10 May 2018
Hmmmm…Foodie Road trip?? Scenic Road Trip?? How about both!
As we launch out of Guerneville we head south on 116. This fabulously windy road takes you through the Redwoods to our first stop on our journey, Forestville! In this tiny town you will find a great bakery called Nightingale Bakery. (https://www.yelp.com/biz/nightingale-breads-forestville) There is a good reason it has a 5 star rating…deliciousness abounds!
As you continue along Hwy 116 your next destination is Mom’s Apple Pie.
(http://www.momsapplepieusa.com/) It is a crime If you like pie and don’t stop here! Their apple pie stands 2 stories tall. ‘Nough said.
As you hop back into your car, pie in hand, wondering, “What are we going to get Aunt Jane?” Kozlowski Farms (https://www.kozlowskifarms.com/) will be on your right. It is “Jam” packed (pun intended) with the best Specialty Foods Sonoma County has to offer! Recipes handed down for generations, Jams, Sauces, Apple Butter, Mustards…you name it they have it. A Sonoma Co destination since 1948!
Ok, shopping list completed onward! Keep going on 116 until you see Graton Road. Turn Right and head into the teeny, tiny town of Graton. There you will find THE local favorite, Willow Wood Market! (http://www.willowwoodgraton.com/) This is the best taste of Sonoma County you will find! Directly across the street is its sister restaurant The Underwood Bistro. Equally good, but our “go-to” is Willow Wood Market. 2 doors down from the restaurant is a wonderful Art Gallery, (http://www.gratongallery.net/) featuring local artists!
Next stop? Occidental of course! (https://www.sonomacounty.com/articles/fun-getaway-occidental) Stay on Graton Rd. for about 10 miles. This drive is peaceful and stunning as you head to the top of the coastal Redwoods. Once in Occidental, shop, eat more…lol.. but do not miss this artisan gallery Hand Goods ( https://www.handgoodsoccidental.com/) Almost impossible not to leave with something from this store!
Whew! You are now literally at a fork in the road. You can:
A. Head north down the Bohemian Hwy and back to the Russian River area…
B. Get the complete Sonoma experience and head to the ocean!
If B. is your choice, head South on the Bohemian Hwy. The first town you will come to in Free Stone. Looking for a World Class spa? This speck of a town has it! Welcome to Osmosis! (https://www.osmosis.com/spa-menu/) The best gift you will give yourself! You must make reservations as they book weeks in advance.
Just ½ a block down the road you will arrive at the most popular bakery in Sonoma County, Wild Flour Bread. (http://www.wildflourbread.com/) Yes, the lines look impossibly long, but they move REALLY fast...lol…Their bread is unique and their scones out of this world!
From there we turn right onto Bodega Hwy. This will literally take you to where they filmed Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” (http://www.bodegabay.com/the-birds/) in the Town of Bodega.
Staying on Bodega Ave. you will dead-end into HWY 1. Turn Right and head to Bodega Bay. “Fresh off the boat” seafood awaits you here. Clam Chowder and sour dough bread to die for all sitting next to the fishing boats that just brought in the catch of the day! (https://www.sonoma.com/guides/best-restaurants-in-bodega-bay/). You will also find fresh saltwater Taffy (https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=Taffy&find_loc=Bodega+Bay%2C+CA+94923) and great kite stores (https://www.yelp.com/biz/second-wind-bodega-bay).
Whew…you are almost home…next stop, Jenner by the Sea. This is where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean. The main beach is Goat Rock Beach. Here you will likely see seals, dolphins, and every sea bird you could think of…including our 2 Bald Eagles!
You can now get off Hwy 1 and return to Hwy 116. This road meanders next to the Russian River. A few miles up you will come to Duncan Mills. (http://www.duncansmills.net/) Great shops, even more good food…lol..
Stay on 116 and you will be back in the redwoods nearing the towns of Monte Rio, Guerneville, and Rio Nido. You now have the Complete Sonoma Experience!
This entire trip takes about 2 hours if you don’t stop along the way to eat or sightsee...or buy Aunt Jane’s gift…