Lodging in Occidental
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Inn at Occidental
The town of Occidental was founded in 1876, upon completion of the Brown's Canyon Trestle, when the narrow gauge Northwest Pacific Coast Railroad trains arrived from San Francisco on their way north to the Russian River. Local products, redwood logs, charcoal, and wine were hauled out on the trains. As the redwood forests were logged out, homesteaders built homes and planted orchards and vineyards in their place.
Homes in Occidental and nearby Camp Meeker were built as summer cabins by early developers Dutch Bill Howard and Boss Meeker. Occidental was known as Howard's Station. Vacationers escaped the foggy summers of San Francisco and the heat of the inland valleys to the cool of the forests.
Occidental has been the home of family-style dinners for over a century. Enterprising women of Occidental began cooking meals for the railroad workers, loggers, and train passengers. They originally prepared the meals in their own kitchens. The restaurants grew out of the demand for their appealing cooking. Today there are also other fine eateries serving California cuisine, delicatessen and Mexican and American-style meals.
Occidental's visitors may enjoy excellent lodging, shopping and recreation opportunities. Either of two motels or an elegant bed and breakfast inn may provide a base for strolling and browsing in the town's unusual shops, boutiques and art galleries. Shoppers may find one-of-a-kind antiques, clothing, pottery, jewelry, handcrafts by local artisans, gifts, toys, bicycles, books, stained glass, paintings, and much more. Nearby there are beaches, hiking trails, hands-on farms, wineries and spas. Occidental is also well known for its nurseries and gardens of rare and native plants, gourmet produce and flowers. There are no fewer than eight places in town to sip cappuccino, espresso and other cafe treats.
A remarkable number of artists and craftspeople live and work around Occidental. Each year in October many of their studios are open for the all-county Art Trails adventure. Locals and visitors alike eagerly await the annual Christmas Crafts Faire.
Occidental's Redwood Arts Council presents concerts of local artists and world-renowned musical performers featuring chamber music, international folk music, jazz, vocal ensemble and more. The acclaimed Occidental Community Choir performs its original music here several times a year.