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Escape the Summer Heat: A Visual Tour of Bodega Bay, San Francisco Bay Area’s Coastal Gem

San Francisco Bay Area, California | Travel photography

If you are in the Bay Area or Sacramento and are seeking to escape the summer heat and cool off, while enjoying some coastal views and delicious oysters then  my recommendation is to head to Bodega Bay. 

Enjoy the views of the San Francisco skyline as you cross the iconic Richmond Bridge, where you will embark on an adventure that includes scenic coastlines, delicious lunch, and a visit to the Potter schoolhouse, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film “The Birds.” We’ll end our day with a breathtaking spectacle of fog rolling in from San Francisco, creating a mystical ambiance over the water. So get your playlist ready for the 2 hour journey to Bodega Bay!

Arrival in Bodega Bay:

After a leisurely drive through picturesque landscapes, we arrive in Bodega Bay, a tranquil coastal town located about 70 miles north of San Francisco. Bodega Bay offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and small-town charm, making it an ideal getaway destination.

Photography of Bodega bay, California seaside
Photography of Bodega bay, California seaside
Bodega Bay in the evening as the San Francisco, CA fog rolls in

Travel Tip: How do I pay bridge tolls?

There is a toll when crossing the bridge from Richmond into San Rafael. If you have a Bay Area fastrak most lanes are open to you drive through and consider yoru toll paid. It will automatically be deducted from your account. , If you do not have a Bay Area Fastrak pass nor have registered your license plate. You have 1 of 3 choices: 

  1. Open a fastrak license plate account ahead of time. Learn how here.

  2. Make a toll payment online here.

  3. Fastrak will send an invoice to the vehicle’s registered owner. Pay via invoice within 21 days.

Exploring Bodega Bay’s Coastal Delights:

If you prefer to take in the coastal beaty from a birds eye view there are plenty of stops along the highway where you can park and get out and enjoy the breathtaking views and breathe in fresh air from high above the crashing waves. Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife, including seabirds, seals, and perhaps even migrating whales if you’re lucky!

Of course if you enjoy the feel of the sand in between your toes and water splashing your heels be sure to enjoy one of the many public beaches along the coast. Don’t forget your sunscreen. Even if it is a bit cooler and breezy the California coastal sun will still burn. 

Indulging in Fresh Seafood:

A trip to Bodega Bay isn’t complete without getting your fill of its fresh and yummy seafood. You can find a ton of seafood shacks and charming waterfront restaurants offering mouthwatering dishes. Be sure to order a platter of oysters, locally picked from the Bay!

Photography of fresh oysters from Bodega Bay, California.
The famous ALfer Hichcock , the Birds, Schoolhouse in Bodega Bay, California

Potter School house: A Step into Cinematic History

Be sure to make a stop at the iconic Potter schoolhouse, which gained fame through Alfred Hitchcock’s suspenseful thriller, “The Birds.” Nestled atop a hill overlooking the bay, this charming white farmhouse evokes memories of the eerie scenes portrayed in the movie. If you are a movie buff your will be sure to feel the allure of cinematic history and appreciate its significance in film culture. I must add a quick note: this school house is privately owned by a family and they do live there. So please be respectful and take pictures from this side of the white picket fence.

Travel Tip: Bring a light jacket!

It gets chilly (super cold for us sun lovers) as soon as the fog rolls in! And if you are thinking “oh it’s summer I will be fine” then bring a jacket and a hoodie just in case. You’ll thank me later! 

Witnessing the Enchanting Fog:

As the day draws to a close, you will find yourself  in a prime position to witness the awe-inspiring sight of fog rolling in from San Francisco, engulfing the waters of Bodega Bay. This natural phenomenon creates an ethereal atmosphere, transforming the landscape into a dreamlike spectacle. Capture this breathtaking moment as the mist shrouds the bay, creating a picturesque scene that will forever be etched into your memory.

Our day trip to Bodega Bay from the Bay Area has been an enchanting and unforgettable experience. From exploring the iconic Potter’s House to immersing ourselves in the natural beauty of the coastal town, and finally witnessing the mystical fog rolling in from San Francisco, each moment has been filled with wonder. Bodega Bay is a destination that effortlessly combines cinematic history, coastal charm, and natural splendor. So, make sure to add it to your list of must-visit places and embark on your own adventure to discover the allure of this captivating gem along California’s coast.

Take a visual day trip with me via the Vlog. 

Photography of the fog over Bodega bay, California.
family portrait in Maui Hawaii

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