Tucked between Santa Rosa and the Pacific coast, Sebastopol is an ideal pit stop to breathe outside of Sonoma County city centers. After being filled with apple and plum plantations, the town is steeped in agricultural history, reflected in a rich food from table to table and emphasis on local produce. The picturesque downtown district is a hub for all things spelling, and speaks to Northern California’s affiliation with the healing arts. If you are planning a wine tour in the area, there is no shortage of famous vineyards and specialty breweries to balance your palette. For a comfortable day out, make your way over to The Barlow, a diverse outdoor market that aims to bring Sebastopol’s past and present to a simple, easy-to-navigate complex just off Highway 12 as you enter the city. The perfect day trip from Santa Rosa, Petaluma or even San Francisco, Sebastopol does its best to introduce you to wine country on an intimate level. Trade crowds for charm within a few blocks, and do not miss the eccentric flair in between. Sebastopol is built on its resident companies, so buy small and steady local storefronts!
In a region where grapes are honored, home-cooked food is at the forefront of local businesses, and one of Sebastopol’s biggest draws. Take your dining and drinking experiences to the next level by taking part in a dairy or farm trip and seeing the artisans in action. Agriculture and the production of specialty edible goods are a craft in this pocket of Sonoma County, and knowing where your meal came from only makes it better. Barlow is designed in a way that allows you to try all day, dab a little in everything before wrapping it all up with a cocktail or a glass of merlot.
In a similar way, shopping in Sebastopol is a mixture of spontaneity, small interactions and fate; wander into any of The Barlow’s stores and on to find unexpected items with their own stories. Whether your eye is hanging on to a wellness product, accessory, or even a full-size geode, take a moment to let it speak to you; you take more home than a souvenir.
Who is the new platinum card from American Express good for?
What to do if you still have not received your child’s tax credit
Also, don’t miss The Barlow’s rotating event calendar! Join the party with live music, art events, happy hours and the chance to get to know Sebastopol’s artisans one by one.
Rust Boutique is a destination for all your clothes and accessories, whether you’ve had a particular idea in mind for a while, or are just looking for a special new addition to a worn wardrobe. Rust offers flow, comfort and coolness with products that blur the boundaries between loungewear, activewear and even evening wear. Empowerment is the theme, and each new arrival is chosen based on its ability to reconsider what means feminine and what means free. Rust cladding is without limits and the goal is for you to leave with a long lasting piece that you can enjoy in different ways on different occasions. Owner Alice Briggs and her staff go the extra mile to offer full personal styling services to help you feel like a better you, whether it’s for a special event or a general closet repair. Unsurpassed customer service helps this boutique stand out; as soon as you step in, you will be treated as an individual rather than just a customer. Rust is California and the best thing is that you decide what it means to you.
WM Cofield Cheesemakers
Established by two friends with deep roots in both winemaking and the restaurant industry, WM. Cofield Cheesemakers pose a surprising niche in the dairy world. The company produces British cheese according to traditional methods from across the Atlantic; McKinley Cheddar and Bodega Blue steal the show when it comes to a polished, multi-stage aging process and subtle notes that compete with the whims of the wine or specialty coffee. The milk used is organically certified and does not come more than a few kilometers away in Petaluma. The company offers tours by appointment and lots of cheese for sale at their location in Barlow. Join the club and look forward to regular deliveries of every WM Cofield-produced cheese, including a mysterious addition to every package!
Blue Ridge Kitchen
Blue Ridge Kitchen boasts the kind of menu that caters to every guest who walks in the door and offers healthy, gourmet cooking with intentionally purchased ingredients. Start with a fresh salad, many of which contain vegetables straight from the restaurant owners, and move on to a chef Matt D’Ambrose’s signature dishes. He creates in color, and places as much emphasis on presentation as on the quality of his ingredients, all hand-picked. With a wood-fired grill, Blue Ridge Kitchen’s meat dishes are a must-have, and the restaurant offers equally decadent options for its vegetarian patrons.
With a fresh approach to wine tasting, Region redefines the way you enjoy and choose your wines. Your experience takes place between two rooms, one of which offers self-service. There you are free to use the self-service WineStation machines to get a taste of the collection, which is varied and robust. In the next room you will be served by hand with bottle service from regional wineries. Each week, a different winery is presented as the focus of the tastings; The region works with twenty-five in total. Many of the partnering wineries are small, which means they do not have their own tasting rooms. This is where Region goes in to ensure that these companies have a platform to share their craft. This also helps the customers to be exposed to wine as they otherwise would not have happened. The region’s mission is to give you time, space and tools to really try and find what works for you without judgment or pressure. Understanding wine is a process, so head over to The Barlow and get started at your own pace.
If you want to develop your taste for craft beer along with regional wine, stop by Woodfour for an old-fashioned brewing experience that puts you in the position of bringing you back to your roots. Order from a selection of beers and beers with small batches made by brewmaster Seth Wood, and sip your choice along with a small plate. The Woodfour mission is to create a drink that tastes like it should, which means working with beer in the farmhouse in an ode to traditional European brewing methods.
Taylor Lane Organic Coffee
Right up there with Sebastopol’s acclaimed breweries and vineyards, Taylor Lane refines the coffee experience from a community-based angle, paying attention to energy efficiency and sustainability along the way. The store is transparent about its frying process, performed by master roasters who are willing to elicit unique flavors. Each recipe is taste tested before being revealed to the public in the form of a perfectly layered espresso drink or poured over with a single origin. Creativity, science and craftsmanship are the pillars of the Taylor Lane philosophy, and no part of frying, brewing or serving is a coincidence. Taylor Lane is there to satisfy your morning cravings, but also to introduce you to a coffee experience where every step of the way matters.
In addition to Barlow
Located on North Main Street, Sagestone is as much a gallery as it is a browser destination; the fact that you can take the art home just increases the draw. The Sagestone inventory leans towards the geological and offers a selection of crystals, geodes, fossils and minerals along with jewelry and home decor. If you know your crystals, you will not be disappointed with the great variety displayed in the gallery; you know yours when you see it. If you are not familiar with the stories, natural properties or healing properties of the products, Sagestone is a great place to start your journey. The lighting section is particularly fascinating and shows onyx and amber installations in a specially designated gallery space. Transform your home or personal collection with a Sagestone memorial; the collection is constantly evolving to obtain fine specimens from all over the world.
Milk and honey
Milk & Honey has been at the center of the city since 1996 and has experienced Sebastopol through two decades of growth and expansion. And for over two decades, the store has been true to its core commitment to magical society and conducted readings, candles and local events. Shopping at Milk & Honey will expand your perspective to include pharmacy products, self-care tools and ritual supplies that you may not have previously considered. Store employees are there to guide you through what may be your first touch in the world of magic; even if you are an experienced member of the community, Milk & Honey’s shelves with hand-picked finds may surprise you. Stop in for a proper introduction to the heart and soul of Sebastopol.
Chests of drawers
Dressers began as a small seventies store with handmade clothing that eventually became mother-daughter-owned Sebastopol support, it is now. Thoroughly local and run with care, Dressers are all comfort and quality; smart products ranging from accessories to outerwear make up the store’s large stock. Chests of drawers cater to the woman who dresses to impress herself, and you will find both casual and professional wear, as well as several pieces that can serve as both. The store just can not be defined by a single aesthetic, and there is plenty to choose from to help you create your own look with a little help from expert stylists.
As one of California’s original bohemian getaways, Sebastopol is more than a day trip pit stop; it is a testament to the heart of the region thanks to local style and constantly evolving industries. Destinations such as The Barlow have secured the city’s place on the wine country map, and you can see the city’s history in newly opened businesses as well as long-standing fixtures. With a creative spirit in an eclectic small town and its progress towards environmentally conscious agricultural tourism, Sebastopol is as contemporary as it is loving, and it refuses to adapt to a particular category of holiday destinations. Eat well, search for quality products, and become a part of the drug when you get to know Sebastopol on your next visit to Sonoma County.