Sonoma County’s rugged coastline creates the county’s western border. Approximately 55 miles of coastline can be driven on world famous Pacific Coast Highway 1, with great access via Sonoma Coast State Park’s 19 coastal beaches (see Discover Coastal Parks & Ocean Beaches).
From the south, the first coastal community you will encounter is Bodega Bay, made famous by Hitchcock’s movie The Birds. This beautiful community offers many picturesque and unique lodging, dining and activity options. Sample some of the world’s finest clam chowder, crab and other seafood fares; taste wine while watching the sun set over Bodega Bay; fly a kite on one of the area’s expansive beaches; tee off on a seaside golf course; go sport fishing or whale watching; build a sand castle at family friendly Doran Beach; ride a horse on the beach. Find out more at visitbodegabayca.com.
Heading north, the next community you will encounter is Jenner by the Sea. This charming seaside community offers a great estuary where the Russian River flows into the Pacific. Rent a kayak and explore the estuary, local wildlife and the rugged coast; grab a cup of coffee at Cafe Aquatica; watch what may well be the world’s most dramatic sunsets from River’s End Restaurant. Here you will also find some fantastic lodging options. Just a few miles north, you can experience an authentic Russian fort at Fort Ross Historic Park.
32 miles north of Jenner, The Sea Ranch is a tiny community, anchored by a beautiful golf course and a fantastic lodge. At Sea Ranch Lodge, you can relax in one of their premium ocean-view rooms, book yourself a massage and forget your cares. Savor the farm to table flavors of Black Point Grill. Then take a nature hike with unbeatenpathtours.com.
Just north of Sea Ranch, right across the Mendocino County Line, Gualala offers a seaside lodging, dining and shopping experience. The village of Gualala lies at the southernmost edge of Mendocino County along Shoreline Highway One and perches on the bluffs overlooking the Gualala River and the Pacific Ocean beyond. The beautiful Gualala River runs to the sea right in front of the village, and is home to river otter, osprey, egret, heron and numerous species of fauna and flora. Browse the unique shops of Sundstrom Center & Mall, Seacliff Center, Cypress Village, Sea-Watch Village, and Bakertown. Find out more at redwoodcoastchamber.com/gualala.
Things to Do on the Sonoma Coast:
39. Take a Hike on the Coast
40. Drive the Scenic Pacific Coast Highway
41. Ride a Horse on the Coast
42. Fly a Kite on the Beach
43. Go Sportfishing
44. Visit Bodega Bay, Where Hitchcock Filmed “The Birds”
45. Wine Surf in Bodega Bay
46. See the Whales
47. Discover Coastal Parks & Ocean Beaches
48. Treat Yourself to a Cedar Enzyme Bath
49. Take a WaterTreks EcoTour
50. Hike Willow Creek
51. Spend the Day at Salt Point State Park
52. Take the King Ridge Bicycle Trail
53. See a Real Fort at Fort Ross Historic Park
54. See the Gallery & Take a Class at Gualala Arts Center
55. Golf Oceanside at the Links at Bodega Harbour
56. Watch the Sun Set Over the Pacific at River’s End
57. Discover Life in Tidepools
58. See the Vibrant Colors at Kruse Rhododendron Park