Sonoma : California


What It Is Like to Retire in Sonoma

Sonoma is the center of the California's wine industry, situated as it is between Napa and Santa Rosa.  It has historic town plaza, a remnant of when Sonoma was the capital of the short-lived California Republic. Surprisingly for a town of only about 10,000 people, Sonoma is a cultural powerhouse. It is home to the new $145 million dollar Donald and Maureen Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. The Center contains a recital hall, rehearsal rooms, and studios. It is the new home of the nearby Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra. The nationally recognized Sonoma International Film Festival also plays here.

Correction - the previous entry (not mine) places the Green Music Center of Sonoma State in the town of Sonoma. It is actually located in Cotati, CA, about 20 miles from Sonoma but well worth the trip to hear performances in a truly world-class hall. 


Where to Retire in Sonoma and Home Prices

There are active adult communities in Sonoma and the Napa Valley (see our California Active Community Directory). The median price of a home in Sonoma was $1,030,452 in mid-2022, according to Zillow.


What Is Special about Sonoma

Sonoma has a college and one of the most elaborate performing arts centers in the U.S., let alone in a town of 10,000 people. Its location here in the heart of wine country with all the good restaurants, food, and beautiful scenery makes Sonoma special indeed. Sonoma University is also a big plus.  These are not in the town of Sonoma but in Cotati and Rohnert Park. The county of Sonoma is very large and many authors confuse the county and the city.


What Is Not Special about Sonoma

Real estate is expensive and so is living in such a nice part of California.


Who Will Like Retirement in Sonoma

People who like the idea of living in wine country, and who enjoy biking and outdoor activities. Thanks to the new Green Music Center it is also for folks who enjoy fine music.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Construction and tourism


Climate and Physical Environment

Sonoma is northeast of San Francisco in northern California between Napa and Santa Rosa. The average January temp is in the high 40s and the average July temperature about 70.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Restaurants in Sonoma and this region are top notch. The new $145 million dollar Donald and Maureen Green Music Center at Sonoma State University contains the fabulous Weill recital hall, rehearsal rooms, and studios – is dominated by the 1,400 seat Weill Concert Hall. The complex is now also the home of the nearby Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony has a full playing schedule here as well.



The crime rate is about 2/3 the national average.


Medical Facilities

Sonoma Valley Hospital serves the city.



Sonoma Valley Airport; Amtrak is 10 miles away in Napa.


Valuable Links

Sonoma City

What people are saying about Sonoma

I Can\'t Wait!
I\'ve been following the tiny house movement for about a year. (and am infatuated) I would love to divide my time between coasts. I could accomplish this with going tiny and still living well. I can\'t wait for more updates and the village open. Watching Lemon Cove also but family is in the Sonoma area. ~ More Please!
Posted by on July 10, 2015

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