Guys Getaway: Outdoor Adventures Itinerary

Northwood Golf Club

Guys’ getaways are one of the best ways to enjoy some top-quality male bonding time with friends and family—and Sonoma County, California makes the perfect destination. 

Why? Because with one million-plus acres to explore from ocean to mountains, there are endless opportunities for macho outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, zip lining, and fishing. And did someone say golf?

Sonoma County is also known for its wines, but is also home to many breweries, cideries, and spirits producers—as well as locally sourced eats such as briny oysters, fresh-veggie pastas, and hearty steaks.

So get your motor running, take our tips for a three-day adventure, and solidify that brotherly love with the most important guys in your life. 

Together, we can protect and preserve the beauty and natural resources of Sonoma County for generations to come. Check out our page on Sustainable Travel, and look over the Leave No Trace Seven Principles.

Written by Sonoma Insider Carey Sweet.

Bodega Bay and Fishing on the Sonoma Coast

Morning

Bayside deck at Tides Wharf Inn & Restaurant
Bayside deck at Tides Wharf Inn & Restaurant 

Gear up for serious fun with a filling breakfast at The Tides Wharf Restaurant & Bar in Bodega Bay (800 Highway 1, Bodega Bay), known as the backdrop for scary scenes in Alfred Hitchcock’s horror classic, The Birds.

Bodega Head walking trail in Sonoma Coast state Park
Bodega Head hiking trail

This coastal town is home to wonderful hiking trails, and one of the most invigorating is at Bodega Head at the southernmost point of Sonoma Coast State Park, which stretches for 17 scenic miles along the Sonoma coastline. The ocean overlook at Bodega Head is prime for watching gray and blue whales traveling south from the Chukchi Sea near Alaska and down to Baja California for winter, then back north for the summer feeding season. For more details, read Explore Bodega Head on the Sonoma Coast.

Afternoon

Signs outside The Boat House in Bodega Bay
The Boat House 

Hiking stirs a man’s appetite. Grab a great lunch at The Boat House (1445 N. Highway 1, Bodega Bay), where owner Captain Rick Powers’ schooner hauls in seafood straight from the water. His cooks then craft the catch into buttery Dungeness crab cake sandwiches, meaty fish-n-chips, and breaded clam strips to eat at indoor or outdoor tables overlooking the bay.

You can catch your own, too, through the Bodega Bay Sport Fishing Center (1410 B Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay), as Captain Powers’ charters hunt for crab, salmon, albacore tuna, cod, and Humboldt giant squid, running spring through fall. For even more sea-going charters and options, check our listings of Fishing and Boating in Bodega Bay, and see Sonoma County’s safety tips for water activities.

Wine glasses are delivered on small wooden surfboards at Gourmet Au Bay
Gourmet Au Bay wine tasting surfboards

Any visit to Wine Country should include wine. Go “wine surfing” at Gourmet au Bay (1412 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay), where three tastes are served on a little wooden surfboard, and can be paired with appetizers, soups, seafood, and flatbreads from the wood-fired oven. The bar also offers three local beers on tap.

Lodging

Bodega Dunes Campground
Bodega Dunes Campground 

Next, head to your accommodations for the night—the Bodega Dunes Campground (3095 Highway 1, Bodega Bay). Check in is at 2 p.m., with reservations strongly recommended (ReserveCalifornia online or call 800-444-7275). Or try the close by Doran Regional Park.

Exterior of the Bodega Bay Inn
Bodega Bay Inn 

If roughing it is a little too, well, rough, there are several other possibilities. For instance, you could check in at Bodega Bay Inn (1588 Eastshore Road, Bodega Bay), a small, seven-room inn with an art gallery, gardens filled with sculptures, and a firepit.

Inn at the Tides
Inn at the Tides

Or there’s Bodega Harbor Inn (1345 Bodega Ave. Bodega Bay), perched on the bluffs overlooking the harbor and headlands; choose from 14 rooms at the inn or rent one of the charming cottages. Or, try Bodega Bay Lodge (see photo), Inn at the Tides, and more Bodega Bay hotels.

Evening

Exterior of Terrapin Creek Cafe
Terrapin Creek Cafe 

Clean up after being on the boat all afternoon and then catch dinner at Terrapin Creek CafĂ© (1580 Eastshore Road, Bodega Bay). Don’t let the innocuous shopping center location deter you; once you taste the food, you’ll know why this place has won national acclaim. The menu changes frequently to take advantage of the best local and seasonal produce and meats. 

Pool tables at the Casino Bar & Grill
Casino Bar & Grill 

Or, play some pool and enjoy the amazing food at Casino Bar & Grill, a pool hall and tavern in the tiny town of Bodega, just five miles inland from Bodega Bay. All ingredients are organic and local, and the seasonal menu features a variety of options, from a sirloin steak sandwich with sautéed onions, red peppers, baby bellas, garlic, and provolone, to a Bloomfield Farm lacinto kale salad with fried quail egg, prawns, smoked bacon, and Village bakery rye toast.

A Round of Golf and then off to Microbreweries in Sebastopol

Morning

Rise with the sun and stretch, then go for a group stroll on the beach. Break your fast Sonoma Coast style at Spud Point Crab Company (1910 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay). This local favorite opens at 9 a.m., and while it does offer coffee and sweet rolls to visitors and fishing crews, you won’t want to miss their the best-ever clam chowder or their crab sandwich.

Aerial view of The Links at Bodega Harbor
The Links at Bodega Harbor

If golf is your game, there’s a morning of thrill awaiting you at The Links at Bodega Harbour (21301 Heron Drive, Bodega Bay), with tee times from 7 a.m. up to 5 p.m. in the longer daylight hours of spring through late fall. All 18 holes on the Scottish-style course offer spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, with rolling fairways, undulating greens, and native coastal rough to up the challenge. Here is a list of golf courses in Sonoma County.

Seafood pasta from Bluewater Bistro in Bodega Bay
Seafood pasta from Bluewater Bistro

Afternoon

Fuel up for lunch at the club’s Bluewater Bistro (21301 Heron Drive, Bodega Bay). Fresh-off-the-boat seafood, local meats, and produce make this a perfect lunch spot, overlooking the course and the coastline. 

Sonoma County’s “beer” star is on the rise, with microbreweries, brew pubs, and tap rooms almost everywhere you look. Explore the beer side of Wine Country with a customized tour, courtesy of North Bay Brewery Tours (707-602-7397) or On Tap Beer Tours (707-786-6286).

Custom itineraries can take you to see regional favorite Lagunitas Brewing Co., as well as delicious spots like Russian River Brewing, Stumptown, Bear Republic Brewing Company Lakeside, Third Street AleworksWoodfour, or Crooked Goat Brewing.

 

Evening

Have the pick-up/drop-off point at your Sebastopol hotel. Finish your beer adventure with more beers and perhaps a bite to eat at HopMonk Tavern (230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol). This boisterous bar, beer garden, and live music venue offers one of the largest selections anywhere.

Lodging

Sebastopol boasts several great lodging options. Sebastopol Inn (6751 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol) offers a B&B vibe, but the comfort and privacy of a boutique hotel, and Fairfield Inn and Suites Sebastopol (1101 Gravenstein Highway South, Sebastopol) offers the convenience of a brand hotel (Marriott points). Or check our listings of Sebastopol Accommodations.

Redwoods and Russian River Adventures

Morning

Victorian-style exterior of Howard Station Cafe in Occidental
Howard Station Cafe in Occidental

There’s no rush, but your rumbling stomach will eventually inspire you to check out, load back into the car, and head west to the village of Occidental. There, Howard Station CafĂ© (611 Bohemian Highway, Occidental), tucked in a historic Victorian home and rail station stop of the late 1800s, is legendary for breakfast. (Remember to bring cash, since credit cards are not accepted.)

 

Zip lining with Sonoma Canopy Tours
Zip lining with Sonoma Canopy Tours 

The next stop is zip lining at Sonoma Canopy Tours (6250 Bohemian Highway, Occidental), on devour a 2-1/2-hour guided eco tour through the treetops with seven zip lines, two sky bridges, a majestic spiral staircase, a rappel to the forest floor, and hiking through the world famous California Coastal Redwoods.

Paved walking path in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve 

For adventure with a little less altitude, head to Guerneville and a hike through Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve (17000 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville). Or paddle the Russian River with a kayak or canoe, courtesy of Burke’s Canoe Trips and Campground (8600 River Road, Forestville).

Afternoon

Baked goodies from Wild Flour Bread in Freestone
Baked goodies from Wild Flour Bread in Freestone

A light lunch will fill in the gaps, so stop to pick up a picnic at Wild Flour Bread (140 Bohemian Highway, Freestone) in the neighboring village of Freestone. Grab some cheese and charcuterie, too, at Freestone Artisan Cheese (380 Bohemian Highway, Freestone), in this petite store set in an 1880s redwood cottage.

Osmosis Day Spa in Freestone
Osmosis Day Spa in Freestone

Tired? Perhaps it’s time for some pampering. Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary (209 Bohemian Highway, Freestone) offers sumptuous treatments in the middle of a Japanese garden. The real draw is the bath, in two large side-by-side wooden tubs filled with finely ground cedar, rice bran, and plant enzymes imported from Japan. Next, retreat to a private creek-side pagoda for deep tissue massage.

 

Evening

If you’ve got energy left for a full dinner, the Union Hotel at Occidental Restaurant (3731 Main St., Occidental) is a fine choice for filling Italian, served family style in he-man portions. For a lighter meal and a good, stiff cocktail, the old-style saloon next door keeps it friendly with ice cold beer, pizza, seasonal crab cioppino, and burgers.

Lodging

This is a nice place to lay your head for the night, as well — the Union is no longer a hotel, but overnight RV parking is available with dinner purchase, or guest cottages can be reserved, like the stylish log cabin Bungalow amid the redwoods.

The Occidental Lodge (3610 Bohemian Highway, Occidental) is another charming option, done in wood shake and stone on a redwood dotted hillside, with a seasonal swimming pool. And if you already made your way to Guerneville in the afternoon, you might want to check into Applewood Inn & Spa, Dawn Ranch Resort, Russian River Vacation Homes or another hotel in Guerneville.

Keep Motoring

Stay an extra day or two for some high-octane action at Simraceway Performance Driving Center’s Audi sportscar experience (29359 Arnold Drive, Sonoma). The experience includes classroom and driving instruction from professional racing drivers who have expert knowledge.

For more ideas, read Outdoor Activities in Sonoma County, Guide to Hiking in Sonoma County, and Guide to Cycling in Sonoma County. Find more info about how to get to Sonoma County by air or car.

Written by Sonoma Insider Carey Sweet

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