The Sonoma Coast is located in Sonoma County, California. It runs along the Pacific Ocean coastline, extending from San Pablo Bay to the Mendocino County border. Many people flock here year-round for the endless list of amenities it offers, such as surfing, fishing, hiking, and camping.
Yes, this is the perfect place for adventure. Or perhaps you’re looking for a different kind of adventure, to taste what the Sonoma Coast has to offer. We’ve got you covered as we plan out your day to experience all of what this region has to offer from cheese to seafood to wine, all handcrafted using only the finest ingredients. Tickle your taste buds with our list of how to spend your foodie trip to San Francisco Bay.
First Stop: The Marin Cheese Trail
Start your journey across the Golden Gate Bridge along the Marin Cheese Trail. Your expedition will take you through almost 100 miles of pastures, canyons, and rolling oak hills, with the best yet to come. You don’t need to be a connoisseur of cheese to enjoy the tastes of Sonoma Coast’s local cheesemakers. And thanks to the California Cheese Trail app, website, and free printed map, you can choose which property to explore and learn all about the people behind of the richest tasting cheeses in the area.
Indulge in both Swiss and French style cheeses from artisan cheesemakers and family farmers who open their doors to people looking to sample their delicious products. While many cheesemakers are open to the public, there are some that can only be accessed by appointment only. If there is a particular spot you’d like to visit, be sure to check availability at least one month in advance. You can do this through the California Cheese Trail app. One of the most popular stops on this trail takes us to our next stop. Visit www.cheesetrail.org for more information.
Second Stop: Cowgirl Creamery
Continue your journey to Point Reyes Station, a gateway to ever popular Point Reyes National Seashore. Here you will find not only a small town with a rich history, but you will also find Cowgirl Creamery. This company started out as a concept of creating fresh, organic cheeses full of flavour. Located at Tomales Bay Foods, the creamery and cheese shop will leave you spoiled for choice with a wide variety of delicious cheeses from both America and Europe. Their products include aged cheeses such as Chimney Rock, Devil’s Gulch, and the award-winning Red Hawk, and fresh cheeses prepared daily. Cheesemongers are on-hand to sample their products and help you find your perfect flavour. Its takeaway deli is packed full of local wines, breads, salads and sandwiches. Munch on your purchases in the Creamery’s shaded picnic area or, if you’re looking for a little adventure, embark on a hike in the Point Reyes National Seashore. They also offer
cheese making classes that can be booked through their website www.cowgirlcreamery.com.
Third Stop: Marshall Oyster Store
It’s time for lunch, and there’s no better place to enjoy fresh seafood right on the seashore than the Marshall Oyster Store, a modest little shack on the seashore of Bodega Bay. Another town rich in history, Bodega is home to the first Russian structures built in the State of California. And right in the heart of it is this quaint eatery. Famous for its freshly caught oysters, Marshall Oyster Store is considered one of the most popular seafood restaurants in America.
Oysters can be served one of three ways: raw, barbecued, or Rockefeller. Despite its popularity, don’t expect to be charged over the odds for this wonderful dining experience. Have your oysters served with clam chowder, smoked salmon and white wine for just $25-30. Dishes are made using local ingredients and are harvested daily. Despite being located in close proximity to Highway 1, the restaurant offers a calm and relaxing atmosphere with top-notch food and service. Don’t believe us? Read the impassioned reviews on their website at www.themarshallstore.com.
Fourth Stop: Wild Flour Bakery
Enjoy brick oven baked sourdough breads, biscotti, and scones at Wild Flour Bakery in Freestone, near Sebastopol. Freestone was one a stone and logging town, and while it only boasts a population of 32, it contains a delicious selection of foods, including those found at Wild Flour Bakery. Unlike traditional bread made in gas or electric ovens, Wild Flour Bakery uses wood fire ovens create thick crusts that lock in flavours. The variety of breads sold here change on a regular basis, with up to 900 loaves of twelve types of bread baked daily and sold in the bakery.
Their products range from goat flatbread, cheese fougasse, and sticky buns, plus two types of gluten-free scones. Like Cowgirl Creamery, you can sample the breads on offer at Wild Flour Bakery and taste a variety of flavours available. The bakery itself is located in Freestone Valley in a small village 5 miles west of Sebastopol. While you dine here, you will enjoy beautiful views of the barns, fields, and even a herd of cows. It doesn’t get any more country than that! For more information, please visit www.wildflour.net.
Fifth Stop: Kozlowski Farms
It’s time to head back inland to Forestville, a Bohemian town known for attracting artists and writers in the early 1900s. It hosts a small number of businesses, including Kozlowski Farms. Founded by Carmen Kozlowski and her delicious recipes, Kozlowski Farms is a family-run business that strives to use only the best, local ingredients in their products.
Here you will find a wide range of natural, specialty and gourmet foods made right there on the farm. Indulge in samples of jams, preserves, gourmet mustard, marmalade and much more. And did someone say pie? In the Farm bakery, you will find homemade fruit pies including apple pie with Organic Gravenstein apples. All pies are original recipes handmade using Carmen Kozlowski’s renowned recipes. This wonderful establishment is open year-round. More information is available at www.kozlowskifarms.com.
Last Stop: Wineries
Spend the remainder of your day at local wineries. The Fort Ross-Seaview American Viticultural Area (AVA) was the home of many Russian settlements in the 1800s and is considered a California National Landmark. The area boasts five wineries, including Fort Ross Vineyard & Tasting Room, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by forests, creating the perfect atmosphere to end your day in relaxation. The AVA is known for its sensational varieties of wines such as Chardonnay, Viognier, and Pinot Noir. Enjoy the Sonoma Coast sunset with a bottle of Syrah and a toast to a good day well spent.
By day’s end, your taste buds will surely have had a unique and delicious experience they’ll thank you for. You may be wondering: how can I possibly do all that in one day? The answer is the Sonoma Coast Food & Wine Tour. You are picked up from your place of residence and taken to all the establishments featured on this list, so you can enjoy stretching your taste buds with like-minded foodies and enjoy the unique tastes of Northern San Francisco Bay you’ll never forget. For more information on this tour, please visit atasteofsf.com and book your tour of the Sonoma Coast today