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 Northern California'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.