Bodega Bay is a two hour drive from Davis (I-80 to 37 to 101). After Fairfield and Vallejo, the drive takes you through the rolling hills and idyllic family-run dairy farms. This is definitely where the idea for the “happy cows” commercial must have generated from. The cows dot the green hillsides with room to roam and graze with bright red barns and charming farmhouses in the distance. You finally turn a corner to a Bodega Bay sign where the ocean opens up in front of you.
Bodega Bay is a sleepy little town. We stayed four nights there exploring the area, and there isn’t much to do in Bodega Bay itself except head to the ocean and eat clam chowder, so we did just that. The rest of our days were spent exploring the surrounding areas and towns, but after our visit there, we all decided that Bodega Bay is the perfect destination for a daytrip.
Davisite Jeanette Hulse who frequents Bodega Bay recommended several places for us including Spud Point Crab Company. http://spudpointcrab.com/ She said, “The best clam chowder on Earth (really). Do not pass this up!! Crab cakes on weekend only during crab season usually around 1 p.m… But hurry, they run out of crab cakes quickly.”
We did eat there, and thoroughly enjoyed the clam chowder served on the patio overlooking the Spud Point Marina. We got a loaf of crusty bread to go with the chowder and tore the bread off and dipped while we ate. The chowder is served in large paper cups with oyster crackers. We were also lucky to visit on a Monday when they were also serving the crab cakes. They were delicious and three of us shared an order and devoured them quickly.
After lunch in Bodega Bay, I recommend heading to the beach. There isn’t any shopping or little town to explore, just a random candy and kite store every so often, so that’s your only other real option. There are many beaches with parking and easy walking paths. We enjoyed the beach by the golf course the best. It was clean and wasn’t crowded with many water run-offs traveling through the beach to the ocean which are great for kids to wade and play in. There were people riding horses and kids running in the surf, but the half-moon shaped beach is big enough for a long walk, and large enough to find privacy. The sand is soft, so wear shoes you can easily kick off. A drive through the golf course is enjoyable as well. The modern beach houses are a nice change of architecture from what we get here in Davis. Many of these beach houses are vacation rentals if you’re planning on extending your stay.
There are many other beaches, but some are covered which huge driftwood and have driftwood houses set-up where people are apparently living. Jeanette recommended visiting Bodega Head and said the views are amazing, and it’s a great place to picnic, but warned of the possibility of heavy winds in that area. She also recommended watching the sunset from the deck of the Gourmet Au Bay wine shop, but it’s only open in the evening on the weekends, and you have to be 21 years old to sit on the deck. Thanks Jeanette! We had a great visit to Bodega Bay.