A stunning coastal drive that rivals Californa’s Highway 1 through Big Sur, the rugged Sonoma coast has wide open beaches, dramatic drop-offs, and more beach access points than any other county in the state. In spite of being more accessible, it felt somewhat remote and untamed.
There are places to camp, fish, surf, whale watch, hike, or simply just pick a beach and enjoy the scenery. Take a picnic and spend a day. The drive is about seventeen miles one way with plenty of places to pull over, stretch your legs, and take photographs.
On the advice of a local I decided to take a drive to Bodega Bay one evening to watch the sunset. The drive itself was incredible – through redwood forest and the Russian River Valley, and then suddenly the coast road was in front of me and it seemed to go on forever. I felt like I was at the end of the earth. Perhaps it was the cloudy skies and the fog coming in; it was easy to see why Alfred Hitchcock chose the Sonoma coastal area as the location for his thriller, The Birds.
This photo was taken near the Gleason Beach turn out. You can see that there was a lot of color in the sky filtered by the clouds, still, the light was beautiful. For more information about sunsets around Bodega Bay and the best place to view them read Best Sunsets In Sonoma County
The California Department of parks and recreation has an excellent website providing information about the Sonomo County Coastal Park system. You can find their site here.
The next time I’m in Sonoma I plan to stay on the coast. Sonoma is wine country with beaches and seafood. That sounds like heaven to me. What about you? Have you been to Sonoma?