This small charming community of around 8,700 residents is centrally located for outdoor lovers and families alike. At the northernmost point of Sonoma County, this idyllic city is community-oriented, safe, family-friendly and down-to-earth; a bit more small-town America than some of its wine country neighbors. Surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards and farms, Cloverdale has a distinct “Italy in California” feel, further enhanced by its drier Mediterranean climate, which makes it an exceptional place to get out and play. If you are looking for a community to relax, raise a family and recharge, this is the perfect warm hearted, friendly, easy going and beautiful place to call home.
With Highway 101 originally passing through the middle of Cloverdale, the town was a popular meal and rest stop for those travelling from San Francisco to Mendocino. Though a few remnants of those days still exist, embodied in original eateries like Pick's Drive-in, Cloverdale experienced a major downtown restructuring once the highway was shifted to the side of the town, creating an expanded and thriving commercial and residential community. As a still-evolving community, Cloverdale has been a bit slower to catch on as a tourist hub, enabling the town to offer Sonoma County quality without the wine country price tag. Downtown Cloverdale is home to delicious eateries, shops and watering holes with local flavor. The newer kid on the block is The Trading Post Market & Bakery featuring seasonally driven, farm fresh fare, baked delights and a local-centric wine list. Plank Coffee will easily become part of your rise and shine routine with its high voltage, locally roasted coffee and array of pastries (including vegan and gluten free). There are numerous family-friendly options in this neighborhood like Papa’s Pizza, which has a quaint vibe with a wine country-style menu. Guests will find gluten-free and dairy-free options with 10 beers on tap and a cozy outside patio. Dahlia & Sage Community Market offers healthy local goods, produce and holistic products, in addition to a café full of delectable items.The North County has much to offer on the wine front, with land spanning both Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valleys. There is no shortage of delicious options for wine tasting. Fritz Underground Winery is true to its name: they literally make the wine underground using gravity rather than pumps to create their wine, cutting down on the carbon footprint and making for a truly interesting wine tour. Gravity flow wine anyone? Established in 1914, Pastori Winery is one of the oldest wineries in the area and offers a rare peek into old school Sonoma County winemaking (when you can catch them in the tasting room rather than out in the vineyards). In town, you can visit the Kelley & Young Inn, for a tasting in their stunning Victorian Bed & Breakfast.
The North County has much to offer on the wine front, with land spanning both Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valleys. There is no shortage of delicious options for wine tasting. Fritz Underground Winery is true to its name: they literally make the wine underground using gravity rather than pumps, cutting down on the carbon footprint and making for a truly interesting wine tour. Established in 1914, Pastori Winery is one of the oldest wineries in the area and offers a rare peek into old school Sonoma County winemaking (when you can catch them in the tasting room rather than out in the vineyards). In town, you can visit the Kelley & Young Inn, for a tasting in their stunning Victorian Bed & Breakfast. Cloverdale is considered the gateway to Mendocino County and the town is a perfect starting point for travels north to the gorgeous and booming Anderson Valley wine country.
This small town may not be a hub of nightlife activity, but there is certainly a lot to do.
The Citrus Fairgrounds at the south end of town host a variety of eclectic and unique events throughout the year; the annual Citrus Fair & Parade, Cloverdale Car & Motorcycle Show, The Old Time Fiddle Festival and more. Love of the arts runs deep in this community, as do organizations which support them. Catch a live theatrical production, dance or musical performance at the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center.
The schedule of events picks up in the summer. You’ll find the entire town out dancing, eating and generally enjoying the summer nights at Friday Night Live Music & Markets. Catch a movie at the locally owned, recently revamped Clover Theater - which offers beer and wine to adult theater goers, alongside an array of snacks. Film lovers unite in Cloverdale with the Alexander Valley Film Society, host to scholarship and educational opportunities, drive-in movies and a well-attended annual film festival.
For a late-night drink, try Harold’s Dante Hotel (located in a historic hotel), the only bar opens late-night and is chock full of friendly local flavor, including a jukebox and pinball machine. Or grab a pint of local beer and play pool at the Sawmill Saloon tucked into a picturesque plaza behind a creamery.
Located on the edge of both Sonoma and Mendocino counties, Cloverdale is a perfect place to unplug and unwind and enjoy nature and ample green spaces. The town and surrounding areas are full of walkable parks, endless hiking trails and easy access to a range of outdoor adventures. Cloverdale is part of a 9-mile sculpture trail in conjunction with neighboring Geyserville. Head out on a discovery stroll in search of the many sculptures and tiny fairy doors created by local artists and nestled throughout the downtown area. If you’re looking for water adventures, wander through Cloverdale River Park, where you have easy access for wading, kayaking or canoeing in Russian River. Nearby Lake Sonoma offers endless trails for hiking, biking and a gorgeous, easily accessible body of water for kayaking, boating, waterskiing, swimming and fishing. The regional park next to the lake offers a broad expanse of lawn, picnic areas and playground options for family fun and gatherings.
Children and community are a top priority in this cozy haven. The Cloverdale YMCA is home to various activities and the community pool. The Cloverdale Regional Library was recently remodeled and has many programs for tots and teens, from story time to homework labs. For the musically talented, the United Church has a community choir and music programs for children. There is also an array of activities and resources for families and seniors.
On the education front, Cloverdale is home to Cloverdale High School, Washington School and Jefferson Elementary. For early education, the Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool was established in 1954, a true co-op where parents and teachers work together nurturing little ones from 3-5 years old. Parents interested in considering private schools have options in Healdsburg, Windsor and Santa Rosa.
At the top northern point of Sonoma County, roughly 85 miles north of San Francisco and just south of Mendocino, Cloverdale is at the junction of Highway 101 and state route 128, which runs from Alexander Valley to Mendocino County. There are buses available with the Cloverdale Transit and Sonoma County Transit, with plans for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) to extend from Larkspur to Cloverdale (which will make a commute to San Francisco an easy prospect). The closest commercial airport is the Charles M. Schultz Airport, about a half hour south in Santa Rosa. There is the Cloverdale Municipal Airport for skydiving and private planes. San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport are under 2 hours and easily accessible by car or shuttle from the Santa Rosa Airport.
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