Sonoma County's location has made it the most perfect place for making fabulous wines. Visitors can expect a wealth of opportunities to visit vineyards, stop by wineries and wine tasting rooms ... and to enjoy the "fruits of our labor" here in one of the most picturesque wine country regions in the world. Visit the office at the Inn to pick up our wine road map plus request our 122 winery brochure which offers complimentary wine tasting for two.
Pamper yourself or your loved one with a treatment from one of our wonderful local spas. Choose from a full day experience to a simple massage… something to suit anyone. Facials, foot treatments, manicures/pedicures await you in Sonoma County. The Inn at Occidental will gladly arrange massages during your visit at the Cottage.
Located 5 minutes from the cottage is Canopy Tours which offers 2 ½ hours of thrills by Ziplining through majestic redwoods. Two sky bridges, a majestic staircase and a final rappel. Open year round.
Explore the characteristic flavors of Sonoma County – from the finest wines, artisan cheeses and meats to the freshest, seasonal fruits and vegetables from many of our organic farms. All of this agricultural diversity is reflected in the many fine restaurants throughout Sonoma County. You can find the flavors of Sonoma County in a leisurely gourmet meal at one of our many 4-star restaurants, or in casual taquerias, cafes, take-out delicatessens and farm stands. Come enjoy the bounty of Sonoma County and plan one night to dine at the Bistro des Copains a two block way.
Sonoma County boasts a rich range of shops and stores where that special gift may be found. The choices run from unique, individual shops with art objects, collectibles, one-of-a-kind clothing and craft emporia to enclosed malls and factory outlets. Each community in Sonoma County has its own collection of distinctive shopping possibilities.
You are never far from a farm when you visit Sonoma County. Outside our towns and cities you will find farms, market gardens, orchards, vineyards, pastures, nurseries, and wildlife preserves. You might find a 1000-acre cattle ranch with a view of the Pacific Ocean or a small ostrich or llama farm. Pick up a Farm Trails Guide and Map at local farms and you will find pick-your-own flowers, pumpkins, berries and apples. You can even cut your own Christmas tree. Sonoma County is also known as California Cheese Country. You can visit may Sonoma Cheese makers to learn how cheese is made. Ask at the Inn for a copy of the “Real California Cheese Country” map.
Whether your preference is for distance, ruggedness, or incline, all these hiking choices are available throughout Sonoma County. We have many state and county parks. Just to name a few:
Kortum Trail. Located along the cliffs of the Sonoma Coast between Bodega Bay and Jenner. Park at Blind Beach or Wright’s Beach an enjoy this spectacular hike.
West County Trail: 10 minutes from the Inn, the West County Trail runs between Sebastopol and Forestville. This trail is paved for walking, bicycle riding or roller skating.
Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve: Hike through multiple trails under towering redwoods up to 300 feet in height and 1500 years of age. Stop in the ranger office to pick up trail maps
Sonoma County has a multitude of bike paths and bike lanes, and they get daily use by those who choose biking as their preferred transportation. Our county roads provide fun rides and excellent training and conditioning for competitive cyclists. Each geographical area has its own beautiful rides, and there are bike rental shops to provide all the essentials for a safe ride. Several bike-touring companies provide everything, including escort, lunch and an itinerary.
If horses are more than a recreation for you, bring your own horse and join a distance ride or take lessons in Armstrong Woods State Park and rent a horse so you can experience the fun too. Horse-drawn wagons and carriages might help get you in the rhythm of rural relaxation. Some wineries use wagons and carriages for tours and picnics for their guests.
FORE!!! Sonoma County has a variety of golf courses to tempt you. From the wind swept ocean beauty of Bodega Bay to the Redwoods course on the Russian River to the world-class courses nestled into the Mayacamus Mountains, we have something for all levels of play. Lessons and driving ranges are close at hand. Ask your host inn to help set up a tee time on a course near them.
Sonoma County is home to some wonderful museums and galleries. The Charles M. Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa is a beautiful tribute to the cartoonist and his medium. Luther Burbank Home and Gardens showcases the ingenious wonder of plant life. We even have a wild animal park that allows guests to experience the art of nature from the back of a safari jeep. Many of our quaint towns have local history museums highlighting the history and culture of our area. Art galleries surround our town plazas and the October ARTrails Open Studio Tour is a must for art lovers. Throughout the year each town hosts a variety of cultural shows, fairs, and festivals. Take advantage of our rich local culture.
The Wells Fargo Center for the Arts hosts live concerts, stage productions, and music, including the popular Santa Rosa Symphony at the facility just north of Santa Rosa. There are local community theaters in Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, and Healdsburg with plenty of local talent. The Raven Theater in Healdsburg is host to many interesting venues from live theater to Celtic music to talent shows. Cloverdale, Healdsburg, and Santa Rosa have movie theaters for the latest shows.
LUTHER BURBANK ESTATE
Visit the site where the famous horticulturist created new plants. Visit the beautiful gardens year-round. April-Oct. Enjoy the museum, gift shop and drop-in tours.
Many wineries host concert venues throughout the year, some - under the stars. Also scheduled are numerous outdoor concerts associated with Jazz, Blues and Guitar festivals. Ask your host innkeeper about these local events. Healdsburg has Tuesday Night on the Plaza free concerts throughout the summer months…from rock and roll, to swing, to jazz, to military marching bands. Just drop by with your picnic dinner and enjoy. Each town has weekend music associated with the local breweries, pubs, or restaurants.
There are miles of shoreline for rock fishing and surf fishing and party boats are available at Bodega Bay as well as at Lake Sonoma. The Russian River salmon start their annual migration in late September. By late November the steelhead are running and continue through March. Spring is the best time to catch catfish. Shad appear in mid-April. As the days lengthen and the weather warms, bait your hook for bass.
Most travelers fall in love with the Russian River’s meandering course as it flows past river towns and ancient redwoods to Jenner, where it empties into the sea. Kayaking, canoeing, swimming, inner tubing, fishing, rafting and sunbathing are favorite river pastimes. You can usually spot harbor seals and shy, cow-eyed pinnipeds at the mouth of the Russian River at Goat Rock State Beach near Jenner.
There are many public places to launch boats. Monte Rio beach has a public boat ramp, and there is public access at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville, Forestville River Access, Steelhead Beach in Forestville, Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach and Cloverdale River Park.
Perhaps Sonoma County’s most defining and well-known geographic feature is its 58 miles of beautiful, rugged Pacific coastline. The Sonoma Coast offers some of the best surfing north of Santa Cruz for the advanced or beginning surfer. Surfing the Sonoma Coast for the advanced surfer is best July through March and for the beginner year round surf can be found. Doran Regional Park offers a two-mile stretch of sandy beach and a great view of Point Reyes. With plenty of space to spread beach blankets, towels and umbrellas, this is one of the best family beaches for picnicking, sand castles, or flying kites.