One of the most appealing things about living in Sonoma County is the tremendous range of fantastic amenities for such a rural community.Â People come here for the scenic beauty and they stay, moving from large cities in the San Francisco Bay Area or Southern California because there is so much to do, from great dining and wine tasting (of course!) to a thriving small theatre and music scene to a large arts community.Â Granted, it’s not Manhattan, where the world is at your doorstep, but we pack a surprising amount into a scenic package.
One of the things I enjoy most about working with Sonoma County real estate buyers, is sharing with them the personal discoveries I have made and my favorite haunts in communities from Sebastopol to Sonoma, Glen Ellen to Healdsburg, Santa Rosa to Windsor, Occidental, Graton, Kenwood, etc.Â One of my goals with this blog over time is to collect some links and tools that will serve as my personal guide to Sonoma County.Â Over the coming months, you will see more community pages with my personal recommendations and links to handy resources for Sonoma County residents and would-be residents of the Wine Country.
In the meantime, I have found a great tool to help you get started learning about any home you might consider buying:Â Walkscore.com.Â Â It provides a Walkability score for any given address.Â What is that?Â From the Walkscore Home Page:
Picture a walkable neighborhood. You lose weight each time you walk to the grocery store. You stumble home from last call without waiting for a cab. You spend less money on your carâ€”or you don’t own a car. When you shop, you support your local economy. You talk to your neighbors.
What makes a neighborhood walkable?
- A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a discernable center, whether it’s a shopping district, a main street, or a public space.
- Density: The neighborhood is compact enough for local businesses to flourish and for public transportation to run frequently.
- Mixed income, mixed use: Housing is provided for everyone who works in the neighborhood: young and old, singles and families, rich and poor. Businesses and residences are located near each other.
- Parks and public space: There are plenty of public places to gather and play.
- Pedestrian-centric design: Buildings are placed close to the street to cater to foot traffic, with parking lots relegated to the back.
- Nearby schools and workplaces: Schools and workplaces are close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
One of the most walkable homes in Sonoma County that I know just happens to be my charming listing at 414 Piper Street in Healdsburg. Â From there you can walk to world class restaurant Cyrus, to dozens of wineries, to several great taquerias, grocery shopping, drug andhardware stores–you name it!Â Take a look at what a Walkscore of 83 out of 100 will get you.
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