6) Willow creek road hike. From Occidental take Coleman valley road up the hill and take a right on Willow creek. Drive to the end of the road and park near the gate. You can walk down Willow creek road which is a dirt road and very scenic. Can be foggy.
7) Swim or canoe in the Russian river. Monte Rio has a nice beach or you can take a right after you cross the bridge and head up river to Johnsons Beach where it is typically a bit warmer.
8) Armstrong Redwoods State Park: If the government happens to be open when you are there, this park has some really big redwoods and nice hikes around the flat valley floor. If you are up for adventure, ask me about mountain biking or hiking Austin Creek State Park.
9) Wine tasting: There are quite a few wineries close by. Please refer to my winery links.
10) Canoeing the Russian River: Great summer adventure. Maribel is the closest just past Forestville. For the fisher people, there are quite a few small mouth bass in the river.
Other interesting things: Old Grove of Trees: This is about 12 minutes or so from the house. If you want to go on a hike through a beautiful redwood grove that sees very few visitors, you must check this out!
Drive a Loop: If you want to see the countryside, have some coffee, do some hiking, take some pics of outstanding world class vistas, consider this loop. From Occidental, take the Bohemian Hwy, which is just a two lane road through the hills, to Monte Rio. Before you cross the river, take Moscow road to your left and drive in to Duncans Mills. Check my outlying towns page for info about this town. Look around the shops and galleries. Next, take hwy 116 toward Jenner, going west. You can drive all the way to Jenner if you like and have lunch at the Rivers End Restaurant. This is where the Russian river empties into the ocean. If you don't go to Jenner, take a left across the bridge at Bridgehaven. There is an Indian restaurant there which is very good. Now for the hikes: Willow Creek Road: Take a left on Willow Creek just over the bridge. You can park at the campground which is a mile or so, or keep going to the gate across the road. From there you can hike or bike up the dirt Willow Creek road along willow creek. If you are ambitious you can hike or bike to the upper gate but that's probably 9 miles there and back. Don't venture off the road as the land on either side requires permits to access except if you start from the campground and hike west up to the ridgeline which can also be accessed via Shell Beach. Shell Beach: Once you cross the river at Bridgehaven, continue down the coast to Shell Beach and park there. Directly across from the parking lot is a trail that climbs to the ridgeline and connects to the camping area off Willow Creek. The ridge offers up epic views of the coast and the Russian River. This is an up and back the same way. Or from the same parking lot at Shell Beach you can access Kortum trail where you can hike north or south on a bluff above the ragged coastline. While you may be tempted to go south which is down wind, be mindful of the fact that you will be walking into the wind on the way back so bring layers! For other access points to Kortum trail click here.
Head down the coast and take a left on Coleman Valley road. Feel the pain climbing this on a bike from the comfort of your car! Stay on Coleman Valley road all the way back into Occidental for dinner. Its a great day with stellar views and hikes. Even if its raining its still a fun drive.
Safari West: I'm not lion when I say this is an adventure! In the hills east of Santa Rosa, Safari West offers jeep Safaris where the animals roam free and you are in their turf! From rhinos to wharthogs, this can make for a memorable day.
Horseback Riding: Wildfire Stables: This outfit is in the Bodega Bay area and they have several great rides to choose from. Go for a beach ride or up onto the ridgeline overlooking the coast!
A brief note about cycling. If you are a street bicyclist, I can recommend rides that range anywhere from fairly easy to mega grinds through the coastal mountains. If you are a mountain biker I can recommend rides from easy to super cranks as well, but you will have to drive to the starting point.