Emily's Guidebook

Emily
Emily's Guidebook

Neighborhoods

This is an adorable historic town full of quaint shops, a restaurant, and wine tasting spot. Cows often graze on the hill nearby.
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Duncans Mills
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This is an adorable historic town full of quaint shops, a restaurant, and wine tasting spot. Cows often graze on the hill nearby.
A summer destination for bohemians, writers, artists and vacationers since the early 1900s, this tiny town has all the necessary ingredients for La Dolce Vita — majestic redwoods, fir-covered hills dotted by eccentric cabins, the Russian River meandering toward Pacific shores, a wide variety of artisanal food, a rural flavor and a laid-back style.
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Forestville
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A summer destination for bohemians, writers, artists and vacationers since the early 1900s, this tiny town has all the necessary ingredients for La Dolce Vita — majestic redwoods, fir-covered hills dotted by eccentric cabins, the Russian River meandering toward Pacific shores, a wide variety of artisanal food, a rural flavor and a laid-back style.
Tucked away in western Sonoma County, the tiny community of Occidental was founded in 1876 as the last stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad, and it soon became a popular vacation destination. In 1879, a railroad saloon and boarding house, the Union Hotel and Restaurant, was constructed; it's now a popular Italian cafe, bakery, and pizzeria. And Occidental's famous Negri's Italian Dinners & Joe's Bar, with its vintage trattoria ambience, has been serving Italian classics since 1943. Occidental is also home to restaurants that feature Mexican, American, Mediterranean/pizza, and pub grub menus.
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Occidental
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Tucked away in western Sonoma County, the tiny community of Occidental was founded in 1876 as the last stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad, and it soon became a popular vacation destination. In 1879, a railroad saloon and boarding house, the Union Hotel and Restaurant, was constructed; it's now a popular Italian cafe, bakery, and pizzeria. And Occidental's famous Negri's Italian Dinners & Joe's Bar, with its vintage trattoria ambience, has been serving Italian classics since 1943. Occidental is also home to restaurants that feature Mexican, American, Mediterranean/pizza, and pub grub menus.
Located where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean, Jenner (pop. 136) is a place where the pace is up to you - you can challenge yourself with a rugged hillside hike with stunning coastal views, paddle a kayak on the river or ocean, stroll leisurely on a beautiful beach or high bluff, sit on the sand and watch a colony of sea lions, or snuggle into a comfy chair while sipping fine wine, nibbling fine food, and enjoying the view out the window.
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Jenner
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Located where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean, Jenner (pop. 136) is a place where the pace is up to you - you can challenge yourself with a rugged hillside hike with stunning coastal views, paddle a kayak on the river or ocean, stroll leisurely on a beautiful beach or high bluff, sit on the sand and watch a colony of sea lions, or snuggle into a comfy chair while sipping fine wine, nibbling fine food, and enjoying the view out the window.

City/town information

Charming wine country destination full of tasting rooms, boutiques, and upscale restaurants. Some great antiquing too.
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Healdsburg
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Charming wine country destination full of tasting rooms, boutiques, and upscale restaurants. Some great antiquing too.
Friendly, quaint, and colorful, and charmingly rustic this is a great place to walk around and enjoy the russian river. Don't miss the biscuits at Big Bottom Market.
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Guerneville
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Friendly, quaint, and colorful, and charmingly rustic this is a great place to walk around and enjoy the russian river. Don't miss the biscuits at Big Bottom Market.

Food scene

Romantic, bustling bistro with great french food.
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Underwood Bar and Bistro
9113 Graton Road
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Romantic, bustling bistro with great french food.
Adorable local favorite with GREAT comfort food and some amazing house made ice cream.
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Rio Cafe & Grill
20396 Bohemian Highway
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Adorable local favorite with GREAT comfort food and some amazing house made ice cream.
Lively and fun dive bar directly on the russian river with down home bar food and a great mexican food truck. When the lawn is open it has great space for kids to run around and lots of games.
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Stumptown Brewery
15045 River Road
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Lively and fun dive bar directly on the russian river with down home bar food and a great mexican food truck. When the lawn is open it has great space for kids to run around and lots of games.
Lively dive restaurant/bar with lots of space for people to spread out and kids to run around. They often have live music on the weekends. Come for the ambiance and fun, not for the food! One of our favorite spots to hang as a family.
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Rio Nido Roadhouse
14540 Canyon Two Road
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Lively dive restaurant/bar with lots of space for people to spread out and kids to run around. They often have live music on the weekends. Come for the ambiance and fun, not for the food! One of our favorite spots to hang as a family.
Family owned an operated Italian dinners since 1943. Classic family style dinners and hand crafted cocktails. Stop
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Negri's Original Occidental
3700 Bohemian Highway
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Family owned an operated Italian dinners since 1943. Classic family style dinners and hand crafted cocktails. Stop
Awesome sandwiches and legendary biscuits (Oprah's favorite)
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Big Bottom Market
16228 Main Street
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Awesome sandwiches and legendary biscuits (Oprah's favorite)
A cozy spot with bar & table seats that serves Cal-Mediterranean dishes & pizzas, plus wine.
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Hazel Restaurant
3782 Bohemian Highway
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A cozy spot with bar & table seats that serves Cal-Mediterranean dishes & pizzas, plus wine.
Fantastic (and a little bougie) cafe, the baked goods, breakfast, and lunch foods here are to die for. If they have Focaccia, get it!
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The Altamont General Store
3703 Main Street
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Fantastic (and a little bougie) cafe, the baked goods, breakfast, and lunch foods here are to die for. If they have Focaccia, get it!
Wonderful cafe/light and casual breakfast spot 5 minutes from the house. Great outdoor ambiance.
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Lightwave Coffee and kitchen
9725 Main Street
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Wonderful cafe/light and casual breakfast spot 5 minutes from the house. Great outdoor ambiance.
Incredible pastries in a cute historic town, great back patio with occasional live music.
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Gold Coast Coffee & Bakery
23577 Steelhead Boulevard
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Incredible pastries in a cute historic town, great back patio with occasional live music.
Classic breakfast joint.
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Howard Station Cafe
3611 Bohemian Highway
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Classic breakfast joint.
Great pizza and live music on friday nights from 5-9 pm.
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Raymond's Bakery at Elim Grove
5400 Cazadero Highway
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Great pizza and live music on friday nights from 5-9 pm.
Lively farmers market with music, fridays 4pm to dusk, May through October.
Occidental Community Farmers' Market
3611 Bohemian Highway
Lively farmers market with music, fridays 4pm to dusk, May through October.
Beautiful views, good coffee and cafe/light breakfast food, and live music on the weekends. Parking can be difficult but worth it if you can find some.
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Cafe Aquatica
10439 California 1
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Beautiful views, good coffee and cafe/light breakfast food, and live music on the weekends. Parking can be difficult but worth it if you can find some.
Upscale food with an ocean view
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River's End Restaurant & Inn
11048 California 1
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Upscale food with an ocean view
If you want a fancy dinner, this is the spot!
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Farmhouse Inn
7871 River Road
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If you want a fancy dinner, this is the spot!
Great breakfast and lunch food in a magical backyard.
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Baked on the River
17071 CA-116
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Great breakfast and lunch food in a magical backyard.
Fresh oysters, a glass of wine, picnic tables, a boat for kids to climb on, what more could you ask for?
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Bodega Bay Oyster Company
12830 Valley Ford Road
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Fresh oysters, a glass of wine, picnic tables, a boat for kids to climb on, what more could you ask for?
Artisanal bread and baked goods
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Wild Flour Bread
140 Bohemian Highway
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Artisanal bread and baked goods
cheese shop
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Freestone Artisan Cheese
380 Bohemian Hwy
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cheese shop

spas

Award winning local spa in a beautiful, garden like setting
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Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary
209 Bohemian Highway
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Award winning local spa in a beautiful, garden like setting

Sightseeing

As you stroll through this beautiful old-growth redwood forest, you'll see some of the tallest and oldest trees remaining in this part of California. The Parson Jones Tree is about 310 feet high; the Colonel Armstrong Tree is more than 1,400 years old. The reserve includes a visitor center, large outdoor amphitheater, self-guided nature trails, and a variety of picnic facilities. While you can drive into the park, the best way to experience the dramatic effect of the towering redwoods, is to park in the lot (though there is a $10 fee). All of the main park features can be found along the Pioneer Nature Trail. This trail is a mile and a half long round trip, is ADA accessible and is mostly flat and level.
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Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve
17000 Armstrong Woods Rd
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As you stroll through this beautiful old-growth redwood forest, you'll see some of the tallest and oldest trees remaining in this part of California. The Parson Jones Tree is about 310 feet high; the Colonel Armstrong Tree is more than 1,400 years old. The reserve includes a visitor center, large outdoor amphitheater, self-guided nature trails, and a variety of picnic facilities. While you can drive into the park, the best way to experience the dramatic effect of the towering redwoods, is to park in the lot (though there is a $10 fee). All of the main park features can be found along the Pioneer Nature Trail. This trail is a mile and a half long round trip, is ADA accessible and is mostly flat and level.
The Grove is a healthy, old-growth stand of Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the trees on easy trails, some suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. The Grove of Old Trees is the first and now one of only two privately owned preserves in Sonoma County that is publicly accessible and free to all.
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LandPaths Grove of Old Trees
17599 Fitzpatrick Lane
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The Grove is a healthy, old-growth stand of Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the trees on easy trails, some suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. The Grove of Old Trees is the first and now one of only two privately owned preserves in Sonoma County that is publicly accessible and free to all.
Goat Rock, near the mouth of the Russian River, is known for its scenic shoreline and easily accessible sandy beach. Picnic tables and restroom facilities are also available. Goat Rock beach is home to a colony of harbor seals! Though it is important to keep your distance.
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Goat Rock Beach
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Goat Rock, near the mouth of the Russian River, is known for its scenic shoreline and easily accessible sandy beach. Picnic tables and restroom facilities are also available. Goat Rock beach is home to a colony of harbor seals! Though it is important to keep your distance.
Good beach for dipping your toes in in the summer!
Salmon Creek State Beach
Good beach for dipping your toes in in the summer!
Zipline!
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Sonoma Canopy Tours
6250 Bohemian Highway
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Zipline!
Our beautiful, local beach and nature preserve. A must visit, even in the colder months! In the summer it's a great place to swim.
Patterson Point Preserve
Our beautiful, local beach and nature preserve. A must visit, even in the colder months! In the summer it's a great place to swim.

Wine tasting

Family-friendly winery that often has live music. One of the top outdoor dining spots in Sonoma County, Russian River Vineyards serves sandwiches, salads and specialty focaccia from a menu that changes seasonally to capture the very best of the vineyard’s on-site farm produce.
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Russian River Vineyards
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Family-friendly winery that often has live music. One of the top outdoor dining spots in Sonoma County, Russian River Vineyards serves sandwiches, salads and specialty focaccia from a menu that changes seasonally to capture the very best of the vineyard’s on-site farm produce.
One of our absolute favorite wine makers in the area.
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Porter Creek Vineyards
8735 Westside Road
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One of our absolute favorite wine makers in the area.
West County Regional Trail: This 5.57-mile trail between Forestville and Sebastopol runs along an abandoned railroad line and meanders through agricultural ranches, farmlands, vineyards and woods. The trail, open from sunrise to sunset, is paved for walking, biking and roller skating — there's an unpaved equestrian trail to the side.
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West County Regional Trail, Forestville, CA
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West County Regional Trail: This 5.57-mile trail between Forestville and Sebastopol runs along an abandoned railroad line and meanders through agricultural ranches, farmlands, vineyards and woods. The trail, open from sunrise to sunset, is paved for walking, biking and roller skating — there's an unpaved equestrian trail to the side.
RYME Tasting Room
6450 1st St

Kids

Best playground in the area
J.K. Wright Memorial Playground
16016 Drake Road
Best playground in the area
Kids museum
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Children's Museum of Sonoma County
1835 West Steele Lane
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Kids museum
Old school, down home, mini golf
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Pee Wee Golf & Arcade
16155 Drake Road
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Old school, down home, mini golf
Ratzlaff Apple A Day is a great apple picking spot in the fall!
Apple A Day
13128 Occidental Road
Ratzlaff Apple A Day is a great apple picking spot in the fall!