Road Trip: Sebastopol

February 19, 2011 - 1:18pm -- swingbug

This may surprise you, but large-scale travel is not my thing. I like my house, my yarn basket, my yard, my coffee shop (taurus). I’m fond of my rut; I’ve spent a long time getting it just right, you know? I suppose we’d all like to imagine ourselves in Lothlórien’s enchanted woods, but were I to inhabit Middle Earth, I’d grow some hair on my feet and find myself a nice hobbit hole. I’m all up for a little explore, but I prefer it in single-serving sizes.

I’ve never been off my own continent; heck, I’ve never been to the other side of it. But there are worlds to explore in your own backyard if you’re willing to part the leaves and poke around. I recently found the inspiration for such an adventure. Shawn did a google search for a town with some hiking and a yarn shop. We dropped the kid off at my folks house and wound up in Sebastopol for the weekend.

“What’s in Sebastopol?” folks asked us on our way out of town.

“Don’t know. We’re going to find out.”

So what is in Sebastopol? You know that funny shop in every town that sells crystals and smells like incense. In Sebastopol, that’s the normal shop. While trying on a skirt in a clothing store, I heard a clerk on the other side of the curtain helping a customer: “Hey man, the dressing rooms in back have black lights, if you want to check that out.” I can sum up the whole town with what I had for dinner. We stopped in at the East and West Café and on the menu I found fish and chips in the form of baked and breaded snapper with garlic french fries and jalapeño ranch dip, alongside hummus and whole wheat pita bread. This is Sebastopol.

Sebastopol is also quite possibly the coloring book meca of the state and is chalk-full of cool street art I can appreciate. It sort of like walking through a hidden pictures page.

We also did some suburban hiking, caught lunch with some well-loved cousins, walked all over town in crazy warm weather for January.

I think I can sum up Sebastopol in pictures better than words, so check out my picture page, and if you ever find yourself there...


  • East and West Cafe: If you go, order the chocolate beet cake and tell me how it is. I was too full to attempt it.
  • Sebastopol Cookie Company: Try the jalapeno cheddar scones, my friends.
  • The Grateful Bagel: A bagel I was grateful for.
  • Coffee Catz: For lattes, a good solid cookie, and funny pictures of random cats sopping wet just after a bath.
  • Infusions Tea Shop: The girl who works behind the counter was so happy to show us all her favorite teas that we left smiling, with tea, and chocolate.
  • Hopmonk Brewery: Food is good. Some really killer beers on tap, though the Hopmonk brews themselves weren’t my favs.
  • GTO’s Seafood House: Service is prompt, though less than thrilled to be taking your order, but the food is terrific.

Check out

  • Funk and Flash: The name says it all, and says it well. Shawn found a new tie-dye, I found a vintage skirt, and we both found an hour’s worth of entertainment, plus a squirrel in a sombrero.
  • Silk Moon Gallery: Pretty stuff but the jewelry is wicked cool and reasonably priced. See my Valentine’s present?
  • Balls and Skeins: A lovely yarn shop and a nice lady runs the place. If I had had the time, I would have pulled up a chair, pulled out my sock, and knit with her for awhile.
  • St. Stephens: Their piano player kicks ass.
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I was in, and passed through, Sebastapool one week ago. Looked like lots of fun to me, though we only stopped for a quick liquid refreshment as we passed....Love the area, in general. Do not forsake Petaluma, you shall like it.