Bodega Bay is prized for its views, mild weather, fresh air and fresh seafood.
A celebration of the senses
Stretching along scenic state Highway 1 from the mouth of the Russian River south to Bodega Harbor, the Bodega Bay area is highly prized for its views of the rugged coast, mild weather and unpolluted air.
And certainly many of the homes in the area are refuges, not only from pollutants or heat, but urban strife. Houses on the coast, from tiny cottages to multi-level showplaces, are favorites among those looking for a vacation home.
Jenner, where the Russian River meets the sea, is beautiful and unspoiled.
The popularity of the coast, coupled with the limited availability of water and buildable land, has driven prices up over the years, though Bodega Bay’s lowest-end properties at $350,000 are still bargains in light of the million-dollar prices that similar properties in Bolinas or Monterey County might bring.
But it’s the quality of life that brings people to the coast to make their homes, Adams explains. “There’s a very safe, small community feel here. You can hike, bike, skin dive, scuba dive, wind surf, para-surf, kayak, go sport fishing-you name it. And where else can you see a buck, a cottontail, a jackrabbit, a skunk and a bobcat all on a typical day on your way home?”
The Bodega Harbor development, whose contemporary homes average approximately 2,200 sq. feet, still has lots available as does Serena del Mar to the north. In addition to quiet living and immediate access to the stunning coast, Bodega Harbor residents enjoy one of the top-rated golf courses in California, tennis, a pool and 24-hour security. Other homeseekers look for the quaint and unique, purchasing small beach bungalows to remodel or rebuild.
The many local events, such as the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival, The Seafood Art and Wine Festival-even the arrival of Santa Claus on a fishing boat each year-illustrate the local passion for preserving and participating in the coastal way of life.
Schools are extremely small, providing students with plenty of personal attention, and with Santa Rosa Junior College less than an hour away, coast students find they have the best of both worlds.
And if the sound of the surf, beautiful scenery, gentle 60-degree climate and sense of security weren’t enough, there’s the food. The area’s fresh salmon, crab and rockfish delight visitors and locals alike. Salmon barbecues, smoked salmon and crab ciopinno are traditional favorites, while the county’s cadre of well-known chefs continue to create new dishes using the seemingly-end-less array of fine wines and produce along with seasoning inspired by recipes from around the globe.
Sonoma Coast Vital Statistics
Year settled: Bodega Bay – area surveyed 1775, town founded 1870s; Fort Ross – founded 1812
Year incorporated: n/a (no incorporated cities in area)
Area (square miles): n/a (no incorporated cities in area)
Population: Bodega Bay – approximately 1,423 (est. 2000 population)
Major Industries: Wine, dairy, fishing, tourism
Nearest farmer’s market:
? Sebastopol Certified Farmers Market – 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays, Season: April through December, Location: Downtown Plaza, McKinley Street Telephone: 707-522-9305.
? 6:00pm to 8:00pm Thursdays Season: April through third week December, Location: Downtown Plaza, McKinley Street Telephone: 707-522-9305