Located in the center of Sonoma County on the Highway 101 corridor, Cotati (pop. 7,275) is a modern community with strong historic roots, particularly in agriculture and music. Because of a gap in the coastal mountains to the west, coastal fog often reaches Cotati in the summer, creating a milder and somewhat cooler climate than in neighboring communities such as Santa Rosa or Sebastopol. Laid out in the 1890s and covering less than two square miles, Cotati is one of only two towns nationwide (the other is Detroit) with a hexagon street pattern instead of the standard grid.
The heart of Cotati is La Plaza Park, a California Historic Landmark. Each year it comes alive with Cajun beats, music with a Spanish flair and much, much more during the Cotati Accordion Festival, the largest event of its type in California. Accordion lovers worldwide travel to Cotati for a weekend of fun, food, and squeezebox music. A statue of renowned accordion player Jim Boggio, a co-founder of the festival who died in 1996, occupies a place of honor in the plaza.
The park also hosts a weekly farmers market from June to September, offering locally grown produce and flowers, crafts, specialty foods, live entertainment, and children’s activities. Annual events based in La Plaza Park include the Kids’ Day Parade and Festival, the Cotati Jazz Festival, Oktoberfest, and a holiday tree lighting ceremony. A restaurant district near the plaza offers diverse dining options, from classic American cuisine to Mexican, Japanese, Italian, and more.
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