When we made a second home in Virginia several months ago, we knew that we would be returning to our home in Santa Rosa regularly. Our absence made us more appreciative of the many wonderful aspects of our life in California. We almost felt like tourists! With that mindset, we decided to take a day to re-explore the Bodega Bay area, re-experience some of the things that we had perhaps started to take too much for granted and to see what new finds we could uncover.
Our first stop was at Wild Flour Bread. This bakery has a brick wood fired oven fueled with eucalyptus. Before it was established in this location, it appeared at the end of a driveway in nearby Valley Ford. What started as a small hobby quickly grew as people discovered the great bread. The bakery is only open Friday through Sunday. A favorite stop on every trip.
Next stop was Freestone Artisan Cheese. In addition to a wide selection of cheeses, Freestone offers a nice selection of local goods. We were particularly impressed with the local vinegar and can recommend the golden balsamic and the pear vinegars! A somewhat expensive but rare treat was honey from bees gathering from coffee plants. This complex, dark honey had a distinct coffee finish and was a real surprise.
If you like great cheese you should also be sure to visit Bohemian Creamery outside Sebastopol off the beaten path. Although unfortunately closed on this visit, they have some of the best small batch cheeses we have ever had. You’ll find goat, cow, sheep and water buffalo cheeses and a herd of Alpine goats grazing on the hillside behind the small welcoming storefront. They also offer free tastings and tours. A real treat.
After stocking up on cheese, honey and vinegar we made a beeline to the Coast. As always, it did not disappoint. As the sun was setting over the Russian River near Jenner, we made our way to one of our favorite spots, Café Aquatica. If you have not been to this wonderful little spot, it’s a must. Great fresh sandwiches (the smoked Salmon on focaccia is our favorite) and fresh brewed coffee in a setting that is just beautiful.
On the way home via Guerneville we stopped at the Big Bottom Market, a great place for all kinds of food and drink supplies. Then another coffee at the Coffee Bazaar (which has a great bookstore right next door).
Bodega Bay offers something special every season. We can’t wait to come back in the Spring.
-Rob and Denise