Tucked away in western Sonoma County, the tiny community of Occidental (pop. 1,115) packs a lot into its two-block long main street, home to galleries, gift shops, renowned dining establishments, and other local businesses. High-quality arts and cultural events are found at the Occidental Center for the Arts, while the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center promotes biological and cultural diversity.
As the midpoint on the exceptionally scenic 10-mile drive known as the Bohemian Highway, Occidental attracts cyclists and car clubs as the starting point for a number of beautiful and challenging routes between the redwoods and the coast. A favorite is to head west on picturesque Coleman Valley Road, which climbs over the ridge and then descends to Highway 1 along the coast.
North of town, the adventurous can fly through the tops of the redwoods via Sonoma Canopy Tour’s zip line experience.
Dining is a delight in Occidental. Founded as a railroad saloon and boarding house in 1879, the Union Hotel and Restaurant is now a lovely Italian cafe, bakery and pizzeria. Occidental's famous Negri's Italian Dinners & Joe's Bar, with its vintage trattoria ambience, has been serving Italian classics since 1943. And Mexican, French, and American cuisines are also served in local eateries.