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

Cloverdale is a city of 8,954 is tucked at the northern edge of the famed Alexander Valley wine region has quaint small-town charm, bigger-city arts and entertainment ambition and a take-on-the-world attitude befitting its rugged, hardscrabble past.|

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This story is part of a special section focusing on the various communities in Sonoma County. For more stories about local communities, go to bit.ly/3SfyHkf.

Sonoma County’s northernmost outpost is easy to miss from Highway 101. The city of 8,954 is tucked at the northern edge of the famed Alexander Valley wine region, adjacent to the Russian River and just a stone’s throw from the Mendocino County line. Cloverdale has quaint small-town charm, bigger-city arts and entertainment ambition and a take-on-the-world attitude befitting its rugged, hardscrabble past.

Here are a few local spots residents and visitors should add to their agenda.

Eat:

Pick's Drive-in: The spot was originally opened as a Reed & Bell Root Beer Refreshery during prohibition in 1923.

Location: 117 S. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale

Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-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 casual California restaurant. The restaurant is a raw-wood-trimmed space with wood and brass wine bar that runs the length of the room. Spring and brunch menu changes weekly and there is a set menu Wednesdays.

Location: 102 S Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale

Hours: 5-8 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday

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

Drink:

Plank Coffee: Start your visit to Cloverdale with a pick-me-up at Plank Coffee. This hip hub offers excellent espresso and an assortment of freshly-baked pastries. One enthusiastic Yelp reviewer said, “The vegans are saved again! Great vegan sandwich options and good espresso. This cafe also has something that every cafe ought to have but does not — books by local authors!”

Location: 227 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale

Hours: 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

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

Rockin A’ Adventure Cafe: Rockin’ A Adventure Cafe is an Indiana Jones-themed drive-thru coffeehouse located at the south end of town in front of 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, cafe owner, converted to a permanent building by remodeling the entire outside with a foundation, deck and drive-thru arbor. The interior is about 130 square feet and the exterior is around 500 square feet.

Location: 1313 S Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale

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

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

History:

Cloverdale History Center: A few steps from Plank is the Cloverdale History Center, which is the ideal place to familiarize yourself with the rich history of this city. The informative historical exhibits tell the story of the Pomo Indians who were the first occupants of the land, prior to white settlers arriving in the late 19th-century and founding what would become the city of Cloverdale. The adjacent Gould-Shaw House is a Victorian-era Gothic-Revival cottage dating back to 1862.

Location: 215 N Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale

Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday

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

Outdoors:

Cloverdale Sculpture Trail: For 18 years and counting the Cloverdale Sculpture Trail has been captivating visitors and locals alike. More than 30 large outdoor sculptures are featured at this exhibition that changes annually. You can view or print a brochure from The Sculpture Trail’s 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 city in Sonoma County without a regional park. Some say the best was saved for last. The park’s signature offering is a scenic trail just over a mile long with access to the Russian River. It’s the only public multi-use trail along the entire 100-mile stretch of the Russian River. Wildlife is abundant and in 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.-8 p.m., Monday-Sunday

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

KOA Cloverdale/ Healdsburg: Cloverdale has its share of B&Bs and hotels. But for a true outdoor experience consider camping out. The Cloverdale Wine Country KOA Camping Resort offers basic to deluxe cabins, as well as tent and RV sites, in a bucolic setting overlooking Alexander Valley. All sites have fire pits, barbecue pits and picnic tables. Russian River RV Campground is as its name implies. Set right on the river, the campground caters to RVs but also has a few cabins. Swim in the river, play volleyball or just chill.

Location: 1166 Asti Ridge Road, Cloverdale

Hours: Year round

More information: 707-894-3337, https://koa.com/campgrounds/cloverdale

NorCal Skydiving: For a truly bird’s eye view of Cloverdale take to the skies with NorCal Skydiving. Based at Cloverdale Municipal Airport, this long-standing outfit welcomes thousands every year for the heart-pounding, death-defying thrill of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. To appreciate the experience, check out former Press Democrat reporter Clark Mason’s first-person account of his jump at NorCal Skydiving in 2017.

Location: 220 Airport Road # A, Cloverdale

Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday

More information: 888-667-2259, https://norcalskydiving.com

Entertainment:

Friday Night Live: Ask residents of Cloverdale what they love about their city and almost invariably they will mention this free summer concert series. Produced by the Cloverdale Arts Alliance, this family-friendly series brings an impressive line-up of well-known acts to town, including this summer, jam band Moonalice and R&B singer Ron Artis II & The Truth. Both performed at Napa’s BottleRock music festival. Grammy winners Los Texmaniacs are on the bill Aug. 5. Dinner and meals-to-go are available from a number of local street food vendors and nearby restaurants. Premium Sonoma County wines and craft beers can be purchased by the glass.

Location: 122 N Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale

Hours: 6-9:30 p.m., Fridays until Sept. 2

More information: 707-894-4410, http://www.cloverdaleartsalliance.org/fnlmusic

Cloverdale Performing Arts Center: This stunning 99-seat theater designed by Paul Gilger — who also designed Santa Rosa’s 6th Street Playhouse — offers an impressive run of shows. Some, such as Butterflies are Free opening July 16, are geared toward adult audiences. Elves and the Shoemaker, opening Dec. 3, appeals to children and families. The Performing Arts Center hosts community events like Books on Stage, a free series of readings and interviews with literary writers, and the Cloverdale Historical Society’s Speaker Series.

Location: 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale

More information: 707-894-2214, https://www.cloverdaleperformingarts.com

Your Community

This story is part of a special section focusing on the various communities in Sonoma County. For more stories about local communities, go to bit.ly/3SfyHkf.

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