Sebastopol Retains Small-Town Feel Near Bustling Santa Rosa

Just seven miles west of Santa Rosa, the city of Sebastopol offers quick access to Sonoma County’s seat, while clinging to its rural, small-town roots.appletree

Incorporated in 1902, Sebastopol’s history as an apple-farming center is still apparent today by the orchards that dot the city’s outskirts. Famous for its Gravenstein variety, Sebastopol celebrates its native fruit each August during the Gravenstein Apple Fair, a weekend-long event that serves up local food, wine, and music.

The city of 7,500 enjoys about 260 sunny days per year thanks to portions of the California Coast Range, which protect it from the Pacific Ocean winds. Daytime highs during the summer months average in the mid-80s, while winter temperatures rarely dip below freezing.

Three public schools serve Sebastopol, including 1,300-student Analy High School. In 2012 Analy scored 818 out of a possible 1,000 on the state’s Academic Performance Index.

Main Street, Sebastopol’s commercial center, is home to a variety of locally owned restaurants, art galleries, and shops. Though Sebastopol has both a Safeway and a Whole Foods Market, shoppers who need access to other chain stores can hop on State Route 12 and head into Santa Rosa in less than 15 minutes. Santa Rosa is also the juncture of Highway 101, Sonoma County’s principal north-south thoroughfare and the fastest way to get to San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Nature admirers and outdoor enthusiasts have no shortage of nearby options with which to entertain themselves. Sebastopol is located just 15 miles east of the seaside town of Bodega Bay, which acts as a gateway to Highway 1’s stunning stretch of rocky coastline. To the north is the town of Guerneville, where summer pastimes include swimming and canoeing on the Russian River or sunbathing along its banks.

“Close to the ocean and even closer to the redwoods, nearby outdoor activities are aplenty,” user StephSF said on Pacific Union’s Sebastopol neighborhood reviews page. “Summers here actually feel the way that summers are supposed to feel, but the cool ocean breezes are never too far off.”

According to MLS data, median home prices in Sebastopol hit $650,000 in June, the highest they have been in two years and 32 percent above Sonoma County overall. Home prices spiked 20.5 percent from the year before, slightly lower than the 25 percent increases experienced countywide during that same period.

There were 99 Sebastopol properties on the market in June, roughly 40 percent of which were still available at the end of the month, as opposed to 30 percent in Sonoma County as a whole.

(Photo courtesy of Muffet, via Flickr.)

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