Antiquing in Sonoma County 2-Day Itinerary
Treasures await around the next bend as you wind your way from antique store to antique store along the back roads of western Sonoma County. The treasure might be a beautiful view, an amazing bargain, a delicious meal in an out-of-the-way eatery, or that one-of-a-kind item you've been searching for.
Antiquing: Enjoying the thrill of the chase while pursuing beautiful, valuable, or intriguing antiques and vintage items by poring through an assortment of goods.
Exploration and discovery are the name of the game, and the winding roadways, rolling hills, and quirky towns of western Sonoma County offer the perfect antiquing getaway.
Whether you prefer a well-organized display of carefully selected antiques or love to poke through dusty corners and jumbled shelves for that overlooked gem, you'll have plenty of opportunities to indulge yourself while also enjoying Sonoma County's stunning scenery and laid-back lifestyle on this two-day antiquing itinerary.
From Highway 101 (the main north-south artery in central Sonoma County) in the town of Cotati, head west on Highway 116 (also called the Gravenstein Highway). The stretch of Highway 116 from Cotati to Sebastopol is known as Antique Row.
This two-lane roadway winds its way through rural Sonoma County, taking you past an eclectic mix of local businesses, such as plant nurseries, a yarn store, barbecue joints, a custom woodworking shop, even a fortune teller. Hand-painted signs offer various items for sale, like eggs or goats.
If you love rummaging through lots of stuff, just a short way down the road you’ll find Jewels to Junk, a small shop featuring new and used merchandise (including some antiques). Owners Chuck and Maria Jensen buy from auctions, closeout sales, and overstock sales.
Step back into a bygone era at Windmill Antiques, a warm, cozy, and welcoming store in a building that originally housed the local saloon, barbershop, and tack store. The main room still includes the gorgeous wooden bar, complete with railing, mirrors, and shelving. In business for more than 20 years, Windmill Antiques features Native American baskets and jewelry, tools, pocket knives, and a little bit of everything else that appeals, spread neatly through a series of rambling rooms.
Then it’s on to the diverse selection the Antique Society, in a 20,000-square-foot building that served as a door factory in the 1930s, and a furnace manufacturing company in the 1940s. Today, with more than 100 dealers, it’s Northern California’s largest antique collective. The high-beamed, vaulted ceiling contributes to the sense of expansive space, and it’s fun to wander the wide aisles of this bright, clean, and well-organized space. Whatever you’re looking for, chances are good you’ll find it here.
Ready for a bite to eat? At the front of the Antique Society building you’ll find the Society Bakery & Café, a cozy eatery with tasty food and a simple menu that changes daily, depending on what’s fresh and best. Each day the menu generally offers a single type of soup, one salad, and one type of sandwich, as well as a delicious variety of baked goods and coffee.
Sebastopol offers a lot of other lunch options, including a number of top vegan and vegetarian restaurants. If you're craving Asian cuisine, Ramen Gaijin blends traditional Japanese techniques with the freshest local ingredients. Gypsy Cafe features modern comfort food, using what's in season, with local meats, veggies, poultry, and fish gilled in house. For more options, check our listings of Sonoma County Restaurants and click on Sebastopol.
Refueled and refreshed, it’s back to the treasure hunt, picking up where we left off on Highway 116.
If you’re in town on the weekend, Midgley’s Country Flea Market offers a long-established (more than 40 years) outdoor market featuring unique antiques, knick-knacks, tools, pictures, clothing, furniture, toys, and whatever else the vendors bring on any given Saturday or Sunday. The regulars say Sunday is the best day to shop (or sell). If you’re a flea market aficionado, you’ll want to visit the market first thing in the morning, to get the best deals before they’re gone, and then move on to the area’s antique shops.
Trader Buck’s Antiques looks small and sleepy from the outside, but step inside and you’ll find several large rooms holding a quirky collection of antiques and unusual items, as well as a half-acre yard with garden statuary, fountains, and patio furniture. There’s a bit of everything spread out all around you.
From Highway 116 turn right (east) on state Highway 12 in downtown Sebastopol, and you’ll find Attico Resale & Reclaimed Furnishings. This consignment shop features both antique and contemporary furniture displayed in small “vignettes” to help imagine how they might look in your home. Typically, French or Italian music plays in the background, and the inventory includes French, rustic, antique, or mid-century pieces, many with a European flair.
If you're ready for a break from antiquing, consider relaxing at The Barlow, a 12.5-acre artisan and culinary industrial park just northeast of downtown. It offers something delicious to drink for almost any taste.
Sip a tasting flight or wines by the glass or bottle at Pax Wines. Sample carefully crafted artisan spirits at Spirit Works Distillery, which offers guided tours and tastings. Choose from a variety of craft beers at Crooked Goat Brewing, Seismic Brewing Company, and Woodfour Brewing Company. Sip apple-driven, organic, dry ciders at Golden State Cider.
Enjoy organic cold-pressed juices, green smoothies, and probiotic beverages at The Nectary, a juice and smoothie apothecary bar. And for coffee lovers, Taylor Lane roasts its own beans, and offers handcrafted espresso-based beverages and seasonal drinks like lavender lattes.
When you’re ready to call it a day, lodging possibilities include the serenity among the vines at Pearlessence Vineyard Inn or, if you prefer to stay in town, consider Fairfield Inn & Suites Santa Rosa Sebastopol.
If you didn’t eat lunch at Ramen Gaijin, it's a great option for dinner. But Sebastopol offers many other choices.
Relax with handcrafted garden-to-glass cocktails and modern American cuisine inspired by western Sonoma County’s abundant biodiversity at the Fern Bar. Savor authentic cuisines from the Nepal and India at Himalayan Tandoori and Curry House, or Mexican-style street food with a gourmet edge in a simple setting at Barrio Fresca Cocina Mexicana in The Barlow. Or, dine on tasty pub fare at Hopmonk Tavern.
For even more ideas for dinner, check our listings of Sonoma County Restaurants and click on Sebastopol.
If you want a bit of evening entertainment, both the Fern Bar and Hopmonk Tavern offer live music; or check the event calendars at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Main Stage West, or Rialto Cinemas.
To jump-start your day, head to Coffee Catz, a western Sonoma County institution that bills itself as “Sebastopol’s living room,” offering coffee and homemade treats and noshes.
For a more substantial breakfast, consider the East West Café, a Mediterranean-style eatery with vegetarian and vegan options, or head slightly west of town to the Fork Roadhouse for farm-to-table organic comfort food in a cozy, rustic setting.
Before continuing your antiquing odyssey, this is the time to visit any of the Sebastopol antiques spots that you wanted to see but missed yesterday. You might also want to explore downtown Sebastopol, with its diverse mix of local shops featuring crafts, health food, clothing, books, housewares, toys, artwork, and more.
When you’re ready to resume antiquing, it’s time to head back into the countryside. From downtown Sebastopol, head west on Highway 116 (follow the signs to Jenner) for slightly more than three miles, and take a left onto Graton Road toward the tiny town of Graton.
Your goal is Mr. Ryder and Company, a collective of dealers offering carefully selected and well-organized items in a light and airy 1906 Victorian storefront. Here you’ll find furniture, household items, artwork, glassware, and more. Fans of this store say it’s a dangerous place, because they never leave without buying something.
The owner, Betty Ann Sutton, is active in animal rescue (the store is named after her late dog), and the people who work here are all animal advocates, so this dog-friendly shop “welcomes all well-behaved dogs and people.”
If you’re ready for a bite to eat, Graton actually has a strong culinary reputation. Serving as a local gathering spot, the Willow Wood Market Café doubles as a general store and a café/soda fountain, serving down-home comfort food using fresh local ingredients in a relaxed and family-friendly setting.
Across the street, the Underwood Bar & Bistro provides big-city style in what used to be a simple little apple cannery town, offering lunch and dinner with relaxed sophistication. Local winemakers are often spotted here, and Food and Wine magazine listed Underwood as No. 4 of “America’s 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences.”
After exploring cute and cozy downtown Graton, continue heading west on Graton Road. Trees arch overhead as you wind your way along this curving two-lane rural roadway, with something new to see around each bend. In slightly less than six miles, the road dead-ends in the laid-back town of Occidental.
Turn left and you’re on the Bohemian Highway, a highly scenic 10-mile stretch of two-lane road connecting Monte Rio in the north with Freestone in the south. Occidental lies at the midpoint of this two-lane byway. Occidental’s two-block-long main street houses galleries, gift shops, and renowned restaurants.
Continue south on the beautiful Bohemian Highway. This area attracts cyclists, car clubs, and anyone who enjoys getting off the beaten path in a gorgeous natural setting.
Your next stop is in the tiny community of Freestone, at the southern end of the Bohemian Highway, at Enduring Comforts, offering antique, vintage, and gift items in a cozy setting. Find an assortment of vintage stemware, with rare pieces by Baccarat, Heisey, Fostoria, and Waterford; a collection of antique and vintage corkscrews; and authentic period lighting – Deco, Arts & Crafts, and kerosene.
If you have time to explore Freestone, this tiny community has a lot to offer, including a destination bakery (fans drive miles out of their way to buy their breads), a wonderful wine tasting room, artisan cheeses, and a spa sanctuary. For details, see Things to do in Freestone.
From the Bohemian Highway, turn right onto the Bodega Highway, and follow it about five miles to the village of Bodega, which is basically a scattering of houses and businesses spread along the roadway and nestled against the hillsides.
And it doesn’t offer antiques, but if you have time you might want to drop in at the Artisan’s Co-Op, which features the diverse work of as many as 40 local artists and artisans.
There are a number of other sights to see in Bodega, from its picturesque post office to the places that served as locations for filming “The Birds.” If you can, take some time to look around, browse the various shops, and soak up the atmosphere.
When you’re ready, it’s only four miles to the spectacular coastline. Continue west on Bodega Highway, then left onto Coast Highway 1, into the town of Bodega Bay. Your objective here is Eclectic Amanda, a small shop featuring a mix of antiques, gifts, and coastal treasures. You’ll mostly find smaller items here, like jewelry, perfume bottles, vintage toys, ladies’ hats, or old clocks and radios.
Explore the coast
This completes your antiquing tour, just in time to appreciate the beauty and bounty of Bodega Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
If you want to stretch your legs, Bodega Head offers great bluff-top trails, and the possibility of spotting seals or whales in the water. Dining options vary from clam chowder and crab sandwiches outdoors at Spud Point Crab Company to the casual atmosphere and nationally acclaimed cuisine at Terrapin Creek Café; for more options, check our listings of Sonoma County Restaurants and click on Bodega Bay.
Of course, there are many other options for antiquing throughout Sonoma County.
In the south, the town of Petaluma boasts a number of antique galleries, and twice a year (spring and fall) hosts the renowned Petaluma Antique Faire, when the historic downtown center transforms into an antique marketplace.
In northern Sonoma County, the town of Healdsburg also offers a multitude of antique shops and collectives, including Mill Street Antiques and Modern Antiquarium. And the Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society hosts the Healdsburg Antiques and Arts Fair in the town’s central plaza.
For even more antiquing options, check our Sonoma County Shopping Directory.
Written by Sonoma Insider Patricia Lynn Henley.