This magical Petaluma treehouse is a weekend must-stay
(Photography by Sarah Chorey, via

This magical Petaluma treehouse is a weekend must-stay


I have now experienced the ultimate getaway weekend from San Francisco—in a Petaluma treehouse.

This has been a childhood dream of mine. I climbed any tree I could get my hands on as a child and obsessively told my father about the three-story treehouse that would fit perfectly in the big oak tree with a U-shaped trunk in our backyard. (Didn't happen). Now, finally, 20-some odd years later, my dream has become reality.

Here's where to stay, what to eat, and what to do for a magical treehouse weekend in Petaluma.


Obviously, if you come to Petaluma you have to stay at theTreehouse at Swallowtail Studios. There are actually two adorable treehouses, two barns, a main house, and a small cottage on this small farm about 10 minutes outside of downtown.

The owners, Michelle and Bill, are a sweet, down-to-earth couple who have been there for several years. Bill originally built the treehouse for his daughter who, ironically, never went in it until she came back to visit with her fiance years later. The property used to be an old artist community and even hosted The Grateful Dead for shows at the big barn.

Needless to say, staying in the Petaluma treehouse is a truly magical experience. Following a small dirt pathway, the treehouse is hidden in a grove of tall eucalyptus trees. Entering two swinging glass doors, you find your own personal bungalow with an inviting bed covered in quilts and filled with mysterious artifacts. And yes, there's even a small bathroom with a toilet. We spent our weekend exploring, playing games, and enjoying a glass of wine at sunset. // $195/night;


Breakfast: If you stay in the treehouse, Michelle and Bill will suggest you join them for breakfast each morning. Do this. You will have some of the best homemade French toast covered in powdered sugar, drizzles of maple syrup and fresh berries.

Lunch: Wild Goat Bistro is the place to stop. Usually pretty busy, this place has healthy and filling American food focused on small plates, sandwiches, salads, and pizza. Pro tip: Go for a late lunch in the mid-afternoon to miss the crowds and get seats quickly.

Dinner: Speakeasy is a delicious spot right off of Washington Street. The restaurant serves up a mix of small plates including papas bravas, baked soft pretzel with cheesy dip (very tasty), enchiladas, burgers, salads, trip tip melts, croque madame, and short ribs—so really a little bit of everything. Definitely get a round of their lobster mac 'n cheese.

After dinner, walk across the courtyard to The Big Easy for drinks. This spot is the sister bar of Speakeasy and has live music six nights a week.


Wine tasting: There are several small tasting rooms sprinkled around downtown. Start at Barber Cellars Tasting Room for some great reds, then move towards the town center to check out Adobe Road Winery Tasting Room. (Pro tip: If you're hungry, now is the time to stop at Wild Goat Bistro around the corner). The last stop should be Sonoma Portworks for unique port wines. Grab a bottle or two of their Sonomic Gold/Red Almost Vinegar—a sweet, thick liquid that is the perfect dressing for salads or as a glaze for meats. If you have a designated driver for the day, there are also a ton of vineyards in the surrounding area.

Antique shopping: Petaluma is filled with antique shops. Spend the day strolling the quaint downtown streets and treasure hunting among these boutiques.

Hiking: Right outside of Petaluma is Helen Putnam Regional Park. This space has tons of different trails depending on what you're looking for.

// This story was originally published on

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