Located on Highway 101, south of Santa Rosa and north of Novato, Petaluma embodies the small-town charm that appeals to so many. Sunset Magazine described the downtown area as a "well-watered, well-fertilized, mature Main Street USA." Residents are committed to maintaining the historical richness and colorful heritage of their town, which was chartered in 1858.

Petaluma figured prominently in the Gold Rush days because of its riverfront location. It was relatively unaffected by the 1906 earthquake; consequently, several buildings boast a history of a century and a half. Downtown Petaluma is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as are an additional 65 historical properties.

Hometown pride comes to the forefront frequently in the many fairs and festivals held throughout the year, the premiere event being the Butter and Egg Day Parade. More than 3,000 residents are involved in this unconventional yet highly entertaining event.

The Petaluma Village Premium Outlets attract shoppers from far and wide with nearly 50 shops available from Ann Taylor to Brooks Brothers. For the railroad hobbyists, the Petaluma Trolley Living History Museum is a must-see, and plans are afoot for the restoration of the Petaluma Trolley.

The hometown quality may be familiar to movie buffs. Peggy Sue Got Married, Phenomenon, Flubber, Pleasantville and Cheaper by the Dozen were all filmed, at least in part, in Petaluma.