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Old 10-15-2007, 09:07 PM
370 posts, read 863,347 times
Reputation: 236


Can people provide advice as to the differences between Napa and Sonoma?

What are the primary differences between the two with regard to residence (primary residence versus vacation home), economy (economic base, jobs, wine, tourism), government and community services (schools, infrastructure), weather, and home prices?

I always thought that Sonoma and Napa were pretty interchangeable but getting different feedback.

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Old 10-16-2007, 01:58 AM
Location: Novato, CA
38 posts, read 200,687 times
Reputation: 11
Sonoma & Napa are close to one another. Napa is slightly cheaper if I remember correctly, but not by much. Sonoma is small, but is growing fast! Weather is about the same for them.

I believe the major difference would be traffic. There is some considerable traffic in both towns. And Napa can be a long drive if there is an accident or two.
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Old 10-21-2007, 10:13 AM
106 posts, read 581,558 times
Reputation: 61
Default Comparing county or towns?

OP, are you asking about Napa County v Sonoma County or Napa town v Sonoma town? Comparing counties if far more complex...

previous poster correct in that Napa town is cheaper and a farther commute to SF area but Napa is closer to Oakland/East Bay...Napa is large enough to have a variety of housing prices within the city limits--in Sonoma the city limits tend to contain the "upscale" housing with the cheaper housing outside city limits.

Sonoma town is smaller and nicer looking and lots of tourists visit the city proper--Napa Valley gets more tourists but they tend to visit wineries in the country and not the town itself (tho Napa has made strides in making the town more appealing to tourists.)
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:21 PM
47 posts, read 220,975 times
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The actual town of Sonoma is very touristy and quite annoying - it can take FOREVER to get through the square on the weekends, and driving on Hwy. 12 can be brutal if you get stuck behind people wine tasting. The actual town of Napa is slightly cheaper, but also not as nice. There's really not much to do in either towns - I lived in Napa for awhile when I was a teenager and we would literally hang out in the In N Out parking lot on Friday/Sat night because there was nothing else to do. Lived near Sonoma while in college, and it wasn't much better. there's about 2 bars in town by the square and they're pretty ghetto. I would look into Santa Rosa/Rohnert Park/Petaluma (Sonoma County) - they're all a little cheaper then Sonoma and there's a few more things to do.
Housing prices in Sonoma are out of the roof - not sure about Napa because I haven't looked there. you'd probably pay around $600k for a 2-bed in Sonoma.
Both towns get a little bit of a breeze on summer nights, can get hot (a few weeks of 100, but most of the summer is probably mid-90s) and both have moderate weather in the winter - "freezing" is about 55 during the day.
You might have slightly better success finding a job in Napa - lots of retail jobs in both towns.
I've always thought Napa's local government could do a little better - very slow on getting things for the actual residents - more emphasis is put on the tourists and bringing in money (hence the reason why there is nothing for teenagers to do, except for the 1 skate park).
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:23 AM
Location: Portland
93 posts, read 73,755 times
Reputation: 106
Both Counties are very expensive all around. The only real affordable place left is Rohnert Park, some not very nice areas of Santa Rosa and maybe way up in Cloverdale. Napa is a little more expensive than Sonoma. Napa gets much hotter in summer and doesn’t cool off at night as fast. Sonoma is not as hot in places facing the coast, and cools way down at night. Napa County is smaller and basically just one long, deep valley with the Napa River. Sonoma is bigger, more populated, more diverse and has the ocean as well as redwoods. I much prefer Sonoma County. Napa is totally geared to tourism and wine not much else. Sonoma is all about wine too, but has beaches, ocean, more cities, etc.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:28 PM
Location: Portland
93 posts, read 73,755 times
Reputation: 106
I’m really glad I don’t live there now. I think my kids are going to love Oregon where it’s so much cheaper!
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:22 AM
Location: Portland
93 posts, read 73,755 times
Reputation: 106
Down love in the Napa valley it’s too expensive especially my home in Napa County.
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