Freestone is Sonoma County's first historic district — home to a number of classic western-style buildings nestled in an exquisitely scenic valley with supreme pastoral vistas and rolling hills.
Pomo Indians made their home here for centuries, and many artifacts of aboriginal people are found in mounds. Russians, who settled Fort Ross on the coast in 1812, grew wheat in this valley in the early 1800s to support their northern settlements prior to the issuance of Spanish land grants.
Next, the town was a center for harvesting and milling redwood and in 1871 became a rail stop on the North Coast Pacific Railroad.
Now with a population of 32, Freestone has a special charm all its own with some delightful and unique attractions. It’s home to:
Wild Flour Bread (140 Bohemian Highway, Freestone, 707-874-2938), a must-stop organic bakery on the way to the coast and the delight of many area residents;
Enduring Comforts (142 Bohemian Highway, Freestone, 707-874-1111), a cozy boutique with hats, knick-knacks, antiques, jewelry, and gift items;
Freestone Artisan Cheese (380 Bohemian Highway, Freestone, 707-874-1030), providing a tantalizing selection of hand-crafted artisan cheeses, nuts, olive oils, and other food items;
Freestone Country Store (500 Bohemian Highway, Freestone, 707-874-1417), which stocks a variety of local products, including picnic supplies and wine, all housed in an 1872-building that's been named a historic landmark; and the
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary (209 Bohemian Highway, Freestone, 707-823-8231), offering the cedar enzyme bath — the only North American day spa that provides this Japanese-style treatment.
Freestone is at the southern end of the Bohemian Highway, a scenic two-lane roadway that winds across 10 miles of western Sonoma County, through towering redwoods, serene pastures, rocky ravines, and the tiny hamlets of Occidental (the mid-point) and Monte Rio (the northern end).
When you’re ready to sit down and dine, you can chose from several nearby restaurants. To the east, Fork Roadhouse serves a farm-to-table seasonal and organic menu with vegetarian and vegan options in a quiet valley on Highway 12 between Freestone and Sebastopol. To the south, tiny Valley Ford offers a choice of three delicious restaurants — Rocker Oysterfeller’s Kitchen + Saloon, Dinucci’s Italian Dinners, and Estero Café. Head a few miles west for fresh seafood in Bodega Bay, or go north on the Bohemian highway to dine on Italian Cuisine in Occidental.
Nearby lodging options include the historic Valley Ford Hotel, the casual resort elegance of the Sonoma Coast Villa & Spa, the 28-room multi-star-rated Occidental Hotel, and the Inn at Occidental, a pet-friendly retreat surrounded by redwoods. If you prefer a place of your own, local vacation rentals include Owl Hill Vacation Home and Sonoma Cottage.