With just under 8,000 residents, Sebastopol is a small, vibrant, down-to-earth community of artisans and makers which recently earned a shout out from Curbed San Francisco as a small wine country town not to be missed. Located just 56 miles north of San Francisco, Sebastopol couldn’t feel further away. Buzzing with creative energy, this town is a wonderful combination of established and up-and-coming artists and a rapidly growing artisanal food and beverage community. Located in the heart of Sonoma’s West County, nestled against the lush Laguna de Santa Rosa wetlands, framed by redwood forests, organic farms and vineyards and low, rolling coastal mountains, Sebastopol is a stunning base for exploring nature, art, food and beverage in the region.
Love a good apple? Fun fact: since it was established in 1850, Sebastopol was a farming town known as the Gravenstein Apple Capital of the World. At one point, it boasted over 15,000 acres dedicated to the noble Gravenstein. That changed, however, around 1950 or so, when land use shifted over to an ever-increasing number of vineyards, wineries and other produce, including tree farms. The Gravenstein has made a comeback and is the heart of seasonal fall menus and the fruit of honor at its own annual festival, The Gravenstein Apple Fair.
Sebastopol has one of the most innovative food and beverage scenes in the region. Its reputation as a forward-thinking “maker” community and proximity to an array of local, organic farms and purveyors has attracted a wealth of chefs, bakers, cheesemakers, beekeepers, winemakers, distillers, brewers and cider producers. It’s very easy to eat and drink your way through Sebastopol! In the downtown area, don’t miss the handmade noodles, bright, seasonal ingredients and house made shrubs at Ramen Gaijin; the fresh, seafood tacos (and so many other things!) at Handline, a highly acclaimed casual restaurant celebrating the best of California cuisine and local ingredients; the modern comfort food of the Gypsy Cafe; and some of the best vegan and vegetarian cuisine in the region. For an epicurean adventure, take yourself to The Barlow, a 12-acre former apple processing plant-turned outdoor market and maker district, where you can watch food and drink being crafted - and indulge in it, too! Given its roots as an orchard region, it’s no surprise that Sebastopol claims America’s first cider pub, Ace Cider, which opened the door to a host of other regional cideries in town, including family owned Horse & Plow. Of course, we’d be remiss in not mentioning some of the great wineries and tasting rooms in and around town. The mineral-rich river valley soil and moist coastal climate which made the Sebastopol area famous for its orchards, also creates perfect conditions for grape growing. You’ll find some of the most respected names in winemaking both in-and-around town, including Dutton-Goldfield, Iron Horse Vineyards, Red Car Winery, Paul Hobbs, Marimar Estate, Merry Edwards Winery, Taft Street and Littorai Wines - to name just a few.
Given the town’s status as a major hub for artists, it makes sense that Sebastopol offers some great options for nightlife. Two of Sebastopol’s “go to” venues for live music are Jasper’s Pub and the HopMonk Tavern. Located in a rustic 105-year-old stone and timber building in the center of Sebastopol, the Hopmonk is a favorite hotspot, complete with beer garden, indoor and outdoor space for concerts and a reasonably-priced menu featuring locally inspired tavern fare and beer pairings. You’ll find live music a staple of many local bars and restaurants after hours. There are quite a few options where you can enjoy a craft cocktail, a glass of wine or beer and a little music after dinner or theater in Sebastopol. Woodfour Brewing and the recently opened Fern Bar in The Barlow are favorites with locals and visitors alike. For the theater crowd, there is a fantastic schedule of shows offered at Sebastopol’s Main Stage West. Spring through fall is festival season and the town and region offer a broad array of outdoor festivals and cultural events with no shortage of fabulous food, music and art!
Often called the “gateway to the Russian River”, Sebastopol is a nature lover’s dream. The town is well-positioned near the banks of the Russian River, the redwood forests and on the way to nearby coastal recreation areas. To the east of town sits the Laguna de Santa Rosa (or Laguna), the second largest freshwater marsh in Northern California and beautiful mosaic of creeks, open water, perennial marshes, riparian forests, seasonal wetlands, oak woodlands, and grasslands. The area features a series of trails, including the 1.8-mile multi-use trail and the 2-mile Laguna Wetlands Preserve trail, open to hikers and wheelchairs, but not bikers. On the west side of Sebastopol is Ragle Ranch Park, a 157-acre regional park offering a wide variety of outdoor recreation for the whole family, including picnic sites, sports facilities, an off-leash dog park and several back-country hiking trails along Atascadero Creek. Of course, there are endless opportunities for cycling, hiking, kayaking and more just miles away on the coast and along the many parks and trails following the Russian River.
According to residents, Sebastopol’s close-knit, small town community vibe is one of the things that appeals the most. It’s extremely family and pet-friendly and welcoming to newcomers and visitors. Although the town offers several options for schools, both public and private, it’s public schools rank among the highest in the area in terms of student achievement and strong community and parent support. Sebastopol has a number of public parks and community spaces in and around its downtown town center - including within The Barlow - for families and pets to play and gather.
A short distance from Highway 101, off Highways 12 and 116, Sebastopol is easily accessible by car from San Francisco, Napa and northern Sonoma County and Mendocino.
For those arriving by air, three major carriers offer daily flights from Santa Rosa's Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS). The airport offers a choice of rental car services, ride sharing, taxis, and other ground transportation options. Transportation options between the airport and Sebastopol include Sonoma County Transit buses, taxis, or ride sharing services. For transportation between major Bay Area airports, the Airport Express shuttle service runs between STS, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Oakland International Airport (OAK). While the shuttle does not have a designated stop currently in Sebastopol, there are stops close by in Santa Rosa.
Marquis + Farwell Homes takes a vested interest in all their clients and work tirelessly to help them filter through the heaps of information that surface when it comes time to buy or sell a property.