Getting the Most from Outdoor life in Bodega Bay by Sue Hughes

GoatRock2Certainly the main attraction for tourists and locals alike at Bodega Bay is the stunning scenery here. It is so breathtaking that it’s more than easy to just get caught up in this with walks and hikes of varying levels. What is particularly great about this area, though, is the vast array of different outdoor activities with which you can really get stuck into. Therefore, this area is absolutely ideal for family holidays as there is sure to be something here to suit everyone in the party. Being just ninety minutes out of San Francisco, Bodega Bay is one of North Carolina’s best kept secrets and hidden gems. Here is a small look into what is on offer in this region and why it has become so well-known with sports enthusiasts.

Getting Active

The waves are often massive at Bodega Bay, especially when there is a swell, making this a big favorite with experienced surfers. Salmon Creek is a particularly popular spot for surfers as the waves here are consistently large. This is a great spot for the whole family, though—younger kids enjoy skim-boarding here and there is ample room for the little ones to splash about in the calmer waters of the creek. Also a great place for beginners to learn the ropes of surfing, Salmon Creek is as diverse as it is breathtaking. Do be aware, though, that the waves here can be exceptionally rough, so it’s important, if you are inexperienced, to learn how to do it properly with a good surf school, and have the right travel insurance cover before beginning your vacation so that you can be fully prepared and be in the right position to have a great time.

If you’re after a more relaxed outdoor activity, head to Goat Rock, a perfect location for kayaking. The views out on the water here are simply spectacular and the calmer waves in the bay provide ideal conditions for an enjoyable kayaking experience. Goat Rock is also a great place to spot harbor seals, and if you visit from March till June you will be able to see newborn pups, which is a definite must if you are in the area around this time as it is a truly unforgettable experience. Why not take a kayaking tour around Goat Rock, and learn the history of the area and discover all there is to know about the coastal and river ecological system here.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

You really are spoiled for choice when it comes to areas of natural beauty in Bodega Bay. There is a huge variety of different parks to explore depending on what it is you are looking for from your vacation. Armstrong Redwoods Reserve is two miles north of Guerneville, and is home to some of the tallest, most spectacular trees in the whole of Sonoma County. There are many ways to explore this park including horseback riding, cycling on paved paths and exciting hikes. There is also a fabulous picnic area for when you are in need of some respite from all your outdoor exploring. Doran Park south of Bodega Bay is another picturesque location, made up of over 150 acres, with stunning cliff views, sandy inlets, ample opportunity for nature spotting and boat tours. Here you can also enjoy clamming, fishing and surfing, so a real diverse treat to satisfy everyone’s needs and wants. For nature enthusiasts there are vantage points here where you will be able to witness gray whales migrating south from early December through to mid-February, and then as they migrate North from March until early May. If you take a trip out to Bodega Head, this is also a fantastic place to view the whales, and during the migrating seasons the area is staffed to provide information to visitors, and help you to spot the whales.

According to Breaking Travel News ‘following the success of this year’s London 2012 Olympics, the popularity of activity-based holidays has soared. It appears a rise in the demand for activity holidays over beach and relaxation breaks has been inspired’. It’s no wonder really when you consider the massive benefits that can come from an activity-based holiday, and Bodega Bay really is the perfect place for this no matter what sport or outdoor activity it is that appeals to you and your party.

Whales off Bodega Head!

Have you ever been able to see the whales off Bodega Head? Here is a short video done in 2010 that shows the whales around Bodega Head.

A Bodega treasure–Terrapin Creek Cafe

Terrapin CreekAuthor Karen Stephen shares her experience in dining at the Terrapin Creek Cafe in Bodega Bay. Stephen, author of Degrees of Obsession and Mother Tongue, describes her good experience at the Terrapin Creek Cafe and she begins her experience by writing:

“I had just checked in to the Bodega Bay Inn (that’s another story for another time) and had only a little over an hour to get some dinner before I settled in to watch the final race in the Indy Series. I thought I would be relegated to a bag of Fritos and bean dip  from a convenience store, but, taking a chance, I walked across the parking lot to an unassuming blue clapboard building that housed the Terrapin Creek Cafe. The host and owner said they were fully booked but if I could be in and out in an hour that he could seat me. Perfect!

terrapin_creek_interiorThe interior glowed with the casual elegance and colors of southern France and I chose a table with a view of the small, open, and quietly streamlined kitchen. My efficient and knowledgeable fifty-something (my apologies if you were much younger!) waiter was warmly attentive. Such a blessing when one is dining solo. The menu offered a tempting array of local and international cuisine at reasonable prices.”

The details of what she ate for her meal can be found HERE.

Bodega Volunteer Fire Department Polenta Dinner October 4th 5pm

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Stephen Palumbi speaking at the Bodega Marine Lab October 8th

steveoncoastStephen R. Palumbi received his Ph.D. from University of Washington in marine ecology. His research group studies the genetics, evolution, conservation, population biology and systematics of a diverse array of marine organisms.

Dr, Palumbi will be speaking on the “Acclimation and adaptation to climate change:  The view from  genomics in corals and sea urchins”.

Professor Palumbi’s own research interests are similarly widespread, and he has published on the genetics and evolution of sea urchins, whales, cone snails, corals, sharks, spiders, shrimps, bryozoans, and butterflyfishes. A primary focus is the use of molecular genetic techniques in conservation, including the identification of whale and dolphin products available in commercial markets.

Current conservation work centers on the genetics of marine reserves designed for conservation and fisheries enhancement, with projects in the Philippines, Bahamas and western U.S. coast. In addition, basic work on the molecular evolution of reproductive isolation and its influence on patterns of speciation uses marine model systems such as sea urchins. This work is expanding our view of the evolution of gamete morphology and the genes involved. Steve’s recent book, The Evolution Explosion: How Humans Cause Rapid Evolutionary Change, shows how rapid evolution is central to emerging problems in modern society. In January 2003, Steve appeared in the TV series, The Future is Wild, a computer-animated exploration of the possible courses of evolution in the next few hundred million years. His new book, published in November 2010, The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival, is a good-news environmental story about the difference that ordinary citizens can make in creating diverse, sustainable ecosystems and diverse, sustainable economies.

Google Map GPS Warning!!!

GoogleMapHas this ever happened to you?  It doesn’t take much to get to the wrong place using cell phone GPS.  Here is a part of what happened to a recent visitor to the Sonoma Coast using some information from Trip Advisor.

….”On my iPhone, I was using the google maps app and had entered Bodega Rock (as is being called here on Trip Advisor) which led me to a residential neighborhood on a small hill in the middle of nowhere. Not knowing where I was going, I re-entered Bodega Head and it directed me a couple of miles to the correct location. Glad I did or else I would have missed this gorgeous scenery….”

Ever heard of Bodega Head being called Bodega Rock?

You can read the entire story here

Goat Rock Beach

A 3 minute video that features the pelicans, harbor seals and beauty of Goat Rock.

Every Alfred Hitchcock Cameo – Tippi Returns Labor Day Weekend at The Tides


5 Facts About Alfred Hitchcock – Snubbing Steven Spielberg

HitchcockSpielbergAlfred Hitchcock was born on August 13 in 1899. To celebrate the “Master of Suspense,” here are five facts about the strange habits and quirky fears that made his life as intriguing as his films in an article found here: .

One of these facts is about how Hitchcock snubbed Steven Spielberg.

“Hitchcock avoided meeting his greatest fan Steven Spielberg. According to actor Bruce Dern’s autobiography, he attempted to convince Hitch: “I said, ‘You’re his idol. He just [wants] to sit at your feet for five minutes and chat with you’,” but Hitchcock refused. “He said, ‘Isn’t that the boy who made the fish movie?… I could never sit down and talk to him… because I look at him and feel like such a whore.'” Pressing him further Dern asked, “’Why do you feel Spielberg makes you a whore?’ Hitch said, ‘Because I’m the voice of the Jaws ride [at the Universal Studios theme park]. They paid me $1 million dollars. And I took it and I did it. I’m such a whore. I can’t sit down and talk to the boy who did the fish movie… I couldn’t even touch his hand.”

California Coastal Access Guide

California Coast Access GuideThe California coast, from the majestic redwoods and rocky shores in the north to the palm trees and wide, sandy beaches in the south, is an area of unsurpassed beauty and diversity. This revised and expanded sixth edition of the California Coastal Access Guide is an essential handbook for both new and seasoned visitors exploring California’s majestic 1,100-mile shoreline. With up-to-date maps and information, it is a valuable guide for all beachgoers—hikers, campers, swimmers, divers, wheelchair users, joggers, and boaters—detailing where to go, how to get there, and what facilities and environment to expect.