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Occidental's major attraction is the town itself, which has been described as “one of the cutest little towns” in Northern California. Occidental's main street is only two blocks long, but it's filled with art galleries and shops selling handmade crafts, imports, herbs, crystals, soaps, toys and more. The restaurants in Occidental are also a big draw to the town, where you'll find everything from a “Bohemian” style cafe that serves tofu sandwiches to two fantastic Italian restaurants (the red checkered tablecloth, old-fashioned variety.) Occidental is also home to a Farmer's Market, held every Friday from 4:00 pm. 'till dusk, June through October. The Community Church, which is praised for its wonderful acoustics, is the site of regular chamber music concerts hosted by the Redwood Arts Council.

Just one mile from Occidental is the Western Hills Rare Plant Nursery (located on Coleman Valley Road.) The Western Hills Rare Plant Nursery was created in the 1970s by Marshall Olbrich and Lester Hawkins, who are considered pioneers in the area for taking advantage of the Mediterranean climate to grow some of the most exotic flora in the United States. The nursery draws enthusiastic gardeners from all over the world. The Wishing Well Nursery is located on the Bohemian Highway in the nearby (tiny) town of Freestone. This gardener's paradise offers 100 varieties of fuchsias, a rose garden, statuary, and several eight foot goddesses designed by architect Bernard Maybeck. The area around Freestone and Occidental is also well known for its award winning wineries and wine tasting opportunities. Some of the best pinot noir grapes in the state of California are grown in the Occidental region. A quick five-minute drive from Occidental takes you to the Osmosis Spa, which offers the only Japanese enzyme bath in the United States. This unusual heat treatment leaves you feeling both relaxed and energized, as you lie in a bath of finely milled cedar, rice bran and more than 600 naturally derived plant enzymes. The Osmosis Spa also offers lovely gardens for meditating and strolling, massages and other relaxing treatments.

Occidental lies along the Bohemian Highway, which is one of the most scenic drives in all of California. This ten-mile highway winds through towering redwood forests, gorgeous pastures and rocky ravines. It's a peaceful region filled with vineyards and wineries, organic farms, nurseries and the charming townships of Freestone and Monte Rio, as well as Occidental. The Russian River offers endless opportunities for rafting, paddling, hiking, biking and camping. The Pacific Ocean is approximately a ten mile drive from Occidental, where a series of beaches stretch 17 miles north to south as part of the Sonoma Coast State Beach System. To reach the ocean, take the Coleman Valley Road from downtown Occidental. At the highest point along this spectacular drive you can see both the Pacific Ocean to the west and the forested valleys to the east.



 

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