Sonoma Coast State Beach. Broad, shining beaches and secluded coves, rugged headlands and natural arches, and a craggy coastline with tidal pools and reefs characterize one of California’s most scenic attractions – Sonoma Coast State Beach. The beach, actually a series of beaches separated by rocky bluffs, extends 17 miles from Bodega Head to Myer’s Gulch, just south of Fort Ross in Sonoma County. It is accessible to beachcombers, fishermen, sunbathers, and picnickers from more than a dozen points along coast Highway 1. Generally north coast weather is a chilling combination of wind and fog. Fortunately, during summer, the morning fog usually burns off by mid-day, making for pleasant afternoons. However, even during summer, be prepared for wet, cold, and windy north coast weather. This coast is not for swimming, and lifeguard service is not provided. Sleeper waves, backwash, sudden drop-offs, rip currents and the cold water, make even surf play or climbing on nearby rock outcroppings dangerous.

Camping is available at Wright’s Beach.

Bodega Head, located within Sonoma Coast State Beach, is an outcropping which juts into the Pacific. California Gray Whales can be observed close to the coast as they migrate South from early December through mid-February, and North from March until early May. During the peak of the migratory season, Bodega Head is staffed every Saturday and Sunday by volunteers of the “Stewards of Slavianka”, who provide interpretive information and help visitors spot the migrating whales.

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