Discover this quiet California community along the Pacific Coast Highway, where the views are unobstructed and the simple life rules.
Photo: Kristen Shelton Fielder
Main Street. Unique wharf and roadside shops abound: Patrick's Salt Water Taffy (of the pink-and-white striped fame) satisfies a sweet tooth in flavors like apricot and cinnamon (hot!). Just outside town, Hamilton Trading Company is an antiques paradise.
Restaurants. At Spud Point Crab Company, the crab and wild king salmon are just caught from the waters surrounding the restaurant. For crisp fish-and-chips, new harborfront eatery The Birds Café serves fried treats and comforting clam chowder.
Beach. Doran Beach, a two-mile stretch, has gentle waves perfect for swimming; picnic tables, campgrounds, and horseback riding in the ocean are also part of the beach culture. Salmon Creek, on the north side of town, draws families and surfers.
Activities. Bodega Head, a rocky peninsula jutting between the ocean and bay, has hiking trails with sublime vistas and picnic spots overlooking the water. Golfers will want to try the Links at Bodega Harbour, perched along the coast.
Just Visiting? For zoom-worthy sights of Doran Beach and its bird sanctuary, check in to Bodega Bay Lodge and put the in-room binoculars to good use. Rates start at $179; bodegabaylodge.com.
Pictured Left: Sonoma Coast State Park boasts long, sandy beaches for relaxing, and hiking trails for exploring.