Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Daytripping: Bodega Bay

Jetty at Doran Beach
Bodega Bay is another favorite beach spot for my family. The drive to Bodega Bay is a much easier drive than the drive to Stinson Beach. There are no windy (long i, not short i) coastal roads bringing you down to the ocean. You simply drive through the town of Petaluma, meander through dairy country, and before you know it, you're at the coast. No terrifying descent on a narrow road where you have to share the road with bicyclists and idiot drivers. OK, maybe "terrifying" is a bit hyperbolic.

Testing the water
Some of the beaches at Bodega Bay can be difficult to access as you must climb down a cliff to reach the beach. Oh sure, there are "stairs" but they are rustic to say the least and they can be slippery. And heaven forbid that you have to use the facilities, because then you have to climb back up the cliff to reach said facilities. (I'm thinking of Portuguese Beach in this case. It's gorgeous, but...) If you, or someone in your family has mobility issues, I do not recommend these beaches. This time around, we went to Doran Beach. Doran Beach is right off the parking lot so it was easy to get to. It is also a dog-friendly beach so we were able to bring our rat dog. We did have to pay $7.00 for parking, but we considered this a small price to pay for easy access to the beach and to facilities.

"Hi, Mom!"
Doran Beach is a sandy beach instead of a rocky beach. It also has camping areas for tents and RVs as well as areas for day use complete with picnic tables and bbqs. I'm definitely going to remember this for next year's camping trip. There is a Coast Guard training station there, so we got to see a Coast Guard helicopter go on patrol (or whatever) and a Coast Guard boat. Since my oldest son's latest obsessions are airplanes and helicopters, this was exciting for him.

Can't say we weren't warned
We parked our butts on the beach near the jetty. My husband and oldest son spent some time exploring the jetty where they observed people fishing and trying to catch crabs. There was plenty to do for the camper or the daytripper.

I'm not going to say that it's the best beach I've been to. Honestly, I still prefer Stinson Beach. But as far as ease of access is concerned, I would say that Doran Beach in Bodega Bay gets an A+.

Hermit crab

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