The Best Places to Stop Along Highway 1 in Sonoma County
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The longest state route in California, Highway 1 lines the Sonoma Coast along the Pacific Ocean for 56 miles, passing through Bodega Bay, Jenner, Fort Ross and other spectacular and charming spots for a stroll, a meal, some wine or simply taking in the views. Read on below to learn about our favorite stops on a classic Highway 1 road trip along the Sonoma Coast.
Estero Cafe: Approaching Bodega Bay from the south on Highway 1, make a pit stop in Valley Ford for coffee (or a tasty breakfast burrito) at the Estero Cafe. And for the road, grab a brown paper bag of the homemade teriyaki beef jerky next door at the Valley Ford Market—it’s kind of famous in these parts. 14450 CA-1, Valley Ford, 707-876-3333.
Saint Teresa of Avila Church: Just north of Highway 1, in the town of Bodega, you'll find this New England-style white wooden church, captured in Ansel Adams's 1953 black-and-white photograph “Church and Road" and, ten years later, in Alfred Hitchcock’s film “The Birds." The church, built in 1862, is the oldest Catholic church in continuous use in Sonoma County. 17242 Bodega Hwy, Bodega.
Doran Beach: Coming out of a steep ravine as you roll into Bodega Bay, turn left on Doran Beach Road and wind down to the 2-mile spit that stretches into Doran Beach at Doran Regional Park ($7 parking fee). It’s a great place to picnic, explore the beach, and watch surfers and fishing boats come and go through the harbor. 201 Doran Beach Road, Bodega Bay.
Sonoma Coast Vineyards: As you enter Bodega Bay, Sonoma Coast Vineyards, specializing in limited production pinot noir and chardonnay, is on the left. On a sunny day, the back patio is a cheese-plate picnic perch for watching snowy egrets that like to roost in trees along the eastern edge of the bay. The winery has just released an excellent 2020 rosé. 555 CA-1, Bodega Bay, 707-921-2860.
Fishetarian Fish Market: Just north of Sonoma Coast Vineyards, Fishetarian serves up excellent seafood — oysters, chowder, crab sandwiches, grilled fish tacos, fish and chips, and more — that can be ordered online for pickup and devoured by picnic tables overlooking the bay. Or bring your picnic to the beach. Doran Beach is nearby, or drive further north to Salmon Creek or Goat Rock Beach. 599 Hwy. 1, Bodega Bay, 707-875-9092.
Patrick’s Salt Water Taffy: The pink and white stripes that adorn this building (and serve as backdrop for many photos) aren’t even half as fun as what’s on the inside. This Bodega Bay candy store is currently open for pick-up and in-store shopping (with masks and limited capacity). Grab a bag of salt water taffy for the road, whether it’s chocolate caramel mocha, peach, or another of the countless flavors available. 915 Hwy. 1, Bodega Bay, 707-875-9816.
Ginochio’s Kitchen: Just north, at Ginochio’s Kitchen, order our dining editor's favorite crab sandwich, served on buttery, griddled slices of white bread. The chowder is one of the best on the coast, with soft scallops and clams dotted throughout. Plus, they have some great wines, beer and cider that are hard to find elsewhere. 1410 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 707-377-4359.
John Beck, Heather Irwin, Meg McConahey, Linda Murphy and Grace Yarrow contributed to this article.