In the first-ever comic strip of Peanuts—published in just seven newspapers on Oct. 2, 1950—hero Charlie Brown gets insulted by two kids who look a little like the characters we’ve come to know as Sherman and Patty. No Snoopy, no Woodstock, not even a zig-zag on Charlie Brown’s shirt.

 

It’s hard to see much California in that strip either—cartoonist Charles M. Schulz grew up in Minnesota—but the Golden State played a big role in the strip over the years, primarily because Schulz made Sonoma County (Sebastopol and then Santa Rosa) his home from 1958 until his death in 2000. Signs of Snoopy and the gang still thrive, though, at these spots across California:

 

Santa Rosa and Petaluma, Sonoma County

Not far from the studio where he penned the strip daily, Schulz helped create the Charles M. Schulz Museum to showcase his drawings, the TV specials, memorabilia, and a replica of that working studio. Make time to ice skate across the street at Snoopy’s Home Ice, and enjoy some hot cocoa at Warm Puppy Café. Check the museum’s calendar for cool events, like cartooning classes for kids, or the wine-tasting and sketching evenings for grown-ups known as Friday Night at the Schulz.

 

While you’re in Sonoma County, check out the self-guided tour that takes you past Peanuts statues around town, or explore Petaluma, the farm-to-table town that used to host the World Wristwrestling Championship (which, in the comic strip, once disqualified Snoopy for lacking thumbs).

Buena Park, Orange County

Aside from its origins as a berry farm stand and Wild West attraction, Knott's Berry Farm has had a long association with the Peanuts gang: Its little-kid-friendly area has Peanut-themed rides (such as the Linus Launcher), character meet-and-greets, and live shows such as Camp Snoopy Theatre. Stop outside the park at the Peanuts Headquarters (across from the Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner restaurant) for an expansive selection of Peanuts plush dolls, DVDs of the TV specials, and t-shirts celebrating characters from Lucy to Pig Pen.

 

Needles, San Bernardino County

Snoopy’s skinny brother Spike, who made occasional appearances in the comic strip, lived in this desert town off Route 66, where Schulz’s family briefly lived themselves, decades earlier. Today, check out the remains of the famous road trip and bask in Spike's remote home among the dunes and caverns of the nearby Mojave National Preserve.