Looking for something beyond wine tasting?
We hear you! This is the best time of year to expand your Napa Valley experience to include additional elements of the Sonoma Coast. Everything from succulent delicacies in Bodega Bay, to exhilarating seaside hikes are well within an hour’s drive. And during the winter, this stretch of the Northern California coast is often very mild and temperate — surprisingly sunny and warm even when more inland areas might be chilly.
The easy Bodega Head hiking trail edges three miles around the headlands offering spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Bodega Harbor, and the town itself. The Bodega Head area is one of Sonoma County's top spots for whale watching; on weekends from January to May volunteers from the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods are on hand to answer questions and share their knowledge of whales and migration. To get to Bodega Head: Take coastal Highway 1, just past the town of Bodega Bay. Turn left on Eastshore Road, then right on Bay Flat Road. Go around the harbor and turn right at Campbell Cove, then head uphill, bearing right at the fork for the free parking lot by the cliff.
Stay the Night: Special packages are available for overnight guests at the Inn at the Tides resort (800 Coast Highway 1, Bodega Bay, 800-541-7788). Another favorite hideaway is the Bodega Bay Lodge (103 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, 707-875-3525), so romantic and serene on its seaside perch. As the only AAA Four Diamond hotel on the Sonoma Coast, it offers a luxury escape, in rooms outfitted with real fireplaces, warm, snuggly down comforters, and private balconies for stargazing.