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Unwind in Sebastopol’s Enchanted Forest

Avalon Bed & Breakfast Inn

If you’re hoping your visit to Sonoma County will be a chance to really get away from it all, then boy, have I got the spot for you.

Drive across the one-lane wooden bridge and onto the grounds of the Avalon Luxury Bed & Breakfast in Sebastopol and you’ll instantly feel what I’m talking about.

Secluded beneath soaring redwoods, abutting a creek that’s home to salmon and trout, and kitted out with private decks, woodsy walkways, and plush rooms, this place is the ultimate escape.

A boutique hotel it’s not: Even though Avalon’s got amenities like a fitness room, a hot tub, and a full concierge service (the McCalla family, who have owned and run the Avalon for 14 years, can help you plan everything from local winery tours to hot air balloon rides), this is still a traditional bed and breakfast.

Each morning, Hilary McCalla prepares a different organic, three-course breakfast for guests in the main house’s cozy dining room; in the afternoons guests are welcomed back for tea, homemade cookies and cakes, and conversation.

“It’s basically non-stop food,” said McCalla, a creative cook who’s been known to wow everyone from serious omnivores to vegan and gluten-free visitors. (The slice of gluten-free chocolate cake she offered this chocoholic lasted about 4.7 seconds).

The family also hosts a nightly wine hour for guests, serving favorite bottles from the area or, as McCalla says, “pouring our neighbors.”

It all adds up to the kind of friendly atmosphere in which guests — the lodge only accommodates six at a time — can get to know their fellow travelers just as easily as they can sneak off on their own.

After a long day hiking, biking, or tasting out in Sonoma County, make some new friends in the lodge’s cozy common living room and head into town for a group dinner.

Avalon feels plenty secluded, but it’s really just a short drive from the heart of Sebastopol. This town’s the perfect blend of all things Sonoma County: It’s home to surfers, forests, vineyards, and a funky-cool downtown full of shops and restaurants.

Make sure you stop by Screamin’ Mimi’s downtown for a scoop of chocolate sorbet (trust me) before heading back to Avalon for the night. Then bed down in Guinevere’s Tower, the Enchanted Forest room, or the Wizard’s quarters. Relax, rewind, and repeat as needed — or at least as many times as you can before the real world beckons you back.

Avalon Bed & Breakfast Inn, 11910 Graton Road, Sebastopol, 707-824-0880, toll-free: 877-3-AVALON

Find other hotels/lodging or things to do in Sonoma County. Order a free Sonoma County Visitors Guide and Wineries Map.

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