Bodega Bay


Last time I visit Bodega Bay was Feb. 2023


Bodega Bay is a small fishing town that offer many outdoor activities, things to do and nearby places to explore nearby.


Where? :

Located right on Highway 1 at Northern California coast (Sonoma County), approximately one hour drive north of San Francisco.

Google Map Link


Blog Links Covering Nearby Parks and locations along Highway 1

When? : Year round, summer is good time for beach activities.


Due note 1: During summertime this lovely small town can be very crowded so take this into consideration…


Due note 2: There are few campground options near Bodega bay, Bodega Dunes Campground is the largest one and Doran Campground is right on the bay beach.


My thoughts:

We spend here few days at trips we did up the northern California coast. Excellent place to pass by and enjoy the local nature or to stay overnight.



The visit:


Bodega Bay is a picturesque fishing port town, overlooking the protected large bay.

The town is known as the filming site of the legendary Alfred Hitchcock film “The Birds” (1963).

Things to do around Bodega Bay:


Usually I do not give restaurant recommendations, but Bodega Bay is known as prime location for seafood restaurants. Crab, salmon, rockfish and more, some are taken right off a local boat. Keep yourself some time discover the excellent restaurants in Bodega Bay.

There are few restaurants right on highway 1, some are near the small protected marina and the famous Spud Point Crab Company is located on the other side of the bay near Spud Point Marina on your way to Bodega Head Trail.


Doran Beach:

This is a public-access beach (fee) that is maintained as a Regional Park, including beach and campground. The park is located along the 1-mile sand spit that is on the south side of the bay.


Bodega Head:

The four-mile-long peninsula forms the Bodega Bay and Harbor areas. A network of trails provides opportunities for hiking hill.

The views from the high cliffs to the ocean below is nice and you can walk 1.7-mile easy hike. Even if you do not have time to hike, I advise to drive to the end at the top of the hill just to see the view.

The head is a popular spot for migratory whale observation. You can spot whales all year long, but chances are best during the migration seasons (October through February), when gray whales are southbound from Alaska to Mexico, and February through April, when they reverse course.


The Hole in the Head:

When driving to Bodega Head, just before the road is climbing right the hill there is a parking lot and a small water pond on your right (

Here you can see what was supposed to be the foundations of Bodega Bay Nuclear Power Plant (1960). This location is only 2 miles west of the active San Andreas Fault, this and a lot of local resistance cause that the plant was cancelled.

Hike to Pinnacle Beach:

This Beach is located south of the town of Bodega Bay. From the town you need to drive south on Highway 1 and immediately as lit looks like the road exit the town turn right onto Harbour Way, this is gated community but there is a free access to the beach access.
after passing the gate turn left onto  Heron Dr. Turn left aging onto Mockingbird Dr and shortly after that you will see the small parking lot on your left. If this parking is full there are roadside parking spots down the road.
From the parking lot you will cross the road and head to Pinnacle Gulch Trail.
This is a short half mile long trail will lead you down to the beach.
Here you can explore the sandy beach with the sea stacks.

The best time to visit here is at sunset.

The Children's Bell Tower:

Located right north of town near the large RV campground you can find the Children's Bell Tower (

A monument to seven-year-old Bodega Bay resident Nicholas Green, who was shot and killed in a robbery attempt during a 1994 family visit to Italy. Following Green's death, organ donation rates in Italy skyrocketed, leading to a landfall of goodwill that has come to be known as "The Nicholas Effect”.

The memorial constructed by artist Bruce Hasson was erected in Bodega Bay following the event, featuring three nested towers housing 140 donated bells, including a central bell blessed by the Pope.


Saint Teresa of Avila Church:

St. Teresa of Avila Church is an 1862 church that is the oldest church in continuous use in Sonoma County (declare as California State Historical Landmark).

The church is located within the community of Bodega, small town just before Bodega bay when arriving from the south (turn right from hwy 1,

Avila Church was also use in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds. Stroll around this one-block town and you'll spot on the other side of the church the famous Potter schoolhouse.

Nothing more to see or do here… but it is a nice stop on your way to Bodega.

Salmon Creek Beach:

Just north of Bodega Bay town you can find the small exit on your left to Salmon Creek Beach parking lot ( This is excellent place to explore the local beach. Cross the sand dunes and hike north to the opening of the Salomon Creek river or go south all the way to Bodega Head cliffs.

Another option to park and hike the North Salmon Creek ocean shore is at North Salmon Creek Beach Parking Lot.


Additional Pictures:

Bodega Bay Pictures from Feb 2022