Exploring Bodega Bay

About forty minutes away, lies the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Ever since I can remember, my family has made our monthly pilgrimage to the beach. The jagged cliff sides and beautiful sunsets have long since stolen my heart.

These past few weeks have given me the wonderful opportunity to take visitors to my favorite places along the coast, including the fabulous restaurant Fishetarian Fish Market, Bodega Head, and of course, the amazing Screamin’ Mimi’s Ice Cream. Both Fishetarian and Screamin’ Mimi’s have been iconic pillars of my childhood experience, but Bodega Head was something I stumbled upon recently when I was told to go whale watching (’tis the season apparently). Let’s break them down.

Fishetarian: delicious, the price is comparable to the surrounding restaurants, and their clam chowder is the best that I have ever had. Seriously. It is incredible. Don’t pay more for a “nicer looking restaurant”. Just don’t. This place is so cute too! It’s a “bummer-free zone”. The perfect place to grab dinner before heading home after a day at the beach.

Screamin’ Mimi’s also offers its own charm. Lots of artwork decorates the tables and chairs, and their ice cream flavors are divine and unique. It is a “must go to” for everyone who has visited me. My favorite flavors are lavender and Mimi’s Mud. Yum!

Regarding the various beaches along Bodega bay, everyone has their favorites. My sister loves the dunes of South Salmon Creek, while I prefer the more “cliffy” North Salmon Creek; however, coming down the highway from Jenner, you get to see many beautiful smaller beaches, that offer equal if not better charm (parking is still a pain no matter where if it’s busy).

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Bodega Head was its own glory. Driving up the road, we saw herds of deer and watched as birds soared in the skies overhead. Arriving at the parking lot, at the end of the road, your focus immediately is on the view.

The cliffs, the grass, the sunset, wow! I highly recommend the trip to anyone looking to explore the Bodega coastline.

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In other news, I attended a recently held meeting by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. The agenda item that brought my Mom and I there regarded special funding, labeled “TOT”, regarding taxes secured from tourism.

During this meeting, it was brought to my attention that the residents of Bodega bay pay EXTRA… roughly $500 per parcel extra, to have emergency services in their area. But, neighboring areas, who do not pay this same parcel tax, have access to their emergency services as do the thousands of tourists who tend to need rescuing time and time again. Bottom line, the 1000 people who live in Bodega Bay are supporting WAY more than their fair share. Their ask? That they receive more funding so that their emergency services can hire more “human power” to support the large demand for their services.

I was shocked. This was news to me. Attending this meeting was an eye-opening experience because I am one of those tourists. Exploring Bodega bay is one of my favorite things to do. With this in mind, I will pay better attention to local news regarding this issue. Tourism is a huge source of revenue for my area, and the idea that it is putting undue hardships on areas, who are simultaneously not receiving the funds necessary to ensure that their residents are safe, is unacceptable.

Living so close to the coast allows for frequent retreats to the fresh and salty air. I will forever treasure my memories made along the cliffs at Bodega, and I look forward to sharing delicious clam chowder with my friends for many years to come.

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