Introduction to Petaluma, California

Petaluma is a Northern California city located about 39 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County's wine country. Situated on the banks of the Petaluma River, the city is bisected by U.S. Route 101 and not far from California State Highways 1, 12, 37, 116 and 121. Surrounding communities include Santa Rosa (to the north), Sonoma (to the east) and Novato (to the south).

Petaluma History

Founded in 1852 and incorporated in 1858, Petaluma had an early history as a thriving shipping and manufacturing center as well as one of early California's largest cities. For several decades spanning the turn of the 20th century, Petaluma earned fame as a poultry town and was at one time known as the "World's Egg Basket." Remnants of the great wealth accrued during this period are evident in the many of city's commercial buildings and homes which are still standing today. By mid-century, dairy farming became the city's predominant industry and has stood so until today, although the distinction is now shared with tourism and high tech industries such as telecommunications.

Petaluma Attractions

The Petaluma Historical Library and Museum, housed in a former library building constructed in 1904, contains exhibits chronicling Petaluma history dating back to the 1850s. Permanent exhibits include historical poultry and dairy items, Miwok Indian artifacts, and historical items relating to the Petaluma River. The Sgt. Richard Penry Medal of Honor Memorial Military Museum features relics dating from the Civil War to World War II, and also houses what is described as the largest military antique and collectibles store in the United States. The Petaluma Wildlife Museum features animals, minerals, fossils, prehistoric artifacts and hands-on exhibits. Historic Downtown Petaluma is the site of the city's Art and Garden Festival. Held in July, the event offers an afternoon of fine wines, tasty food, good music and art. September's annual Art in the Park outdoor art show and sale is a 50-year old event featuring a diverse blend of artistic media from painting to photography in a picturesque setting at the city's Walnut Park. Petaluma is also an ideal starting point for exploring Sonoma County's 140 wineries, the impressive California redwoods and the state's northern coastline.


Total Population 59,340
Male Share of the Population 48%
Female Share of the Population 52%
Senior Citizens 14.5%
Employed Population 16+ 29,127
Age of the Population 41


% of people married 50.9%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 37.2%
Median Earnings25+ $43,100
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $24,224
Median Earnings With High School Degree $31,632


Median Family Income $90,608
% Above Poverty Level 90.7%
% Below Poverty Level 9.3%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 29 minutes
% Working from Home 7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.9%
% Using Public Transportation 2.7%


People Living Alone 25.2%
Median Gross Rent $1,517
Median House Value $460,500


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 33.2%
US/American 0.2%
English 11.2%
Irish 14.9%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Petaluma Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 33 miles N of San Francisco, California
County Sonoma
Standard Zip Codes 94952, 94954, 94999
P.O. Box Zip Codes 94953, 94955, 94975
Phone Area Codes 707
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 38.232
Longitude -122.635

Petaluma Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 2.5 miles
Jan Temp 39 to 58 F
Apr Temp 44 to 70 F
Jul Temp 52 to 83 F
Oct Temp 48 to 77 F
Annual Precip 25.8 inches
Station SONOMA
Distance 10.3 miles
Jan Temp 37 to 58 F
Apr Temp 43 to 72 F
Jul Temp 52 to 90 F
Oct Temp 46 to 80 F
Annual Precip 30.6 inches
Distance 15.7 miles
Jan Temp 40 to 58 F
Apr Temp 46 to 70 F
Jul Temp 53 to 82 F
Oct Temp 49 to 77 F
Annual Precip 31 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Petaluma, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Bloomfield (94952)

Fallon (94952)

Lakeville (94952)

Two Rock Coast Guard Station (94952)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Cotati 7,376 $83,342
Novato 54,133 $100,471
Rohnert Park 41,651 $70,800
Santa Rosa 172,066 $70,201
Sebastopol 7,583 $63,333
Sonoma 10,897 $93,059

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Petaluma Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(707) 778-2631
Emergency Service: Yes

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Results:  5
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Petaluma High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,774 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23.9

201 FAIR ST.
Serves 1,598 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23.6

A Non-traditional School
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 133 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.8

A Non-traditional School
Serves 106 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 25.2

A Non-traditional School
Serves 32 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.5

199 FAIR ST.
A Non-traditional School
Serves 32 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.5

Additional Details
Petaluma Colleges
Petaluma colleges and trade schools.
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