Sonoma County is farms, khaki-colored hills and swaths of greens.. the rugged backdrop of a cowboy matinee. - Richard Nailey, Travel & Leisure
The Best Thing About Sebastopol?
Pound For Pound The Coolest/Quirkiest
One of the things we love about Sebastopol and other towns like it in Sonoma County is how diverse the living experiences can be for a city with a population of only 7k or so. Sebastopol has a thriving city center so if you want to live in the downtown area and have a short walk to restaurants/bars, cafes and galleries then it’s available. If you prefer a suburban experience of homes on denser blocks with lots of families, yards and parks then Sebastopol has got you covered. Finally, if you want a rural and remote lifestyle, with a beautiful home deep in the hills and forests of the area then it’s here for you. It’s hard to believe but pound for pound it’s hard to beat Sebastopol for its choices for how you choose to live.
Sebastopol is also noted as an arts center and relative to other Sonoma valley towns (but not by bay area standards) you’d call it quirky.
The Worst Thing About Sebastopol?
This is a tricky issue that most of the beautiful Sonoma Valley towns face. Wealthy Bay Area residents come up to wine country and fall in love with the bucolic landscapes and slower lifestyles. So, they buy homes up in towns like Sebastopol, which drives prices up, reduces the full-time population and ultimately prices out families who might otherwise have been able to live and work in-town. It’s a well-trodden complaint from locals who have valid issues with how expensive the area has become at the same time their own homes have risen in value. What’s to be done about the fact that the town is so lovely everyone wants to own a piece of it? Development is one path, but of course that has the downside of increasing the population of an area that would like to preserve its small-town vibe. We simply want to note what long-time locals will site as the biggest issue facing Sebastopol.
Lifestyle of Sebastopol
Unlike most Sonoma Valley towns, Sebastopol is known as an arts-centric place. Lots of locals are artists themselves or at the vary least throw themselves headlong into the culture of counter-culture art and so that artsy/hippie vibe is stronger here than in other wine country towns. In fact, Sebastopol feels less like a wine country town and perhaps more like a groovy throwback to an earlier era in the Bay Area. There are tons of festivals throughout the year including: The Goddess Crafts Faire, the Gravenstein Apple Fair, the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium and more. It’s an interesting place in that you have an intersection of arts, farming, tech and even some conservative pockets all integrating into a small town with seemingly little strife. If you’re up for anything this could be your place.
Check out what the locals do for fun through the local
calendar of events
Worklife of Sebastopol
Many locals of course work in the wine industry and enjoy short-ish commutes to work. Many newcomers work from home and so face no commute. If however you are going to live here and try to commute to one of the tech hubs you will be unhappy. Sonoma is a beautiful town that is built for people who work in the agricultural/wine/hospitality industries or the newly crowned, untethered class of those who don’t need to commute anywhere. That is the worklife culture of Sonoma and really much of these bucolic wine country towns.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
Keep it Real
If you want to skip the fanciness of Napa or even the growing tourist energy of towns like Healdsburg or Sonoma then you should put Sebastopol on your shortlist. As noted it feels like an outlier in the valley with a bit of something for everyone and much that lives outside the wine country culture.