We had been to Sonoma (CA) briefly for just one day in November, 2012 but it doesn’t take much to fall in love with this wonderful area. We stayed at the wonderful H2Hotel, ate at the delicious Spoonbar, and tasted some amazing wines from the beautiful Amista Vineyards and Michel Schumberger. We were determined to come back for more food and wine. And why not during our honeymoon?
This time around, we chose to stay in Occidental (CA) by the Sonoma Coast. It was the most relaxing vacation of all time! We spent our time at the most magnificent cottage that is nestled in the Que Syrah Vineyard at the elevation of 845 feet above sea level. (Read more about the cottage below!) Our days began with breakfast on the balcony over looking the foggy coast, followed by wine tasting or sightseeing by 10am, then lunch, nap, sunset watching, and dinner. We had the best food and wine and really enjoyed all the beautiful drives around the area.
Here’s our guide to where we stayed, ate, drank, and went for sightseeing!
Pacific View Cottage We are still in awe at how romantic this little cottage is! It sits on a ridge and offers sweeping view of the surrounding forest and the Sonoma Coast. The kitchen is well equipped with everything to cook meals. We loved eating breakfast and watching sunsets from the balcony. The bedroom and bathroom are separated from the kitchen and living area upstairs by a spiral staircase. The view from the bedroom floor-to-ceiling windows make waking up a much easier task than usual. We miss this place everyday!
Bistro des Copains Cozy spot in Occidental that serves up scrumptious french-inspired food. The fried oyster salad was to die for!
Wild Flower Bread Fantastic bakery with an incredible varity of bread products. Don’t leave without their fougasse (with cheese and shitake mushroom) and gooey sticky bun! And make sure to check out their lovely garden!
Freestone Artisan Cheese One-of-a-kind cheese shop! Omar Mueller is the smiling owner and cheese enthusiast. He was there to greet us and let us try all sorts of cheese. We only had one night and one day left of our trip but ended up with four different cheeses. It was the first time we had water buffalo cheese and it was so delicious we could cry!
Marimar Estate Vineyard and Winery The most colorful vineyard with not only the best spanish-style wines but also tasty tapas. We spent hours at this vineyard marveling at their chardonnay and pinot noir vines, tasting six different wines and tapas from the owner’s cookbooks, and playing with Chico and Bonita, the two lovely vineyard dogs. Highly recommended y’all!
Gerald’s Paella Gigantic paella stuffed with a ridiculous amount of chicken and fresh seafood. Gerald beat Bobby Flay in a paella throw-down and his paella did not disappoint! Simply amazing! Give it a try at the Occidental Farmers’ Market every Friday night.
Lagunitas Awesome brewery! We have always been fans of Lagunitas beers and were excited to find out that their brewery is on our way back from Sonoma to San Francisco. We got the Around-the-World tasting flight with all 15 beers that they have. Best decision!
Bodega Bay A shallow, rocky inlet of the pacific ocean. Go all the way to Bodega Head and enjoy the mesmerizing view that mother Nature created for us!
Tomales Bay Another inlet with beautiful view of the coast. Come here for oysters and drinks!
Armstrong Redwoods State National Preserve Serene and majestic. Check out the easy discovery trail with the tallest and oldest trees!