Living between the Northern California Coast and the Sierra Nevada's makes day trips like this one a weekend MUST for us.
Whether it's a historical bank turned artisanal ice cream shop/shared fine goods store (need I say more?), or pulling down an unknown coastal road - Stephen and I are always seeking the unique, the stunning, and the delicious (because, tacos...and ice cream).
This post serves not only to share beautiful photos of travel-worthy northern California coastal locations, but also to suggest a few small businesses who are just doin'. it. RIGHT. ENJOY!
Our first stop was Bodega Head (everybody HOLLER at free parking).
The 4 miles of small peninsula that emerges from the coast to the south, sheltering the sandy Bodega Bay was - hear me say - FREE and BEAUTIFUL.
Crumbly coast line and gorgeous soft, sandy beaches everywhere the eye can see. It almost felt the tiny baby sister of Big Sur, (almost).
Our next stop along the coast was entirely accidental. Driving down the foggy highway we see a sign for Goat Rock Beach and take a quick and unexpected left turn which led us to climb a large hill before getting to the beach. This unexpected find afforded us an amazing look-out as well as a future photoshoot staple. All that to say, Goat Rocks.
Heading inland a bit from the sleepy town of Jenner, CA we made our way toward one of our favorite, funky little mountain towns - Guerneville - described best as 'A Redwood Forest Meets Wine Country'.
We popped into the historical Guerneville Bank-turned-artisanal-dream-boat and got our fill of aesthetic perfection at Commerce Fine Goods, as well as our fill of handmade ice cream at Nimble & Finn's.
Can we talk about flavors like Honeyed Peach, Rhubarb Crisp, Icebox Cake, Lavender Honeycomb and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil? Hi, I'll take two of each.
Finishing off our adffogato's we hopped in the car and drove less than ten minutes up the road to the Armstrong Redwood National Forest. Steve and I have also visited Muir Woods, another popular Redwood forest just north of San Francisco/Sausalito. But comparatively, the convenience, solitude, and free parking just outside the entrance makes Armstrong a place we make sure to bring any friends and family visiting from out of town.