People Are Moving to Sonoma County—Here's Why

People Are Moving to Sonoma County—Here's Why

  • Alain Pierret and Haley Skerrett
  • 05/3/22

With its idyllic dreamscapes and posh-perfect lifestyle, Sonoma County has always been the ideal place for wealthy retirees. But when remote work came calling, folks working in industries like tech and finance came pouring in. Before the pandemic, wealthy families moved to the Wine Country for years.

The steady rise in Sonoma County’s average household income can be attributed to this influx of out-of-towners. The average cost of wine country houses for sale is the clearest indicator of what is happening—median home prices have risen by 12.5% from a year earlier, often pushing Windsor house prices beyond the range of locals.

For many individuals and families moving from the crowded Bay Area to Sonoma’s idyllic valleys,  Wine Country provides more bang for their buck than Silicon Valley, so they are prepared to pay top dollar for a taste of the quiet life.

8 Compelling reasons to move to Sonoma County

Due to its agricultural heritage, Sonoma County has breathtaking scenery and a uniquely attractive rustic charm. Thanks to its proximity to San Francisco, it shares the same cultural richness for which the Bay Area is famous.

As a result,  Sonoma County is a top tourist destination for visitors from all around the world. They come to taste the wines from Sonoma’s 425 plus vineyards, attend world-famous food festivals, explore over fifty national and regional parks, and take a dip in the beautiful blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.

California weather

Sonoma County epitomizes  California's year-round temperate weather and relaxed  atmosphere. Summers are long, warm, and mostly dry, while winters are short and wet. On average, Sonoma County has 262 sunny days, perfect for year-long leisure activities such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, hiking, and stargazing.

Meanwhile, winters in Sonoma are the perfect time to snuggle up in velvet sofas and leather wing chairs inside your Pine Mountain real estate, sipping bold California Chardonnays or Pinot Noirs.

Rural with proximity to urban areas

Sonoma's largest city, Santa Rosa, is only 2.5 hour drive from the heart of San Francisco. Glen Ellen real estate offers the perfect blend of metropolitan opportunities in a rural, small-town setting. 

Sonoma County is one of the best places to set up shop for investors and remote workers. The influx of affluence and industries has rejuvenated the economy, increasing consumer spending and boosting new businesses in Sonoma.

Sonoma County’s best places to eat

Photo Courtesy of Sonoma Magazine
Boasting over 500 restaurants and several Michelin-starred and Zagat-rated eateries, Sonoma County is a food lover's wonderland and one of California’s top food and wine destinations.

If you have never been on a culinary tour, Sonoma is a great place to start. Healdsburg Wine & Food Walking Tours is an excellent way to taste and meander through this quaint Sonoma city as you look for Healdsburg houses for sale.

You won’t want to miss Soco’s Restaurant Week, which takes place in February. This annual, ten-day event lets guests explore reduced or fixed-price menus at over eighty Sonoma County restaurants, showcasing the finest culinary experiences featuring specially crafted local menus, farm-fresh ingredients, and award-winning chefs.

restaurant is one of Sonoma’s top culinary destinations and was named one of the best bars in America by Esquire Magazine. Their focus on organic, biodynamic, sustainable wines and local, seasonal produce is unforgettable.

Petaluma is one of California’s oldest cities and has garnered a reputation as Northern California’s foodie haven. There is something for everyone here, and its location along the North Bay makes fresh seafood readily available.

Speaking of seafood, Sonoma County is particularly proud of its fresh Dungeness crabs from the Pacific Ocean. For a one-of-a-kind, boat-to-mouth experience on Bodega Bay, visit Spud Point Crab Company. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even catch and cook the coveted crab yourself—just make sure you secure your fishing permit first.

Wine and culture

Whether you are simply here to taste or are looking at Vineyards for sale in Healdsburg, CA, with over 425 wineries and eighteen American Viticultural Areas, Sonoma County winery is one of its biggest attractions.

You can experience exceptional wines and their associated culture, from nook-and-cranny wineries to large establishments with extensive waiting lists. The area is as beautiful as it is flavorful. You will fall in love with the majestic vistas of endless vineyards and magical scenery.

An excellent place to start might be Sonoma County’s Tasting Pass, which allows people to taste wine, craft brews, and distilled spirits.

From wineries with hidden wine caves to those with equestrian pavilions and open wilderness, there is no end to what you can feast your eyes (and your palate) upon. Feel free to ask your luxury Wine County real estate agent for additional local area hot spots.

Santa Rosa: Sonoma County’s microbrewery capital

Take a load off while looking at Santa Rosa homes with a flight of refreshing craft beers. Boasting over twenty-five breweries, Sonoma County’s craft beer scene is one of the most vibrant in America. Santa Rosa in Soco contains over 577 tap handles at its many craft breweries, brewpubs, and taprooms.

Craft cocktail distilleries
and cider samplers abound. You can even have a beer tour while biking or charter a limousine for your brewery tour to fully experience Santa Rosa’s abundant brewing culture.
Also noteworthy, but not a brewery: Santa Rosa was the home of “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schultz and is currently home to the Charles M. Schultz Museum and Research Center, which is dedicated to his works.

Sebastopol: Sonoma's creative town

Sonoma's free-spirited, artistic side doesn't end with beer, wine, and food. Sonoma County is also home to Sebastopol, which is considered the artistic and creative hub of West Sonoma County. A short drive west from your Glen Ellen real estate, you’ll find a diverse range of artists, galleries, and open studios in Sebastopol’s idyllic patchwork landscape.

Creative souls will find a unique, industrial-chic, artisan marketplace at The Barlow. This open-air craft community contains over thirty of Sonoma County’s best artisans, vintners, and chefs across twelve-and-a-half acres.

Meanwhile, in Sonoma, The Donum Estate is home to The Donum Collection—one of the world’s largest sculpture collections, with more than fifty works throughout their 200-acre estate. Artists from eighteen nations and six continents are represented here.

Sebastopol also hosts Sonoma County’s Gravenstein Apple Fair, fondly known as “the sweetest fair in Sonoma County.” Held in mid-August, come to enjoy live music, arts and crafts, kids’ activities, craft cider, beer, wine, and fresh local food.

Bodega Bay’s incredible coastline

Photo Courtesy of Sonoma Coast State Park
The quaint fishing village known as Bodega Bay is famous for its pristine fifty-five-mile coastline full of blue waters, fishing boats, seafood restaurants, and quirky ocean-side shops. Take a stroll along the cliffs of Bodega Head while looking for migrating whales, or get even closer and book a whale-watching cruise at one of the nation’s top whale-watching spots.

Not to be confused with Bodega Bay, just a few miles inland is the town of Bodega. For film buffs, you’ll delight that Bodega was the setting for Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic movie, The Birds.

The best education in California

Sonoma County is home to one of the most educated populations in the country. More than three-quarters of the K-12 schools in the region are recognized as California Distinguished Schools, while eleven are National Blue Ribbon Schools. Sonoma County offers one of the state's top-rated K-12 and higher education systems.

Institutions of higher learning nearby include:
  • Sonoma State University
  • The University of Northern California North Coast School of Education
  • Meridian University

Quality of life in Sonoma County

Residents of Sonoma have a saying: people come for the wine, but they stay for the experience. The daily living experience in Sonoma is both pastoral and sophisticated. You can work hard and play hard from your Santa Rosa home. In addition to offering plenty of outdoor activities and top-notch educational options, here are two additional perks when it comes to  living in Sonoma County:

Are you ready to move to Sonoma County?

There is no shortage of things to do in Sonoma County, but finding the right house for you can be a challenge. Having an experienced Wine County real estate agent in your corner can make all the difference. At Alain-Martin Pierret and Haley Skerrett Group, our attention to detail and market expertise  can help you win your dream home. We hold an exceptionally high level of commitment to customer satisfaction, which is why we are one of the top luxury Wine County real estate agencies. 

Contact Alain-Martin Pierret and Haley Skerrett today for unparalleled service and a seamless luxury real estate experience. 

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Alain and Haley's real estate group honors the art of living with a high level of commitment, style, and attention to detail when working with clients. Whatever your real estate goals, they are well prepared to help you accomplish them.

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