22 Oct 7×7 – Autumn in Sebastopol: Your Guide to Apple Picking, Craft Cider, Pie + More
When the leaves change hues, it’s time to dust off your pie recipes and find an idyllic, cozy town for autumnal inspiration. We suggest you put on your boots and pack your Pendleton blanket for Sebastopol, where the peaceful back roads are dotted with farm stands, handpainted signs for pancake breakfasts, and craggy apples trees bursting with fruit.
Plus, Sebastopol isn’t the one-horse town she used to be. A recent influx of artisanal food and drink is bringing a dose of style and sophistication. Here’s how to make the most of the season in this Sonoma County town.
AN APPLE A DAY
Nothing feels more like fall than a day spent in the heritage apple orchards in and around Sebastopol. Wind your way up narrow Upp Rd. (just off Graton Rd. in Graton) to Walker Apples, where you’ll wander pastoral orchards and sample rare apple varieties. Nearby, Gabriel Farm has a small, pick-em-yourself orchard, plus cider and brandy made from their fruit.
DECORATIVE GOURDS, MOFOS!
Muelrath Ranches is a bucolic pumpkin patch on the rural outskirts of town with homemade pickles at its organic farm stand, free hayrides around the serene property, and a spooktacular haunted house.
OGLE THE KOOKY ART
Local artists Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent have transformed the residential downtown side street of Florence Avenue into an outdoor gallery for their cartoon-like junk art. Park the car and stroll the two-block stretch, pausing in front of the artists’ home—we swear it could easily be mistaken for Pee-Wee’s playhouse.
ANTIQUING IS A MUST
In the neighboring half-block town of Graton, Mr. Ryder & Company is a pristine shop stocks covetable old objets in a historic former post office.
Pop into Retrospect, a petite showroom for Mid-Century Modern goods and original art by proprietor Gregory Odle. We dig the custom clocks made from vintage jazz album covers.
Antique Society is basically vintage nirvana, with more than 125 antique vendors filling a hangar-like space. On a rainy day, the pitter-patter of drops against the corrugated tin roof makes this the coziest place in town. Bonus: There’s also a petite cafe with homemade treats
GET YOUR CRAFT BEER FIX
Sebastopol has always had good wine, but it’s quickly become a destination for craft cider, beer, and spirits as well. Case in point: Woodfour Brewing, in the town’s new Barlow district, brews exceptional Belgian farmhouse saisons and barrel-aged sours. Pair flights with such beer-friendly dishes as deviled eggs, local cheeses, and charcuterie.
Cheers to Hopmonk Tavern for transforming an old railroad power station into an atmospheric taproom with 20 beers on tap. Out back, the sounds of clinking beer glasses fill a beautifully landscaped beer garden.
TAKE A COFFEE BREAK
The Barlow leapfrogged Sebastopol into the 21st century with contemporary boutiques, eateries, and craft drink producers housed in a series of renovated barns. Taylor Maid Farms is a third-wave coffeehouse that hails from San Rafael. Stop by and refuel in their fetching loft space.
STAY FOR HAPPY HOUR
With so much activity, you’re probably ready for a drink (especially you took the kiddos). Treat yourself to a glass at Red Car Wine Co., a modern tasting room with balanced wines and the allure of a chic hotel lobby. Browse the mini boutique as you taste pinots, chards, and a cult rosé.
The handsome new tasting room of craft spirits producer Spirit Works Distillery offers nips of vodka, gin, sloe gin, and other barrel-aged counterparts. A pair of whiskeys debuts on November 1st. // Spirit Works Distillery, 6790 McKinley St #100 (Sebastopol), spiritworksdistillery.com