Relax in the mountains of the Sonoma Coast in Cazadero (pop. 354), an old logging area that's now as famous for muffins and wood-fired pizzas as for its old-growth redwoods that crowd the road.
Shop in the 100-year-old Cazadero General Store, or watch redwood being processed through Berry’s Saw Mill, a family-owned operation that cuts sustainably-managed timber. For those looking to base themselves in the area for a day or longer, here's a quick list of three things to do in and around Cazadero:
1) Music and Pizza. Friday evenings means wood-fired pizza and music at Raymond's Bakery (5400 Cazadero Highway, Cazadero, 707-872-7323). Locals and visitors mingle while savoring pizza fresh from the oven and hearing local bands jam under the redwoods.
2) Bring your bike. Cazadero is a stop for most serious cyclists coming to Sonoma County, and for good reason. The road up from the Russian River is a former rail line, meaning it isn’t as windy as other roads in the area. The redwood forest grows on both sides, providing a natural canopy of shade as cyclists climb the hills. And almost all of the major tours that come through Sonoma County, whether the Tour of California or Levi’s Gran Fondo, head through Cazadero.
3) Drive to the coast. Downhill from Cazadero, and out toward the coast, the town of Duncans Mills (pop. 175) offers shopping and cafes, as well as some photogenic cattle who eye visitors from their pen across from the main street. From Duncans Mills, a quick drive to Jenner (pop. 136) means time spent exploring Goat Rock Beach (Highway 1 and Goat Rock Road, Jenner, 707-875-3483; no dogs allowed on beach; entry fee $8 per vehicle, $7 seniors) as well as watching a colony of seals laze in the sun where the Russian River opens into the Pacific Ocean.