7.2 out of 10

Bodega Bay

38.3309963754901 -123.059754479841
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Safe & Sound
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Clean & Green
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Cost of Living
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • LGBT+


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5

"Well-kept secret"

Bodega Bay really is one of the North Bay’s best-kept secrets. While most North Bay residents travel to nearby Stinson Beach on a sunny day and sit in traffic for hours, an extra half hour up the 101 will get you to the turnoff that takes you to this little coastal town where The Birds was filmed.

The beaches here are just as good as they are further south, and a fraction as crowded. Doran Beach is about as family-friendly as one can get without importing the Atlantic Ocean’s warmer tides, and further north, Bodega Head gives the dramatic, cliff-side scenery that California is all about. The harbor is great for windsurfing and kite boarding, and the town, although small, has a charming, seaside village feel to it.

One should also be aware that idyllic, sunny beach days are few and far between this far north on the Pacific. Most days, if not cloudy and foggy for the duration, at least start out that way. Either way, the sunsets here are remarkable.

As far as living here…that’s another story. The one grocery store is highly overpriced, and the nearest major town, Sebastopol, is about 40 minutes away. Nightlife is minimal – there is one bar in nearby farm town Bodega, which has a very…local…scene.

But for that individual, that one person for whom the beach and proximity to the redwoods are more important than a vibrant nightlife or cell phone reception, Bodega Bay might just be the perfect place.
  • Great beaches
  • Uncrowded
  • Peaceful
  • Middle of nowhere
  • Cool, foggy weather
  • Terrible cell phone reception
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • LGBT+
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
DP Bodega Bay is one of the best kept beach secrets in California. Most people that go there don't like to talk about it in public, because we want to keep it a secret. But, I have to debate a little, in that it truly is one of the best places in California. Lets talk golf, the Links is one a really great course that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, with breathtaking views. Bodega is a crabbing town so fresh crab, and with the Russian River down the street , you can bet the salmon is the best in the world. Ok, food, the establishments are over the top, and bodega has a Michelin star restaurant to boot... you can ride horses on the beach, surf, kayak, crab for you dinner in the bay... hike.surf, watch the whale migrate by.. Sebastopol is actually 20 minutes into town... oh, I forgot Joseph Phelps winery is there too... just down the street.. Are you kidding me? Where else in the US can you get such an amazing place... : )
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