We bet you haven’t heard much about Occidental California, a tiny Sonoma County town. Located between Santa Rosa and Bodega Bay, this quaint and welcoming town makes for the perfect day trip. Occidental is less than five square miles and is surrounded by lush forests, wineries, and small farms. It makes for the perfect day trip adventure no matter the time of year.

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Occidental California is one of those places you visit and immediately wonder, “Should I move here?” It is such a charming town! Plus, there is a lot to do. There are three wineries within the downtown area– a perfect number of places to do an afternoon of wine tasting.

If you want to venture out of town, more than a dozen wineries are within a 20-minute drive. To get a little nature into your shopping, wine-tasting trip, drive 10 minutes west to see the old-growth redwoods at LandPaths Grove of Old Trees. And 20 minutes from Occidental is Bodega Bay. This place is really perfectly situated!

Looking for some great snacks for your adventure? We love these road trip snack ideas!

Best Road Trip Snacks: 50 On-The-Go Food Ideas

 

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Occidental California

How far is Occidental from the ocean?

The distance from Occidental to Bodega Bay is approximately 10 to 15 miles (16 to 24 kilometers) by road, depending on the specific route taken. The drive typically takes around 20 to 30 minutes, making it a relatively short trip to the coast. This proximity allows for easy access to the scenic beauty of the Northern California coastline, including beaches, coastal trails, and the famous Bodega Head, a prominent headland that offers stunning ocean views and opportunities for whale watching.

What is there to do in Occidental California? 

Occidental, California, nestled in Sonoma County amidst towering redwoods, offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors. Here's a list of things to do in Occidental:

  • Visit Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC): This nonprofit organization focuses on ecological and agricultural education. Visitors can explore the beautiful gardens, attend workshops, or participate in community events focused on sustainability.
  • Dine in Downtown Occidental: Enjoy a meal at one of Occidental's charming restaurants. The town is known for its Italian family-style dining, such as at the Union Hotel Restaurant or Negri's Italian Dinners, offering a cozy atmosphere and delicious food.
  • Bike or Hike the West County and Joe Rodota Trails: These trails offer scenic routes through Sonoma County's landscapes, suitable for cyclists and hikers of all levels. The West County Trail runs between Sebastopol and Forestville, and the Joe Rodota Trail connects Sebastopol with Santa Rosa.
  • Attend the Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market: If you're in town during the summer months, don't miss this Friday evening market. It's a great place to enjoy local produce, artisan goods, live music, and a warm community vibe.
  • Visit Bodega Bay: Just a short drive from Occidental, Bodega Bay offers beautiful coastal scenery, beaches, and seafood restaurants. It's also a popular spot for whale watching, fishing, and kayaking.
  • Go Ziplining with Sonoma Canopy Tours: For an adventurous day out, try ziplining through the redwoods. Sonoma Canopy Tours, located near Occidental, offers a thrilling experience with stunning views of the forest from above.

Occidental serves as a peaceful retreat with its natural beauty, small-town charm, and variety of outdoor and cultural activities. Whether you're looking to explore the outdoors, enjoy local cuisine, or immerse yourself in the arts and ecology, Occidental has something to offer.