Sightseeing Santa Rosa, CA
December 7, 2007 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Fun/quirky/hip things to do in Santa Rosa or Sonoma County in a day trip from the East Bay?

Not too interested in wineries, but anything else that might catch the attention of a typical Metafilter member? Anything from breathtaking hikes (metaphorically, not physically) to nice/peculiar museums or unique shopping, etc. Bonus points for best taco truck.
posted by one_bean to Travel & Transportation around Santa Rosa, CA (13 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You must go to Wild Flour Bakery (sorry don't know how to make a link) in Freestone. Osmosis Spa across the street is amazing too. Downtown Occidental is cute, quaint, and hip. There's a street, smack in the middle of downtown- which is two blocks or so (perpendicular to the main street, it's also the street that the nature center is on - I can't think of the name). Follow that all the way to the end and hit the ocean, it's amazing.
posted by healthyliving at 12:28 PM on December 7, 2007

Best answer: Check out California Carnivores. It's way cool, fun, and quirky.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:40 PM on December 7, 2007

(And I think the nature center healthyliving is referring to is the Occidental Ecology Center. There was a really cool article about it in the SF Chron a couple weeks ago.)
posted by mudpuppie at 12:43 PM on December 7, 2007

Best taco truck is at the 128 east offramp from 101 north of Santa Rosa. NY Pie at 4th and Brookwood in Santa Rosa is my favorite spot for NY style pizza in the bay area. You can go up to Salt Point state park to wander around along the coast (while you're there you can also forage for mushrooms or dive for abalone if either is your thing).
posted by foodgeek at 12:45 PM on December 7, 2007

Oh goodness, please go to Willi's Wine Bar. Sit out back and get the flight of wine paired with cheeses, then move on to lots of different tapas. This is not a "locals" recommendation, so others may poohpooh me, but it was one of the highlights of my Cali honeymoon. We spent an entire afternoon/evening there, talking with waiters and patrons. I'd love to go back.
posted by nkknkk at 1:37 PM on December 7, 2007

If you like fine craft beer, Russian River Brewing Company in downtown Santa Rosa has the best beer ever.
posted by slogger at 1:50 PM on December 7, 2007

You could go to the Charles Schulz museum.
posted by vacapinta at 2:00 PM on December 7, 2007

Best answer: Cornerstone Gardens, in Sonoma.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:23 PM on December 7, 2007

Best answer: Fantastic hiking in the redwoods at Armstrong Woods in Guerneville, about 20 minutes outside of Santa Rosa.
posted by harmfulray at 8:48 PM on December 7, 2007

Forgot to mention: I second healthyliving's recommendation of the bakery in Freestone. The fougasse and sticky buns are outstanding and usually fresh from the oven if you arrive in the morning. Check the opening hours before you head out there, though.
posted by harmfulray at 8:52 PM on December 7, 2007

Best answer: nth Armstrong Woods, Occidental Ecology Center and Wild Flour Bakery, but a nay on Russian River Brewery, head north a few miles and hit Bear Republic Brewery in Healdsburg. Other suggestions include getting lost on West Sonoma County backroads and finding wine bars and hiking spots on your own. Underwood Bar and Bistro is a good place to start as it is in the direction of many places listed above.
posted by Odinhead at 11:25 PM on December 7, 2007

Forgot to mention taco truck recommendations: El Favaritos is the best taqueria in the area in my opinion and at night directly across the street is the superb taco truck that you have been looking for.
posted by Odinhead at 11:32 PM on December 7, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great suggestions! You made our day. We started off at Wild Flour Bakery (got some very tasty bread), went back to Sebastopol for the flea market (not recommended off-season!), antique market, and California Carnivores. Then we doubled back to Occidental, hung out in town for a little while then drove out to the beach. We skipped dinner, but will certainly be back out to try some of the restaurants (where's El Favaritos? I couldn't find anything on the web about it).

If anyone's still around, what's there to do at the ecology center? I couldn't seem to figure out what to do other thank take a tour, which aren't offered in winter.

Thanks, it was a great time!
posted by one_bean at 7:51 PM on December 9, 2007

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