While the locals would prefer to keep this hush, hush, the most striking (and undiscovered) route to the ocean is the stretch on Coleman Valley Road between Occidental and Bodega Bay. This is by far the most scenic route to the bay, with sheep, cows and the occasional llama before it snakes down to turquoise waters.
If you’re setting out for a coastal chardonnay getaway, tuck this ride into your route. You can begin by exploring some of the tasting rooms on the Highway 116 corridor and then pick up Coleman Valley Road in Occidental.
Great tasting rooms to explore along the Hwy. 116 corridor include: Iron Horse Vineyards (www.ironhorsevineyards.com); Hartford Family Winery, (www.hartfordwines.com); Paul Hobbs Winery, (www.paulhobbswinery.com); Dutton Goldfield Winery (www.duttongoldfield.com); Lynmar Estate (www.lynmarwinery.com) and Marimar Estate (www.marimarestate.com) and Graton Ridge Cellars (www.gratonridge.com).