Northern California August 06, 2018
The Northern California Back Road That Will Take You On A One-Of-A-Kind Adventure
There is certainly no shortage of scenic drives or highways to help us explore the hidden gems of Northern California. The hard thing is choosing which one to take on next! There’s one particular road that is full of adventure. Boasting quaint communities, endless natural beauty, and plenty of things to keep you entertained for days on end, the Bohemian Highway is a back road adventure you won’t soon forget. This highway leads you straight to some of Northern California’s best kept secrets including funky little towns, relaxing day spas, and even an epic zip line. Buckle up and let’s get going! Take a look at all of this highway’s wonderful stops below.
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The Bohemian Highway is a small, 10-mile stretch of road in Sonoma County. But for what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in charm and attractions.
Your adventure will start in the historic and utterly charming town of Monte Rio. Home to just 1,152 people, the town welcomes you in with a vintage sign that states "Welcome to Monte Rio Vacation Wonderland". It's been a hot spot for vacationers for over a century because of its wineries, redwood forests, fishing, hiking, and historic spots.
However, Monte Rio's crown jewel is definitely the nearby Russian River. The town is home to Monte Rio Community Beach which is considered one of the largest public beaches along the entire river. Enjoy a day of kayaking, canoeing, and swimming to start off this back road adventure.
Next stop: the funky town of Occidental! This delightful town is located approximately half way along the Bohemian Highway. Founded in 1876, this old railroad community is known for a lot more than its history. In fact, it perfectly represents all of Northern California's quirkiest aspects.
The small community is comprised of unique shops, art galleries, an iconic farmers market, and so much more. You'll easily be lured in by Occidental's one-of-a-kind charm.
In some ways, Occidental goes beyond charming and can best be described as downright weird. There's a definite hippie vibe to this community and you'll really start to understand why they call it the
This town may be small, but there's plenty to do. If you're feeling adventurous then you'll definitely want to give Sonoma Canopy Tours a visit. This two-hour zip line allows you to explore the treetops like never before by zipping and gliding right over the forest.
You won't be hurting for dining options either! If you ask a local about the best place to grab a bite to eat, they'll likely point you toward Negri's Original Italian Restaurant. This place has been serving up delicious Italian food since 1943 and it's easy to see why they've lasted for so long.
Located at the end of the Bohemian Highway is the seriously small town of Freestone. Home to just 32 people (32!), you'll find that the town is merely a small accumulation of old buildings surrounded by the most gorgeous rolling hills and picturesque valleys.
However, if there's anything this back road adventure will teach you, it's that there's much more to these small towns than meets the eye. Freestone is home to a number of notable stops on the highway, including Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary.
This particular day spa is notable for being the only spa
nationwide to offer cedar-enzyme baths, a rejuvenating heat-based treatment that originated in Japan. Frankly, it's the perfect place to stop and pamper yourself as your journey comes to a close.
After you've had your fill of relaxation, be sure to stop by Wild Flour Bread. This famous bakery is notable for their mouthwatering baked goods and you'll soon understand why people go out of their way just to pay a visit.
There's no better way to end a Northern California adventure than by picking up a fresh-baked loaf of sourdough bread. This may be the end of the road for the Bohemian Highway, but the memories of this drive will live on forever.
Have you completed this back road adventure yet? This highway has a little bit of everything for everyone. Check out these
7 Roads With The Best Windshield Views In Northern California for more epic drives you’re sure to love.