Exploring The Coastal Town Of Bodega Bay

Salt Water taffy In A Bodega Bay Shop

We arrived in Bodega Bay Friday night with just enough time to watch the sunset from our seaside hotel. Any time we plan a weekend getaway, I always try to leave Friday night so we can wake up on location and ready to adventure Saturday morning — it really helps ensure we get the very most out of our day!

Saturday was a gorgeous, sunny day until about 3:00 pm when clouds rolled in, which meant we spent most of the day exploring the Mendocino County and Sonoma County coastline between Point Arena and Bodega Bay in beautiful coastal weather. It was the perfect escape from Sacramento’s heat!

We drove through cute seaside towns, and visited a lot of beaches, including:

On Sunday, it was windy and cold! So, we grabbed breakfast at our hotel, stopped to get coffee, hot tea, and cocoa, and made our way out to Bodega Head for some hiking. While the hiking was great and the views incredible, we’ve hiked around Bodega Head before and what we really wanted to do was head back into town to explore the cute shops sprinkled throughout Bodega Bay… the candy shops, that is!

We stopped in the candy and kite shops:

  • Candy & Kites sells kites, windsocks, flags, beach toys, kids games, souvenirs and knick-knacks, super cute home and garden decor, and loads of candy, including salt water taffy and all sorts of other candy. During our visit, I snagged a birthday present for my mom, yard art for our house, and a mixed bag of all of Natalie’s favorite salt water taffy flavors.
  • Patrick’s of Bodega Bay is the eye-catching pink and white striped shop right in town that is jam-packed with candy, trinkets, clothing, souvenirs, and of course salt water taffy. I didn’t love that their taffy is only sold in bags — that’s a lot of commitment to one flavor — but we did buy a dessert flavored bag that was totally worth the splurge!
  • Second Wind sells single line and stunt kites, flags and wind items, beach stuff, toys, games, and souvenirs, as well as salt water taffy and old fashioned candy.

And of course, I have to mention The Tides Wharf And Restaurant, a part of Inn At The Tides! The Tides Restaurant, with stunning bay views, is your go-to stop for fine dining and fresh seafood, as well as fabulous breakfasts. Also at the Tides Wharf (the same building), you’ll find a pressed penny machine and:

  • The Tides Gift Shop — an upscale gift shop with home decor, gifts, Christmas ornaments and holiday items, magnets, coastal themed items, candles, shells, jewelry, toys, clothes, food items, and more.
  • A coffee shop, snack bar, and house-made dessert and pastry shop.
  • A fresh fish market with gourmet foods and wine.

FUN FACT: Brian and I spent our first married Thanksgiving at Inn At The Tides to celebrate the holiday with with Brian’s mom, dad, and brother and do some hiking!

The Town Of Bodega

Did you know that there is a town — separate from Bodega Bay — called Bodega? The tiny one-block town of Bodega, known historically as Bodega Corners or Bodega Roads, sits on Bodega Highway just west of Freestone, California. I didn’t!

In fact, the only reason we headed in that direction was to find the historic Potter Schoolhouse! It had popped up in my research on things to do and places to visit near Bodega Bay and I love historic buildings, so even though it’s now a private residence, I still had to check it out.

In 1963, much of Bodega was used for exterior filming in Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense/horror film, The Birds, where it was presented as the nearby shore village of Bodega Bay. In the movie, the Potter School was used as the Bodega Bay School. I later found out that Potter House and Bodega’s St. Teresa of Avila Church are also featured in the opening credits of the 1968 musical Finian’s Rainbow starring Fred Astaire and Petula Clark.

Like the larger town of Bodega Bay, Bodega is known for it’s quaint shops and markets and it’s movie set locations. I would have loved to have had more time to hop out and explore the shops, but a huge storm was rolling in and the rain was already beginning when we found the town.

I guess that means we’ll just have to come back again!

Know Before You Go

  • The Tides Wharf And Restaurant at Inn at The Tides is located at 835 Coast Highway 1, Bodega Bay, California 94923.
  • Candy & Kites is located at 1415 Coast Highway 1, Bodega Bay, California 94923.
  • Patrick’s of Bodega Bay is located at 915 Coast Highway 1, Bodega Bay California 94923.
  • Second Wind is located at 1805 Coast Highway 1, Bodega Bay California 94923.
  • Potter School House, also known as Bodega Bay School, is located at 17110 Bodega Lane, Bodega, California 94922.
  • St. Teresa of Avila Church, a California Registered Historic Landmark, is located at 17242 Bodega Highway, Bodega, California 94922.

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