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Occidental, California - Sonoma Wine County
  SONOMA COTTAGE - OCCIDENTAL, CA Free Wine Tasting Passport Visit the Inn at Occidental
During your visit to Sonoma Cottage in Occidental, grab a copy of An Historical and Anecdotal Walking Tour of the Small (but Fascinating) Village of Occidental, California, and take some time to stroll our quirky town and drink in its history and charm. Many of the boutiques and shops offer mementos of your trip, and if you're a pasta lover — well this is the place to be!

Its Wacky History
Occidental's first settler, "Dutch Bill Howard" was actually not Dutch, nor was his name Bill Howard. He was, in fact, a Danish sailor named Christopher Folkmann, on the lam from stealing a military boat. In 1849, he assumed the named Bill Howard and settled on what is now the town's north end. Despite his shady past and the fact that it wasn't really his name, the town was christened "Howard's Station" after him and remained so until renamed "Occidental" in 1876. In the 1880s, the town experienced its first boom when Italian immigrants migrated to the area. They worked as loggers, farmers, and coal miners and made Occidental their home. Many of the original families still live in Occidental, which explains why its two-block main drag has five (yes, five) family-style Italian restaurants.

Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market
We are so lucky to live in this beautiful and bountiful place. We are even luckier to live in Occidental where our Friday evening Farmers Market runs from the first Friday in June through the last Friday in October. The Market Occidental Farmer's Marketopens at 4pm and goes until dusk. Locals know to come early to get the best selection of farm, fresh organic produce and other hand made treats. There are several wonderful food vendors including Gerard's Paella, Lata's Indian cuisine, Kashaya's wood-fired pizzas, spareribs, pot pies, and more. Visit the website at occidentalfarmersmarket.com for more information.

Guests at the Inn who are fortunate to be here on Fridays love walking down the block to browse the market. They usually come back with a plate of Paella or Indian food, settle at a comfortable table and enjoy their dinner with a glass of our house wine. A word about Gerard -- last year, unbeknownst to him, Bobby Flay of Food Network had arranged a "Throwdown" to be filmed in San Francisco, challenging Gerard to a paella throwdown. We already knew that our local boy would win -- and he did!

The market is a wonderful place to meet friends, find the freshest produce, fruit, honey, jewelry, flowers, and down-home entertainment. Stop by -- and if you need a place to rest for the night, we can provide that too. If you tell us that you read our blog and were at the Market, we'll offer a special Market price just for you.

Occidental Today
Occidental is tucked into the redwood forests of Sonoma wine country — a great vacation spot and perfect location for the Inn. Kissed by the scent of both the nearby vineyards.

Occidental also is home to dozens of artists, and local stores feature their handcrafted works and all sorts of other goodies. Meander the small town center and poke your head into Hand Goods, Revival Antiques, Natural Connection, Leapin' Lizards Fun Store, and the many other terrific shops.

The town prides itself as a great place to hear music. Our Redwood Arts Council presents concerts of local artists and world-renowned musical performers featuring chamber music, international folk music, jazz, vocal ensembles, and more. The acclaimed Occidental Community Choir performs its original music here several times a year.

Check with an innkeeper at Inn at Occidental to see what's happening during your visit.

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