With so many activities and things to explore and enjoy in Bodega Bay you’ll need several days to even begin to experience all the area has to offer. Long sandy beaches below rugged headlands, a craggy coastline with natural arches and secluded coves make Sonoma Coast State Park one of California's most scenic attractions.
If camping is your thing, you’ve got a lot of options. Many Bay campgrounds are located in the Sonoma Park System. Reviews by devotees of these state park camping grounds are enthusiastic and their experience certainly supports their decision to come back year after year. It also means that you are best served by making a reservation. Don’t suffer the disappointment of showing up to find no available campsite and make sure you check the sites pet policy! On a plus side the rangers are described as almost uniformly friendly, knowledgeable and happy to offer guidance.
I have not tried to cover all camping options here, but offer examples of what you can expect. Hopefully, this will whet your appetite to do research of your own to decide what best suits your needs. Most of the locations I focus on are right around the Bay, but I have noted another option to illustrate one advantage of going a little further afield to increase the activities within easy reach.
Three main state camping areas around Bodega Bay are:
Doran Regional Park
Doran Park has several camping areas; The Shell, Gull and Cove campground areas are bordered by Bodega Harbor on one side and the park access road on the other side. (The beach is on the other side of the road.). The Jetty campground area is bordered by Bodega Harbor on one side and the beach on the other.
This park is ideal for fishing, with its boat ramp, boat-rinsing station and fish-cleaning station. A large vehicle and boat parking lot is located adjacent to the launch. Picnic tables and restrooms are on-site. The park is near stores and tackle shops. Westside has individual campsites, restrooms with electrical outlets, flush toilets and coin-operated showers. There are no RV hook-ups. Dogs are permitted on leash no longer than 6' in length.
Nearby, is the county-run Bodega Dunes campground
Hidden in the dunes behind the sand and crashing surf, Bodega Dunes Campground offers beach access and a tranquil camping option. The campground is a couple of dunes away from South Salmon Creek Beach, a picturesque setting for beach combing, kite flying, and picnics.
The campground has campsites for car/tents or RVs up to 31 feet (although no RV hookups are available), bathrooms, showers and potable water.
A short walk away, look for the Bodega Head hiking trails.
Wright’s Beach Campground
Wright's Beach Campground is situated off Highway 1, mid-way between Bodega Bay and Jenner. Campers who want to be right on the beach, like Wright's Beach Campground. At Wright’s Beach campground, you can fall asleep to the sound of the surf. A few steps away, Sonoma Coast State Beach is accessible year-round.
One reviewer of Wrights Beach states
"This is beach camping at its absolute best. There’re a thousand reasons why this is one of the most coveted campgrounds for miles . . . . The sunset and views up and down the coast were second to none. The beach was mostly empty and made for great long walks, shell hunting and morning runs."
The Kortum Trail connects Wright's Beach with other nearby beaches. Visitors enjoy exploring the coast, watching for wildlife, photography, bird watching, and even hang gliding, making it very popular.
If you’re looking to get out on the water either alone or as part of a guided group, Water Trek Eco Tours offers many opportunities to suit your needs.
If Golf is your thing head to The Links at Bodega Harbour for a round of golf.
In addition to state run campground, Bodega Bay also has private campgrounds. One example is below:
Porto Bodega Marina & RV Park
Porto Bodega Marina and RV Park is a privately-owned resort in the village of Bodega Bay, CA located on the northern coast of Sonoma County.
Porto Bodega RV Campground is a family-friendly park perfect for those who love to deep-sea fish, bird watching, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, wind and kite boarding, surfing, or just relax and breath in the fresh sea air.
Porto Bodega sits at the north end of Bodega Bay on 7 beautiful bay frontage acres.
Maybe you’re looking for a little more comfort but still want to be outdoors. Try Glamping
Chanslor Ranch is located on a 400 acre Nature Preserve just north of Bodega Village. From there you can explore North Salmon Creek by kayak or join one of their guided horseback rides.
A Little Inland
If you feel like venturing a little bit from the coast other opportunities abound. For example, the Boon Hotel and Spa in Guerneville https://boonhotels.com is located at the entrance to the Armstrong Redwoods, is right on some great Russian River swimming and kayaking. Boon offers some wonderful “Glamping” sites all within a 45-minute drive of Bodega Bay.
One Boone visitor remarked:
"I stayed here for my birthday and had a wonderful experience!
We stayed in one the tents, which felt fun, but still luxurious. I loved the pool area and DIY bar, and I got a great massage in the spa.
It's the perfect homebased for exploring the quirky little town of Guerneville, but also close to hiking and wineries. And don't miss their delicious restaurant in town.
I can't recommend this place enough!"
So, there you have a brief introduction to Bodega Bay Camping! If you check it out, please share your feedback and experience with us so that we can pass it on to others.
Guest Post from Robert Acosta-Lewis