Living in Santa Rosa
Archived Q&A and Reviews
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Re: Moving from NYC with 13yo - need affordable and safe
Have you considered Santa Rosa? Lots of food and beverage jobs around here since it's the Sonoma wine country and you can find decent housing in your price range especially in one of the historic neighborhoods near downtown. School quality varies so you should definitely examine that closely but there are some excellent public charter schools in addition to neighborhood schools. Santa Rosa's population is greater than 160K so while it's certainly much smaller than many cities, it's not a teeny tiny town either. Santa Rosan
Unplugging from the Bay Area - to Santa Rosa?
Has anyone moved to Santa Rosa - from the Bay Area - and really enjoying it? Certainly, there are trade-offs. Thanks. unplugging
Moved from Berkeley to Santa Rosa in about 1987 because I wanted to get out, too. I also have an uncle who moved from Stockton to Santa Rosa in about 1980 because they also wanted to get out. For me, Santa Rosa was a spectacular change--I always remember feeling the pressure lift every time I crossed the Richmond Bridge heading north. Santa Rosa Junior College was a big pull for me as well. Great school and then went on to Sonoma State U. I stayed in Sonoma County until about 1997 when job pulled me back into the Bay Area. At that time, Santa Rosa was great--not too sure about now, though. I think it's changed a lot, but it's far enough removed from the Bay Area that some of the nuances of rural must exist. Take a drive up there and get a room for the weekend and drive around. Go to the colleges, talk to locals, hang out at either of the malls, eat at some restaurants . . . Been There, Done That
I can't answer all of your question, but may be able to give you some perspective. I grew up in Santa Rosa, moved to Berkeley for college and then have moved to four very different places. In my final two moves we considered moving back to the East Bay, but opted for other places. The East Bay has a great view of San Francisco, but beyond that, there was so much else that we were looking for and the East Bay just couldn't provide it. So, I guess to answer the second part of your question - yes, it is possible to live outside the East Bay and like it.
Whether you will like it or not is a different story. There are trade-offs. But, from my point of view now (married with two kids), we have gained far more than we have lost.
If I were heading to Sonoma County now, I would head to West Sonoma County. If you have kids, the Oak Grove Elementary School/Willowside Charter Schools are unique, thoughtful learning environments (safe, clean and free, too which is always a bonus). Your 'city' would be Sebastopol. You'd be living on the edge of the Russian River Valley filled with creative types who dropped out of the Bay Area in the 60s and haven't really left. West Sonoma County is filled with 'hippy red-necks' (yes, it is possible to be the same thing in the same person...very crunchy left wingers who voted for Obama but drive pick-ups and shoot rabbits for dinner). Hm, maybe a better way to describe it would be 'broad minded with feet firmly placed on the ground.' West County is also filled with great food and wine. -anon
Job offer in Santa Rosa
My husband has been offered a job in Santa Rosa and we are seriously considering moving up there. I have done some internet research on home prices/schools and it does seem that there are some good public schools available (particularly in the Rincon Valley school district), but I would love to hear from anyone on this network that has personal experience living in this area. We are generally interested in knowing about quality of life and community issues. I am hoping that by moving to an area where more people send their children to the local public school we would have more of a sense of community than we currently have living in Richmond (and going to private school out of our immediate area). If anyone is either from Santa Rosa or has lived there, I would love to hear from you. Susan
I grew up in Santa Rosa and my mother, sister and nephew still live there. I would move back to SR in a second, but becuase of work, we live here. I consider SR to be an ideal community: great schools, great neighborhoods, progressively liberal people, great restaurants, fantastic weather, nice, walkable downtown, etc., etc. Most people send their kids to public schools. Housing prices are high but you get more for your money than in Oakland/Berkeley. Most public schools are very good. A few are not so good. I attended rincon valley schools and Santa Rosa high and my nephew attends elementary school in rincon valley. My mom has been teaching in the Santa Rosa public schools forever. If you would like to talk more about life in SR, feel free to email me. I love to talk about my favorite place to live and (fingers crossed), hopefully my family will live there again someday soon. SR native
Santa Rosa is a great place to grow up and a great place to go to public school (though, I am a bit biased as my Father was superintendent of schools in Santa Rosa while I was at Berkeley and before that Superintendent of the West County Schools). I graduated from the West County Schools (Oak Grove, Willowside and El Molino) and managed to get into Berekely. Depending on where your husband will be working, you may wish to consider one of the surrounding communities -- Sebastopol (which will put you into the West County Schools) or Healdsburg or Glen Ellen. All have 'small town appeal,' but thanks to the wine industry, you will find that all are reasonably sophisticated. All are easy commutes to Santa Rosa.
The down side of Santa Rosa is all of the suburban sprawl. I am not a big fan of track homes, which sadly cover much of the valley floor. The upside is that you are living in the middle of/short drive to everything (wineries, great food, redwoods, the ocean, the Russian River, etc) Enjoy!