Cloverdale’s quaint charm is reflected in food, arts and entertainment

Sonoma County’s northernmost outpost is easy to miss from Highway 101. The town of 8,954 is nestled at the northern end of famed Alexander Valley wine country, adjacent to the Russian River and a short walk to the Mendocino County line. Cloverdale has the quaint small-town charm, the arts and entertainment ambition of bigger cities, and an outward-looking attitude worthy of its rugged and difficult past.

Here are some local places that residents and visitors should add to their agenda.

To eat:

Pick’s Drive-in: The spot was originally opened as a Reed & Bell Root Beer refreshment during Prohibition in 1923.

Location: 117 S. Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Sunday

More information: 707-894-2962, https://www.facebook.com/people/Picks-Drive-In-Cloverdale/100063598510837

Trading Post Restaurant: The combination of a full bakery and a casual California restaurant. The restaurant is a bare-wood trimmed space with a wood and brass wine bar that runs the length of the room. The spring and brunch menu changes weekly and there is a set menu on Wednesdays.

Location: 102 S Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale

Hours: 5pm-8pm, Wednesday-Saturday; 11am-2pm, Sunday

More information: 707-894-6483, https://www.thepostcloverdale.com

Beverage:

plank coffee: Start your visit to Cloverdale with a pick-me-up at Plank Coffee. This trendy center offers great espresso and an assortment of freshly baked pastries. One enthusiastic Yelp reviewer said, ‚ÄúVegans are saved again! Great vegan sandwich options and good espresso. This cafe also has something every cafe should have but doesn’t – books by local authors!

Location: 227 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale

Hours: 7am-1pm

More information: 707-894-6187, https://www.plankcoffee.com

Rockin A’ Adventure Cafe: Rockin’ A Adventure Cafe is an Indiana Jones themed drive-thru cafe located on the south end of town across from the Renner Petroleum facility. Opened in December 2019, it quickly became the go-to coffee stop for many in the community and beyond. The Rockin’ A building was previously used as a mobile coffee trailer, then Trevor Ambrosini, owner of the coffee shop, converted it into a permanent building by remodeling the entire exterior with a foundation, patio, and drive-through arbor. The interior is approximately 130 square feet and the exterior is approximately 500 square feet.

Location: 1313 S Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Sunday

More information: https://www.facebook.com/RockinAadventureCafe/

Story:

Cloverdale History Center: A short walk from Plank is the Cloverdale History Center, which is the perfect place to learn about this town’s rich history. Informative historical exhibits tell the story of the Pomo Indians who were the first occupants of the land, before the arrival of white settlers in the late 19th century and the founding of what would become the town of Cloverdale. The adjacent Gould-Shaw House is a Victorian Gothic revival cottage dating from 1862.

Location: 215 N Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale

Hours: 11am-3pm, Wednesday-Saturday, 12pm-4pm Sunday

More information: 707-894-2067, https://www.cloverdalehistoricalsociety.org

Outside:

Cloverdale Sculpture Trail: For 18+ years, the Cloverdale Sculpture Trail has captivated visitors and locals alike. More than 30 large outdoor sculptures are presented in this exhibition which changes every year. You can view or print a brochure on The Sculpture Trail website.

Location: 215 N Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale

More information: 415-608-6160, https://cloverdalesculpturetrail.org

Cloverdale River Park: Until 1999, Cloverdale was the only incorporated town in Sonoma County without a regional park. Some say the best was saved for last. The park’s flagship offering is a scenic trail just over a mile long with access to the Russian River. It is the only public multi-use trail along the entire 100 mile stretch of the Russian River. Wildlife is abundant and in the summer the park is a great place to launch a kayak or go for a swim. Signs provide information about the park’s riparian habitat and the flora and fauna it supports.

Location: 31820 McCray Road, Cloverdale

Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Sunday

More information: https://parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/visit/find-a-park/cloverdale-river-park

KOA Cloverdale/Healdsburg: Cloverdale has its share of bed and breakfasts and hotels. But for a true outdoor experience, consider camping. Cloverdale Wine Country KOA Camping Resort offers basic to deluxe cabins, as well as tent and RV sites, in a bucolic setting overlooking the Alexander Valley. All sites have fire pits, barbecues and picnic tables. Russian River RV Campground is as the name suggests. Located directly on the river, the campground accommodates RVs but also has a few cabins. Swim in the river, play volleyball or just relax.

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