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Upper Haight, Meet Sebastopol's Hippies, Thrift Stores, and Beer

Photos by Erin Kunkel

Sebastopol walks a narrow line between quirky-cool and not-so-hippie-chic. In fact, had the Upper Haight not become such a theme park itself, you could easily 
imagine it might look a lot like this Sonoma County town.

Sebastopol drips in kitsch with not one but five vintage clothing and costume shops. By far the best is Aubergine Vintage Emporium & Cafe, a couple blocks from the town’s center. Aubergine brims with vintage lingerie and Alpine felt hats, and the store’s nighttime bar, concert, and burlesque venue solves the problem of being all dressed up with nowhere to go (as you might guess, this is a real challenge in western Sonoma).

In Sebastopol, your closet won’t be the only beneficiary of groovy salvaged goods. Ray’s Trading Co. (707-829-9726), on Gravenstein Highway, is sort of like Anthropologie—but for real. Bring a truck, and load up on everything from hardware to tractor-seat stools, as well as hundreds of antique doors, windows, and table legs. The possibilities are endless.

It wouldn’t be a day in the Upper Haight, er Sebastopol, without a craft beer at the Magnolia Brewery of Wine Country. Spend the afternoon sipping house dunkelweizen in the garden at Hopmonk Tavern, which hosts live music most nights. While this may feel like a beer town, Sebastopol is still in Sonoma, where drinking wine is required. Leave it to Primus frontman Les Claypool to bridge the gap. The singer’s Claypool Cellars, housed in a former train depot, is known for its wild parties. You never know when you might hop aboard the antique train car (aka the tasting room) and find beautiful women pouring Rhone-varietal wines and offering tastes of sauerkraut to a soundtrack of accordion music.

This article was published in 7x7's July/August issue. Click here to subscribe.