Spend a day exploring West County, as the coastal and rugged western end of Sonoma is known to locals. Start in the town of Freestone, which was Sonoma’s first historic district and currently has a population of 32. Stop in for coffee and cranberry scones at the beloved Wild Flour Bread Bakery and then make your way past rolling hills and dramatic valley floors to the Japanese-style Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. The spa’s signature treatment, the cedar enzyme bath ($90 for 90 minutes,) entails soaking in a heady blend of finely ground cedar, rice bran, and plant enzymes from Japan. The ingredients heat naturally as a result of fermentation and detoxify the body, improving circulation, skin, and digestion. From the spa, drive toward Bodega Bay, which was the backdrop for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Along the wharf, Spud Point Crab Company is a lunchtime favorite for crab sandwiches ($10.95). You can also take your lunch to go and head north to Goat Rock Beach, where seals pup from March to August. Complete the loop by driving back inland along Highway 116 toward Lynmar Estate Winery, where the chardonnays and Syrahs are accompanied by Meyer lemon popcorn. Finish the day with dinner at the Glen Ellen Star , a pint-size, 24-seat bistro opened last August by chef Ari Weiswasser and his wife, Erinn Benziger Weiswasser (her family owns the biodynamic and organic Benziger Family Winery). Their California-Mediterranean spin translates to dishes like wood-roasted asparagus with spicy lavash bread ($12). Locals will tell you it takes a lot of beer to make wine; heed their advice and end the evening at the Russian River Brewing Company, which is known for its hoppy ales.
The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan
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5. Oddball Day
Published on Mar 7, 2013 as a web exclusive.