5 Top-Rated Museums in Santa Rosa (2023)
The largest city in Sonoma County, Santa Rosa is one of the lush regions and popular tourist spot of Northern California. It is a region with ocean scenes, rolling hills, magnificent redwoods, and ultimate wine. The city of Santa Rosa offers endless fun and engaging activities ranging from exploring the agricultural splendour, getting into a boutique and antique shopping or learning about the Museum legacy. Santa Rosa, though, is home to nearly a handful of museums, but every single one amongst them is worth stopping at.
Santa Rosa has museums for visitors of all age group displaying history, art, airlines and culture. On your trip to this marvellous NorCal city, you will come across to local’s favourite museum, i.e., Charles M. Schulz Museum or you can take your little ones along to the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County.
5 Top-Rated Museums in Santa
To know more, get a quick insight into our list of the 5 most famous museums in Santa Rosa. Have a look:
1. Charles M. Schulz Museum
The top-rated museum destination in Santa Rosa, the Charles M. Schulz Museum, is all for appreciation, and you cannot simply miss this site. The Museum was established in the year 2002 and is dedicated to Charles M. “Sparky” Schulz’s life and his art. The display here is filled with thousands of pictures, photographs, letters, tribute art, and artefacts, along with a massive collection of comics and memorabilia. As soon as you begin walking across the hall, the comic strips will undoubtedly make you laugh your lungs out.
Schulz’s Museum is also recognized for holding the most extensive collection of original Peanuts strips centred around its 50-year legacy. Along with strips, here you can find Peanut’s cultural nods and sculptures. Unlike the regular cityside museums, this isn’t the usual gallery affair, but there’s a lot more to the site. Once done with exploring the Museum, you can further head towards the Warm Puppy Café, the Museum theatre or spend some time at the research centre.
Address: 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
2. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County
Next to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa lies the extravagant, Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. It is a beautiful and colourful museum in and out, specially designed to attract and engage young visitors. It works towards creating curiosity and creativity amongst kids via several exciting and transformative experiences. All the exhibitions here prioritize learning and hands-on engagement by focusing mainly upon science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) along with art and the world around. Image Source
Considering it is dedicatedly a kid’s Museum, one cannot enter inside without a child with them. Apart from the museum building, there are several other fun stations to visit, including a treehouse, train ride, a live tractor and helicopter, living pond, fun water features, climbable wood sculptures, pretend vegetable stand, hydrology, wild zone, blocks and whatnot. No matter what interest your kids hold, they will surely enjoy the experience while wanting to visit again.
Address: 1835 W Steele Ln, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
3. Museum of Sonoma County
Museum of Sonoma County is a family-friendly museum, ideal for visitors of all age group. It is located in Downtown Santa Rosa, exhibiting the rich regional history and showcasing the artwork of local artists. With two buildings, one sculpture garden and multiple art galleries, it successfully hosts over 20,000 visitors every year. The Museum features over 18,000 objects in its permanent collection, along with nearly 12 rotating exhibitions every year (a new exhibition every month). The collection here includes multimedia creations, numerous sculptures, historic photographs, and some beautiful paintings from the 19th century.
The latest addition to the Museum is the 2017 Fire Project that focuses upon the 2017 wildfires that devastated Sonoma County. The exhibit excellently shows destruction and devastation through creativity and compassion and is indeed worth seeing. Some other notable features of the Museum include the ceramic display where everything from pencil to shoes and clothes (made of ceramic) looks a notch real than you could even expect. The museum building in itself is a work of art, and it won’t be wrong if we consider it as the best Museum to visit in Santa Rosa.
Address: 425 7th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
4. Pacific Coast Air Museum
Pacific Coast Air Museum is a fun and educational venue to visit when in Santa Rosa. It is located within the Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport, nearly 7 to 8 miles northeast of Downtown Santa Rosa. It houses a collection of more than 30 American military, propeller, and jet aircraft, some of which housing inside an original fabrication shop dating back to the time of World War II. All the aircraft you can see and touch here includes an F-16 Fighting Falcon, a UH-1 Iroquois (“Huey”) helicopter, A-4 Skyhawk, F-105 Thunderchief and other historically prestigious ones.
Pacific Coast Air Museum is also home to the display of the lightest jet aircraft in the world, a kit-built Bede BD-5 and Pitts Special S1, one of the most famous historic aerobatic aeroplane’s replicas. Apart from touching, viewing and feeling the aircraft, if you wish to sit on them, then consider visiting during the Open Cockpit Weekends when you can grab the Pilot seat and feel the extraordinary experience. This museum in Santa Rosa also holds several annual events, including Wheels & Wings Car Show, air show flyover and more.
Address: One Air Museum Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
5. California Indian Museum and Cultural Centre
The California Indian Museum and Cultural Centre is a small museum and can also be recognized as one best-kept secret of Santa Rosa. The Museum primarily focuses upon the story of California Indians who suffered natural abundance, pain, human conflict and whatnot. The main motive of focusing upon them is to make people learn and unite from the bonds of racism and hatred and teach the coming generation to respect diversity in humankind.
The Museum features a lot about the lesser-known Californian tribe “Yahi” who lived alone in the region during the early 1900s. Ishi’s (Ishi and his family) were one of the main Yahi who survived a massacre. Further, when all the members of his family die, Ishi lived there all alone in the year 1910. The Museum runs a documentary showing how Ishi was found (the last of his tribe) and his further life with a series of films. Here at the display, you can find Cradle Baskets and other weaved objects from those times.
Address: 5250 Aero Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95403