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Discover Sea Life on the Sonoma Coast

Watch the seals at the Sonoma Coast.

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Learn about sea life along the Northern California Coast.  At the Bodega Marine Laboratory, which is part of the University of California Davis, go on a docent-led tour on Fridays between 2 and 4 p.m. See many marine aquarium displays full of colorful local fish and invertebrates.

Find the Bodega Marine Laboratory in Bodega Bay off Highway 1. Look for a sign directing you to Bodega Head Marina and Westside Park. Follow the sign and turn right at the bottom of the hill. The Lab is closed during college holidays. For information, call (707) 875-2211.

Discover Sea Life

More than 20,000 gray whales migrate past the Sonoma Coast each year. The whales are en route from the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea to the Gulf of Cortez in Mexico, where they will calf in winter. From January through May, the mothers with their newborn hug the shore as they head north to feed off Alaska. They can be easily viewed from the Ocean Overlook on Bodega Head, where the Whale Watch crew from the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods has volunteers to aid you every Saturday and Sunday afternoons from mid-January to mid-May. Viewing is also possible from Gualala Point Regional Park, The Sea Ranch, Stillwater Cove Regional Park, Timber Cove Inn, and Fort Ross State Historical Park.

View wildlife year round at Goat Rock, near the mouth of the Russian River, the beach is a regular resting ground for seagulls, sea otters, elephant seals, harbor seals, and sea lions. Please remember, these are wild animals and shouldn’t be approached.

Seasoned hikers will find lots of reasons and places to pull on their boots, fill the water bottle and hit the trails.

Climb hills from which you can spot golden eagles on a clear day or wander along coastal paths that offer dramatic views of the ocean.

The terrain of Salt Point State Park and Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve offers varying levels of difficulty for every skill level.

Coastal trails along Highway 1 between Jenner and Bodega Bay offer easy access and well-maintained trails, accessible from various State Beach parking areas.