Exploring the Sonoma Coast is as varied as the scenery. From smooth California beaches to craggy dramatic overlooks, this beautiful coastline offers something for everyone.
Watch the Whales
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. Viewing is also possible from Fort Ross State Historical Park, The Timber Cove Inn, Stillwater Cove Regional Park, The Sea Ranch, and Gualala Point Regional Park.
Hiking along the Beach
Seasoned hikers will find a lot 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. Sonoma Coast State Park, a series of beaches separated by rock bluffs and headlands, extends 17 miles from Bodega Head to Vista Trail north of Jenner along Highway 1. The park offers many coastal trails with easy access and well maintained trails, accessible from various State Beach parking areas.
Ride a Horse along the Beach
Ride a horse on a hillside or in the redwoods. If you want to splash in the water, Wildfire Stables, 707-875-3400, will have you cantering along the dunes. you can also take your own horse into the Dunes section of the Sonoma Coast State Park or ride into the thousands of acres of redwoods a few miles inland at Armstrong Woods Pack Station, 707-887-2939.
Kids Day at the Beach
“Castles & Kites” is a fun day at Doran Beach Park. Spectacular kites will be in the air, along with demonstrations and training. Some of the best sand architects will be showing off their sculpture creations. Check our annual events calendar for dates.