If you live in Santa Rosa and haven’t had visitors yet, just wait; you will. We here at OutThereSR have taken it upon ourselves to collect some favorite activities of people who actually live here. We asked them what they would choose to do if given 48 hours in Santa Rosa. In our 48 Hours Series, we’re sharing what we found, so the next time your favorite uncle in Nebraska needs a getaway, you’ll be ready. Pro tip: this article is going to be full of links since it’s chock full of places to check out. Hover over the name of anything that sounds interesting and click away!

As I’ve been asking people how they’d entertain guests for 48 hours in Santa Rosa, I’ve loved hearing how quickly their ideas come to them, and I of course wanted to play along. I consulted with Paul Malone, Santa Rosa’s finest driveway winemaker and the person I happen to call my sweetheart, and we came up with our Santa Rosa two-day tourist guide within about four seconds.

Day 1

48 hours in santa rosaFirst of all, if these visitors of ours arrived in summer, we’d check with the City of Santa Rosa to find out if they’d be giving any tours of the underground creek tunnels, because this activity is awesome and full of information about Santa Rosa’s creek system. Plus, the graffiti is really cool. creek tunnel. 48 hours in santa rosaAfter that, we’d head over to the SOFA neighborhood (South A) for some art gallery perusal. Not every art space is open all the time, but it’s amazing to see the variety of work being created in this one tiny little neighborhood.

Over on Cleveland Ave is Vintner’s Square, a fun little stop for doing some wine tasting with a group because they’ve got a lot of other things going on, too. vintners-square signage. 48 hours in santa rosaThere’s an organic juice bar for the DD, a cigar shop, and a pizza place, because I am of the strong opinion that it never hurts to have some pizza at any given point in the day. Plus there’s Fogbelt Brewing Company for our beer nerd friends, and if we’re lucky they’ll be hosting one of their hilarious comedy shows, always featuring both local comedians and those from afar. lococos-cucina-rustica 48 hours in santa rosaWe’d make a point to eat dinner at Lococo’s in Railroad Square because we’re suckers for a red and white checked tablecloth and classic garlicky Italian food.

Day 2

Paul loves a hike so on Day 2 we’d amble our way up Taylor Mountain, which is a bit of a haul for me because, frankly, I’m quite lazy, but the stellar views of Santa Rosa and beyond are incredible and so worth it.

taylor mountain 48 hours in santa rosa

As an additional reward for the climb, I would insist we treat our guests to some no-frills soft-serve ice cream at Foster’s Freeze on 4th Street, because it reminds me of being a kid, when everything was no-frills. Across 4th Street from Foster’s is the Proctor Terrace/McDonald neighborhood, where we’d take our guests walking (on a flat surface this time!).

foster's freeze sign 48 hours in santa rosa

In the spring the cherry and plum blossoms are gorgeous, and in the fall the yellow ginkgo leaves covering the streets make us feel like we’re in Oz. The McDonald Mansion was lovingly restored several years ago and is a wonder to look at. I’ve always been fond of pretending I’m a very rich and fancy lady so this place suits that fantasy pretty well. McDonald Mansion copy 48 hours in santa rosaMcDonald Ave itself is nice and wide for strolling, with beautiful old homes to admire on either side.

Since we were already feeling very quaint and old-world, we’d then catch happy hour at The Villa, because it sort of feels like being in a black and white movie, filled with everyone’s favorite grandparents. They have a pretty extensive Happy Hour menu, but my vote would be to head over to Rosso’s pizzeria for dinner, where their wood-fired pizzas are to die for. rosso pizzeria 48 hours in santa rosaThey’re topped with anything from your traditional sauce and cheese, to salmon with capers and arugula, to their ‘Goomba’, which has spaghetti and meatballs on it. Yes, you read that right: spaghetti and meatballs on a pizza! So yeah, we like to take our nearest and dearest there.

What are your go-to Santa Rosa stops when company comes to town? Check back soon for more ideas for things to do with 48 hours in Santa Rosa, and in the meantime, share some of your go-to activities in the comments!