Things to See and Do in Bodega Bay, California

"The Birds"
The old schoolhouse in Bodega where the Hitchcock thriller “The Birds” was filmed

Visiting the Bodega/Bodega Bay for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in this area.

Did you know Bodega and Bodega Bay are two different places in Northern California? Bodega is one mile inland, on a stretch of highway which runs east/west, and Bodega Bay is on the Coast Highway 1, and is five miles north of Bodega.

"Bodega Church"
Bodega Church

When I have a visitor from out of town, I take them to the old schoolhouse in Bodega where they filmed the Hitchcock thriller, “The Birds.”

Looking for a quiet place to escape and unplug? Check out the Sonoma Coast State Beaches. There are a number of excellent, wild and rugged beaches with spectacular views and wide sandy expanses.

Don’t miss the seals at Seal Rock if you have kids traveling with you. Certain times of the year the park docents will take you out to see them “pupping.”


If you are looking for typical seafood cuisine, I recommend Lucas Wharf in Bodega Bay. I love their Cioppino.

"Johnny Garlics"
Johnny Garlics prepares salmon at the Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Festival

Looking for cheap food in Bodega Bay? Go to Brisas del Mar, which is north of town, has good, inexpensive Mexican and seafood.

One other tip: salt water taffy…Bodega Bay has a great selection! Just outside of Bodega, drive to the tiny town of Freestone for amazing things that come out of the oven at Wild Flour Bread.

Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Festival

A big food festival, which happens at the end of August is when you will get the very best food in Bodega. The Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Festival, this year August 25 & 26, 2012, is a huge food extravaganza. It has a great selection of seafood, but lots of other fare. It also has a stellar tasting, with over 30 wineries and 15 microbreweries.

"Bodega boats"
Bodega boats in the harbor at sunset

Bodega Bay is best known for its rugged coastline, wide expanses of sandy beaches, charming restaurants, hotels, and gorgeous views. Bodega is known for the famous schoolhouse, and rural, bucolic splendor.

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When you come to Bodega Bay, get your picture taken in front of the docks with the old fishing trawlers behind you. When you come to Bodega pose in front of the picturesque, steepled church just east of the village.

This area is a huge draw for outdoor enthusiasts. Multiple hiking trails, very popular biking routes, and even a large ranch for horseback riding rentals are all available. Tide pooling is popular here, as is birding.

Come for the food, stay for the music of Fishtank Ensemble fiddler

This area is quiet at night: no big clubs or dance scenes, which makes it ideal for people looking to escape and just relax. But if you enjoy good music put that aforementioned festival (The Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Festival) into your calendar, as you are guaranteed some of the hottest bands playing anything from Latin to Jazz, Motown to Swing and Cajun to World Beat. There is a large dance floor and the festival draws thousands of fans who enjoy the great food, wine, beer, art, music and alternate performances.

The Press Democrat will keep you posted on what’s happening in Bodega and Bodega Bay.

"Bodega oysters"
Fresh oysters at Bodega Bay

What are your favorite things to do in Bodega and Bodega Bay?

Related Post:

Things to See and Do in Healdsburg, CA

Photos courtesy of Michael Ecton. Fishtank Ensemble fiddler and oysters photos courtesy of Margot Duane.

Bodega Bay

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