Located along the scenic Russian River, Cloverdale is 80 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge and 30 miles from the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. With access to the 70-acre Russian River Park and a few minutes drive to beautiful Lake Sonoma, water lovers can enjoy their own type of paradise.
With historic murals downtown depicting early life in Cloverdale, and self-guided walking tours of the historical residences and buildings of the city, visitors can enjoy the history of Cloverdale. Or they can visit the Cloverdale Historic Museum, which is located in the notable gothic revival Gould-Shaw House.
The area near Cloverdale was also the site of two utopian type colonies, one to the south, called Icaria, whose school is remembered with an historical marker, and the other, Preston, which lay to the north. Preston was a religious sect community led by Madame Emily Preston who, in addition to being viewed as a healer with an “x-ray eye” and a slew of patent medicines, also founded “The Church of Heaven on Probation.” While Madame Preston’s once elegant mansion was lost to a wildfire in 1988, the church and adjacent clock tower still stand today.
With unique events scheduled throughout the year, Cloverdale provides something for everyone. Regular events include a farmer’s market, the Citrus Fair, the Black Bart Festival, a Beer Fest, the Classic Car Street Fair, the Old Time Fiddle Contest, Oktoberfest and the Scarecrow Competition. With gourmet food, antiques and crafts, wine and beer tasting and a variety of other activities at these events, you’re sure to have a good time.
Arts & Entertainment
A diverse cultural current runs through the area, making Cloverdale an ideal place to experience the arts. The City of Cloverdale and the Cloverdale Arts Alliance sponsor a variety of events that showcase the work of local artists and give the public an opportunity to meet with the artists while viewing their works. They also hold juried exhibits for different mediums, and provide the opportunity for the public to tour the studios of area artists. Other events include Friday Night Live (free weekly art performances in the Cloverdale Plaza during the summer, featuring music and dance of world cultures), a Twilight Poet’s Society, and the “Real Flicks” Independent Film Series.
The Arts Alliance has leased a prime downtown venue at 105 E. First St. in Cloverdale. With this location at the heart of the community, The Arts Alliance is campaigning to develop a Center for the Arts to serve as a multipurpose arts center that will enrich the entire Cloverdale community.
The vibrant wine country can be experienced in a number of ways. Cloverdale sits along the Russian River, which leads through some of the most scenic grape-growing regions in California. The Russian River Wine Road is an association of wineries and lodgings within Northwest Sonoma County. Wine Road travelers can spend a day exploring gorgeous country roads and picturesque wineries and attractions. Area wineries offer a variety of events, including dinners and wine tasting, along with music and entertainment.
The Cloverdale Historical Society also sponsors various events throughout the year, such as the Old Time Fiddle Contest, a spring garden tour, an annual picnic, in addition to the period displays featured within the Gould-Shaw House, which houses the local museum.
Clover Cinemas provides moviegoers with their passport to all the latest films. Additionally, the close proximity to the City affords the opportunity to take in any type of theatre, opera, concert or professional sporting event you may desire.
Outdoor Recreation in Cloverdale
With its lush natural environment and agreeable climate, Cloverdale offers a world of outdoor recreation possibilities. The city houses a true gem in the form of Cloverdale River Park. Encompassing 70 acres with access to the Russian River and expansive wooded surroundings, the River Park is an ideal place to refresh and renew your spirit.
Water lovers will find that a wide array of boating opportunities and other water adventures await them. Cloverdale River Park features picnic areas, a beach, and a kayak and canoe launch. There are also car top public launching areas located at the Yorty Creek Recreation Area, which also offers picnicking and swimming. Lake Sonoma is just minutes away and offers a wealth of recreational activities including swimming, boating, camping, fishing and hunting. When full, the lake has a surface area of more than 2,700 acres and 50 miles of shoreline. The Congressman Don Claussen Fish Hatchery, located directly behind the visitor center, was built to replace and enhance salmon and steelhead spawning grounds. The California Department of Fish and Game offers tours of the hatchery during spawning season (January – April).
Additional city parks offer a variety of amenities for all ages. Furber Park features play structures, swings, a combination baseball/soccer field, and a snack shack with an announcement booth and restrooms. City Park also offers expanded facilities that families of all ages will enjoy, such as play structures and swings, a baseball field, snack shack and restrooms, a barbecue and picnic area, horseshoe pits, basketball and volleyball courts as well as a scout cabin. Tarman Park offers basic play equipment and lovely picnic facilities.
For those who prefer more of an adrenaline rush, Skydive San Francisco, located minutes south of Cloverdale, can set up even the most ardent thrill seekers with the adventure of their choice, whether it be skydiving, soaring, gliding, flying, hang gliding or paragliding. With breathtaking views of the California coastline as your backdrop, it will be an experience you will never forget.
There are also three great bicycle loop rides, which lead through the surrounding wine country, and they all begin in downtown Cloverdale. Whether you’re up for a 10-mile jaunt, a two-hour ride of about 25 miles, or a three-four hour excursion of 50 miles, you’ll have the ride of a lifetime. Regardless of which path you choose, you will enjoy the gently rolling landscape and beauty of the wine country, as you will only find it here in the Alexander Valley.
The area wineries represent an entire recreation venue themselves, with participating wineries offering wine tasting, music, activities and fine foods, which complement the unique flavors and style of each wine.
The Alexander Valley Resort project is also underway. When completed, it is anticipated the AVR will feature a championship golf course, a hotel, retail shops, and luxury homes.
River Rock Casino is in nearby Geyserville and the Pomo Indian tribe also has plans underway for a casino venture, which will feature a variety of entertainment.
There is also a fabulous Senior Multipurpose Center, which hosts a full schedule of activities and programs for those seniors wishing to take advantage of the active lifestyle available here in Cloverdale.