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Friday, September 19, 2014

Petaluma #1, Paris #10

That's Petaluma, Sonoma County, California, population 58,000.

Harper's Bazaar online mag likes lists as they have a whole section on what to wear, what celebrities to be watching, etc. They've just published a list of the top ten fall travel destinations, mostly in the U.S. There's the usual Vermont for fall colors and they added Paris, France to the list just because.

Their top choice is Sonoma County's Petaluma--a town maybe best known for cheese and Lagunitas Brewery. Harper's says, "Skip Italy and head to this undiscovered city."

Petaluma does have what you'd call a cute downtown along a riverfront. There's a large number of excellent restaurants for the town's size including Central Market and Cucino Paradiso. Dempsey's Brewery along the river is a nice outdoor lunch stop.  The downtown has a lively bar and music scene, probably the best in the county (though it isn't exactly San Francisco).


Petaluma is probably most proud of being the main filming location for the movie American Graffiti over 40 years ago. Historically, Petaluma was once known as the Egg Capital of the World when almost everyone in the vicinity was involved in raising poultry. The town probably smells better now.

The list from Harper's Bazaar

Article from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat where some of the locals express surprise by their town's selection