Ideal places in Sonoma County to move with a toddler

My family is considering a move from Berkeley to Sonoma or Marin County. Some place with land but close enough to town to keep things stimulating. We appreciate the Berkeley lifestyle and how we are a stone’s throw away from numerous children’s parks, schools, libraries, hospitals, etc. We are considering Petaluma, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, etc. Does anyone have any thought on the best place for a family with young kids to move? I hear Sebastopol is a great option with fine schools but I’m curious about other neighborhoods and cities that would be a slightly shorter commute to the east bay. Thank you! 

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That whole area is lovely. I actually grew up in Sebastopol, and can attest to the quality of the schools. My high school (Analy High School) is consistently ranked quite highly in public school lists. While I'll admit that the town felt sort of "boring" when I was a teenager, I've realized since then that it was a really great place to grow up. My parents still live there, and it's a treat every time we get to visit. Close proximity to Santa Rosa for a bigger "city" experience is nice. Petaluma and Healdsburg are also both lovely places. All have thriving food/drink scenes, and are family-friendly. I will say that in Sebastopol, there are indeed places to bring kids like parks, etc., but you might have to drive to get a lot of places, unless you find a place to live within the city limits. Also, traffic in general in that part of Sonoma County can be tough. A few years ago, my apartment flooded and I went to live with my parents for a month, and commuted to and from Berkeley every day while I stayed there, and it wasn't easy. Petaluma would have been a little easier. A commute from Healdsburg to the East Bay would be even more difficult than from Sebastopol. Hope this helps!

We moved to Petaluma three years ago when my son was starting K. I've been very pleased with the schools and the easy lifestyle compared to Oakland. All the schools in the entire City of Petaluma are great all the way through high school. Plus, housing costs are still low compared to the East Bay and the restaurant scene is amazing. However, I commute to Oakland three days a week and it is torture, especially the 10 miles between Novato and Petaluma. I wish we would have spent a little more money to buy in Novato. In addition, ss someone else commented, there are fewer places to take young kids in Sonoma County compared to the East Bay. Initially, we really missed Fairyland, Chabot, Oakland Zoo, Lawrence Hall of Science, etc., but once we got involved in school activities we didn't have much time for museums and such anyway. Good luck!

Have you looked at Benicia? Although not Napa or Sonoma, this is a historic town surrounded by the bay with a small-town feel and very family oriented. The cost of housing is "cheaper " compared to some bay area locations. And the school are highly rated.
It's a great location; pretty much 30-40 mins from Oakland, SF, Napa... And with the "new" bridge, only 20 mins to downtown Walnut Creek.