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Santa Rosa, California - Pete Stringfellow's Hometown

Updated on April 20, 2013

Pete Stringfellow and Santa Rosa

Before becoming a travel writer, I worked in the music industry. So, when a friend invited me to see Pete Stringfellow - a long time friend of hers - in concert, my ears perked up. Not being a country music follower, I slightly resisted, until she shared with me that he had a written a song about Santa Rosa a few years ago. He's from Santa Rosa, I asked. Yes, he is, she answered. That peaked my curiosity enough to visit this up-and-comer country-music crooner in person.

I must admit, I still had some reservations upon arrival. Was he really the rising star I'd heard people call him? Could he really bring the house down, like people said? Would it be easy for me, a non-country music fan, to appreciate his style? Let's just say, I was happily surprised that the answer was yes, yes, and yes to all three counts. I saw him play live in Sebastopol, California... a sleepy, little town ten minutes from Santa Rosa. When he played us his song called "Santa Rosa"... well, the traveler in me started percolating because, after all, I live right in the very area he was singing about - Santa Rosa. How could I resist feeling sentimental as he sang about an area so dear to my heart?

Santa Rosa Vineyard

Ledson Winery and Vineyards, Santa Rosa, California, USA
Ledson Winery and Vineyards, Santa Rosa, California, USA | Source

What Is In Santa Rosa?

This little gem of a city, located 90 minutes north of San Francisco, includes countryside, suburbs, and the downtown area - a downtown that is, little by little, growing up quickly into a genuine city.

Pete Stringfellow grew up in the countryside of Santa Rosa, before it became as urban as it now feels. There is still countryside in Santa Rosa, where people grow grapes on their vineyards and residents collect eggs from clucking chickens each morning for breakfast. Stringfellow's own family runs a dairy farm out in this countryside, too. Those country farms are still here but you may have to look for them. Most travelers only notice the cityscape but many farms are open to visitors coming in and picking their own apples off the trees or pumpkins from the land. Check with the Chamber of Commerce to find out about local farmlands to visit.

Santa Rosa Residents Are Active and The Area Offers Many Choices For Exercising

Many bicyclists enjoy the area for bicycling and/or racing.  Just ten minutes north of Santa Rosa is the town of Windsor, which is complete with bicycle lanes through most of that town. * Santa Rosa: Amgen Tour of California *
Many bicyclists enjoy the area for bicycling and/or racing. Just ten minutes north of Santa Rosa is the town of Windsor, which is complete with bicycle lanes through most of that town. * Santa Rosa: Amgen Tour of California * | Source

This Santa Rosa Public Park Sprays Water For Children, Is Located Downtown, and Is a Short Walk From The Marriott Hotel

Statue near Santa Rosa Creek and the downtown park.  This creek runs the length of Santa Rosa and winds through business and residential areas.  Stringfellow mentions the creek in his song.
Statue near Santa Rosa Creek and the downtown park. This creek runs the length of Santa Rosa and winds through business and residential areas. Stringfellow mentions the creek in his song. | Source
The Snoopy statues, mentioned in Pete Stringfellow's song, (and the other characters of the Peanuts gang) can be found all over Santa Rosa and her nearby towns. * This Snoopy is located at the Wells Fargo Center For The Arts in Santa Rosa. *
The Snoopy statues, mentioned in Pete Stringfellow's song, (and the other characters of the Peanuts gang) can be found all over Santa Rosa and her nearby towns. * This Snoopy is located at the Wells Fargo Center For The Arts in Santa Rosa. * | Source

Santa Rosa Night Life

Travelers might enjoy the nightlife Santa Rosa offers: a slice of downtown with more than a dozen outlets for live music, bar scenes, and dancing. It's not San Francisco, so don't expect the same from a small city still growing up, but it does afford choices from country to jazz, to blues to rock to Salsa dancing and upscale bars where the upper-crust like to hang out and spend $10 a drink. There are nearby hotels in the downtown area so one need not drive while having fun. Cabs can be found in the downtown area for a quick ride back to the downtown hotels after an evening out for about ten dollars. Other less expensive hotels are two to five miles from downtown and will cost $15-20 in a cab to return to.

Here are two popular hotspots in Santa Rosa's downtown area:

  • Christy's on the Square: an upscale, expensive location where young professionals from mid 20's to mid 30's like to hang out. Anyone in their late 40's will stand out in this young environment. Most people here are dressed in their office clothes or in slacks/dresses. Occasional jeans show up but more people here are dressed for the ambiance.
  • Russian River Brewery Company: a relaxed every-man's pizzeria by day, it transforms to an enjoyable place for adults over 21 only in the evenings. They have an all-day Sunday happy-hour and a band schedule here. Though children are allowed during the day, I don't recommend this location for family dining due to the drinking that is going on at all hours and the adult festive spirit. It's very popular so there can be a wait time but anyone who loves a good beer will tell you, it's worth the wait!

There are at least a dozen other nightlife choices within walking distance of these locations, from Irish pubs to whiskey bars to dance clubs.

Cool Off With Ice Skating

The ice skating rink has a café with food, too.  The fireplace in there is a perfect place to warm up after a long skate in the winter time.
The ice skating rink has a café with food, too. The fireplace in there is a perfect place to warm up after a long skate in the winter time. | Source

The Weather In Santa Rosa

The Santa Rosa climate is fairly constant. The summers see temperatures between the 90's and 100's, the winters see temperatures generally between the 50's and 60's, though it can get as cold as the low 30's in the heart of winter. The best time to visit is in the late Spring, when it's balmy but not too hot, the rains have ended, and the flowers are blooming everywhere.

Santa Rosa Hotels

These hotels are located near the downtown area with family dining within walking distance:

Santa Rosa - Home To Spring Lake

Spring Lake is located ten minutes from downtown. The signs to it are few and very small to see. The lake area offers easy, flat trails and lifeguards in the summer in the swimming area. However, most park rangers at the campsite are not friendly.
Spring Lake is located ten minutes from downtown. The signs to it are few and very small to see. The lake area offers easy, flat trails and lifeguards in the summer in the swimming area. However, most park rangers at the campsite are not friendly. | Source

Pete Stringfellow & The Attraction to Santa Rosa

What is it about Santa Rosa that attracts Pete Stringfellow back again and again? Of course, his family lives here and he grew up here. But so many people grow up places, never to return. But, Santa Rosa is different. Let's examine why that may be.

Santa Rosa has a fantastic climate for living in. It's neither too cold nor too hot at any time of year. Santa Rosa also is a short drive to everything one may wish to visit: one hour to the beach, four hours to Lake Tahoe's snowboarding/skiing resorts, and less than two hours from the City by the Bay: San Francisco. While offering some urban amenities, it also has the countryside, vineyards for wine tastings, and nearby small towns filled with antique shops. The lodging is affordable, ranging from $50-100 a night and the people are more relaxed than those found in the urban jungles of L.A. or San Francisco. The Redwood Forest can be found within an hour's drive and there are enough area museums to satisfy the historian or art-lover. Nature trails are within twenty minutes of Santa Rosa. In fact, some are even closer - ten minutes from the downtown area. There's even a lake in Santa Rosa, if you look for it... and camping, too. Just outside of Santa Rosa, one is able to fish and there is a nearby shooting range. There's the ice skating rink in town and a roller skating rink just south of town. There are vegetarian-only restaurants as well as steakhouses. There is fine dining plus mom-and-pop delis. There are standard malls and little boutiques. While most of the area is health-conscious and smoke-free, there are smoke-shops as well. It could be said there is something for everyone in Santa Rosa.

The view from Shiloh Road, mentioned in Stringfellow's song "Santa Rosa" overlooks vineyards. Shiloh Road is actually located in the town of Windsor, a few minutes north of Santa Rosa, on the boarder of the city limits.
The view from Shiloh Road, mentioned in Stringfellow's song "Santa Rosa" overlooks vineyards. Shiloh Road is actually located in the town of Windsor, a few minutes north of Santa Rosa, on the boarder of the city limits. | Source
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    • Li Galo profile imageAUTHOR

      Li Galo 

      5 years ago from Mainly the USA but Sometimes Abroad

      Thank you, Rebecca and prasetio30. Even though I travel all over the globe, I really do consider this area very special.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice review. Very well written and I learn many things about Pete Stringfellow and Santa Rosa. I hope I can visit these places one day. The photos you included are the best. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. Voted up!

      Prasetio

    • profile image

      Rebecca Schanaker Siegfried 

      5 years ago

      WOW! Love this song! I miss my Santa Rosa also. It definitely flows through my blood also. No place like it.

    • Li Galo profile imageAUTHOR

      Li Galo 

      5 years ago from Mainly the USA but Sometimes Abroad

      Thanks, INFJay!

    • INFJay profile image

      Jay Manriquez 

      5 years ago from Santa Rosa, California

      As a Santa Rosa resident, I enjoyed reading your hub and you are so right, there is something for everyone here. Two of my favorite Santa Rosa events are the annual downtown farmer's market and the Tour of California. This year the Tour finishes the approximate 800 mile ride in downtown Santa Rosa. Thanks!

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