years, as well as Schulz's actual work studio. There is a documentary film on the amazingly low-key life of the extremely modest cartoonist—who always saw himself as Charlie Brown—and the museum as a whole embodies its purpose in “celebrating a legacy of laughter.”
Ready to get moving? Then head out to Annadel Park where you can explore miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and trail riding. There are three lakes within the park. Lake Ilsanjo in particular is a paradise if you enjoy fishing, with abundant black bass and bluegill. Note that you will require a California fishing license if you more than 16 years old. If fishing is not your thing, it is worth noting that the park is famous for its wildflowers—so be sure to bring your camera along with your water and fishing gear. The lower lake will be your kids’ favorite, as it offers swimming, boating and a petting zoo, a carousel and a playground. In other words, Annadel Park gives you everything that you need for a day that will satisfy the whole family!
Why not plan an evening out after your long day at the park? The Wells Fargo Center for the Arts provides year-round performances that feature the world’s best music, dance, theater, comedy, family programs and speaker events, so there is always something going on. Originally a church sanctuary, the center has been refurbished and there are no bad seats in the house. The non-profit center is 32 years old and going strong: check in with the Website or your front-desk concierge to find out who is appearing while you are in town.
You can spend another fabulous day outdoors at Spring Lake Park, where three more lakes will give you all the fun in the sun you could ever want, with an amazing assortment of available activities. Start with the trails, where you can go walking, hiking, bicycling or horseback riding. Or you can try your hand on the golf course. But most people come to the park for the water: there is a three-acre swimming lagoon, watched over by lifeguards from the beach and treated with chlorine and tested weekly. The 72-acre lake, open year-round, is a wonderful place to windsurf, canoe or paddle boat, and all the equipment you need is available there for rent.
What you may have learned at the Schultz museum was that Snoopy loved to skate—and you can, too, at the famous cartoon dog’s favorite rink, the Redwood Empire Ice Arena. The arena gets its name from the massive redwood trees that surround it although it is colloquially known locally as Snoopy's Home Ice. But the environment is more European than Californian, as you will see reproductions of Swiss chalet facades and panoramic scenes from the Swiss Alps. There are classes, open-ice times, concessions and the promise of a fantastic family afternoon.
Step back in history as you explore the Railroad Square Historic District, the “old town” section of Santa Rosa. It has gained national recognition for its preservation of the architecture that represented the impact of the railroad on the community. Initially an Italian population was drawn to the area (hence the myriad of vineyards in Sonoma Valley); later, Santa Rosa was devastated by the 1906 earthquake, but rebuilt quickly and today Railroad Square is completely revitalized with great shopping, eclectic restaurants and special events going on at various times during the year.
Whether you love the outdoors, museums, shopping or dining, there’s something here for you and Choice Hotels in Santa Rosa, California, will put you right in the middle of it all. Come spend a day with the Peanuts gang, go fishing, swimming, sailing or even ice-skating and enjoy great food, great weather and so much to see and so. Book your hotel room today.
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