sonoma coast
Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay is a protected harbor, named in 1775 after a Spanish explorer, Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, who sailed his ship into the bay. At Bodega Bay, hike on Bodega head, fly kites (it's often windy in the afternoon), go kayaking in the calm waters, horseback riding along mountains,and spend hours playing on long sandy beaches.

Tip: Read our blog post "July 4 at Bodega Bay"

Doran Beach Regional Park - Doran Beach Park has both day use and a campground. Drive to the end of the road, and you'll find a long sandy beach, perfect for flying kites, digging in the sand or making castles year round, picnic tables.
Tip: Buy kites (great selection) at Second Wind and Candy & Kites shops in Bodega Bay.
For a short walk along the wetlands, take the Cheney Creek trail to see glorious snowy egrets take flight, and pintail ducks in the water.
Bodega Head -
Go for a hike on Bodega Head. Drive out Bay Flat Road which becomes Westshore Road, ends at the parking lots. trails start here. The loop trail around the head is 1.9 miles, panoramic views of the rocky coast and bay.
Bring a picnic lunch, picnic tables are available at the lower parking lot, benches also on the trails. Tip: Weather is changeable in summer - a sunny day can quickly turn cool when the fog rolls in.
Bodega Head is great location to look for gray whales during the migration season, January to May. Bring your binoculars, careful of some trails close to the edge of steep cliffs.
Campbell Cove Beach (Bodega Head) - This sheltered cove is perfect for kids, there's a smooth sandy beach, with calm waters and no big waves. Kids can look for starfish in the shallow water or dam up the little creek flowing into the bay. There's picnic tables, bring your lunch and sand toys.
Tip: If you don't have a picnic lunch along, stop at Spud Point Crab Co. on the road to Campbell Cove, and pick up crab or shrimp sandwiches, hot dogs, cold drinks.
Go kayaking - Salmon Creek estuary and Bodega Bay are good for kayaking. You can paddle out, the water is calm and there's lots of wildlife - harbor seals, otters and sea birds. Bring hats and sunscreen, shoes that can get wet.
Horseback rides - A horseback ride on the beach or through the coastal mountains (beautifully green in spring) is fun for everyone in the family. Guided trail rides last 1 ½ hours, for kids 8 and up. For little kids, there are pony rides.
Sonoma Coast State Beaches - The coastline from Bodega Bay to Jenner is incredibly scenic, but the beaches are very dangerous. “Sleeper” waves come out of nowhere, sweeping people out to sea. None of the beaches below are swimming beaches.
North Salmon Creek - Your best bet for a family beach is Salmon Creek beach, with miles of flat sand beach and shallow river inlet. Use the driftwood to build "forts."
Wright's Beach is a beautiful flat sand beach with picnic areas and campground, Goat Rock Beach has a sandy spit where the Russian River comes into the ocean, but unless you can keep your kids out of the water (absolutely no wading), don't visit. Both beaches have signs stating they are “the most deadly beaches in California.”
Fun food
Bodega Bay Community Farmers Market, at the Bodega Bay Community Center, Sundays 10am - 2pm, May to October. A small market, but the place to pick up locally grown vegetables, meat, fish, seafood, baked goods & cheese. (Stock up if you're staying in a rental house.)

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