Data, a 6-year-old rescue pup exploring Sonoma Coast State Park
It’s just 10 miles long, but oh, what a sweet 10 miles. The Bohemian Highway, named for the artists and other alternative-lifestyle folks who settled the area after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (and kept coming, especially in the 1960s), is a scenic and pastoral two-lane byway anchored by artist-filled communities, organic farms and wineries, one-of-a-kind shops, innovative restaurants and lots of scenic food for the soul.
The charming Creekside Inn & Resort in Guerneville, at the north end of the drive, is on our Russian River A-list. If multiple rooms and a kitchen are among your requirements, check out the dozens of dog–friendly rentals available through Russian River Getaways.
About midway on the Bohemian Highway is the hamlet of Occidental, founded in 1876 and revitalized during the hippie days when several communes sprung up, a couple of which are still functioning. You and your pet will be welcome in most of the galleries and shops along the main drag, and if you’re up for a splurge, the Inn at Occidental is a great place to rest your weary heads and paws in luxury. Rover will have to stay in the car or with a companion if you elect to zip through the redwoods with Sonoma Canopy Tours, which provides an exhilarating two-hour experience.
At the southern end of the Bohemian Highway is Freestone, a classic coastal village with a famous bakery, Wild Flour Bread, where you can stock up on sourdough loaves, scones and more, as well as tour the garden where herbs that go into the baked goods are grown. Round out your picnic fare with artisan cheese from Freestone Artisan Cheese, then backtrack to take narrow and winding Coleman Valley Road west to the coast. You’ll come out on Highway 1 near Sonoma Coast State Park’s scenic Goat Rock, an immense sea stack attached to land by a narrow isthmus. Enjoy fabulous views and walks from the headlands. While dogs are not allowed on Goat Rock Beach, you and Rover are free to explore nearby Blind Beach. Be sure to keep your pup on a leash.
Photo Credit: @spillerwoods