Freestone Artisan Cheese

Nestled in a picturesque valley amid the scenic hills of western Sonoma County, the town of Freestone (pop. 32) is tiny but worth a stop. As Sonoma County’s first historic district, its buildings offer an enchanting blend of western outpost and small-town charm, housing an array of shops and businesses.

As the southern end of the Bohemian Highway — a 10-mile, two-lane, scenic roadway that winds it way through Occidental to Monte Rio — Freestone is a common stop for cyclists tackling the west county roads and travelers headed out to the Sonoma Coast via Bodega Bay

A Japanese style pagoda is surrounded by trees
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

For a delightful bit of relaxation and pampering in Freestone, check into Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. This retreat along the banks of Salmon Creek (yes, there are real salmon in there) is the only day spa in the United States that offers a Japanese-style cedar enzyme bath. Osmosis also offers a variety of massage therapies, organic facials, skin care, and other spa treatments, as well as an authentic meditation garden. 

Across the street, Wild Flour Bread attracts customers from miles around to taste its beautiful hard-crust breads, baked in a wood-fired brick oven. Other treats at this destination bakery include scones, biscotti, sticky buns, cheese fougasse, and coffee drinks. A garden out back supplies the fruit, herbs, and vegetables that go into the scones and breads. The garden also makes a great place to sit and nibble on shared sourdough cinnamon rolls or ginger-pear scones.

Next to the bakery you’ll find Enduring Comforts, a cozy boutique. Want a hat? Enduring Comforts offers lots of them: sunhats, bowlers, lacy hats, and gardening hats. Browse through one-of-a-kind works by resident jeweler, Ian Doty, and local art by award-winning Sylvia Gonzalez. 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. Discover an array of beautiful scarves from around the world, a large selection of novelty socks for men and women, French soaps, and old and new aesthetically pleasing items for the home.

Culinary goodies for sale
Freestone Artisan Cheese

Just up the street, Freestone Artisan Cheese offers a tantalizing selection of hand-crafted artisan cheeses, hot roasted California nuts, olive oils grown and pressed locally, crepes, and tea.

If you want to extend your stay in the Freestone area, nearby vacation rentals include Owl Hill Cottage and Sonoma Cottage. Less than five miles south of Freestone you’ll find the historic Valley Ford Hotel, built in 1864 and updated with modern amenities and luxury bedding. Or, about eight miles north along the Bohemian Highway, you can relax in the pool at the pet-friendly The Occidental Lodge, a 1970s motor lodge, or enjoy a luxury experience at the Inn at Occidental, with 16 guest rooms in a graceful clapboard mansion as well as a two-bedroom cottage.

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