Sunday, February 7, 2010
Want to go somewhere romantic? Head to the ocean! Before we moved to Bodega Bay, our favorite getaways were always at the coast. My husband and I celebrated many Valentine’s Days in Mendocino, Monterey, and of course, here in Bodega Bay. We love the spectacular views, fresh salt air, the boom of crashing waves, abundant wildlife, walks on the beach, snuggling by a roaring fire, what more could you ask for?
Here are some of our favorite places to go and things to do in Bodega Bay. Whether you’re a big spender or on a budget, you can plan a wonderful Valentine’s Day for you and your sweetheart.
Pack a picnic and head for the beach! You can get great sandwiches at Valley Ford Market or here in Bodega Bay at Pelican Plaza Grocery & Deli. Or build a fire and barbeque hot dogs in designated fire rings right on Doran Beach!
Other favorite beaches include Bodega Head (it's whale watching season!), Salmon Creek Beach and Portuguese Beach further up the coast.
Come for lunch and fly kites in the afternoon breeze, or plan a dinner and watch the sunset, which is between 5:30-5:45 p.m. this time of year.
Want to take your picnic indoors? Gourmet Au Bay is a wonderful wine bar right on the water with spectacular views from their deck. They encourage visitors to bring their own picnics to enjoy along with one of their hundreds of wines for sale on the premises. Their deck is heated this time of year and they offer blankets for snuggling. I also LOVE their gift shop! You can read previous posts about them here.
Do you prefer a fine dining experience? Check out the Bluewater Bistro’s Valentine’s Day Dinner on February 14, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Fixed price three-course meal, $35 per person. The menu looks fabulous!
Foodies especially love Terrapin Creek Café. They’ve received numerous rave reviews and have been called one of the best restaurants in Sonoma County. They don't have anything special planned for Valentine's Day but everything on their menu is outstanding.
Want to make a weekend of it? The Inn at the Tides in Bodega Bay has packages that include dinner and breakfast in their restaurant. They also have "Stay & Play" golf packages for The Links at Bodega Harbour. We’ve had family members stay here and the rooms are lovely! My brother-in-law had a beautifully appointed room with a view and a fireplace. The Inn also has a pool, whirlpool and sauna.
For an even more luxurious experience, check out the Bodega Bay Lodge & Spa. We received a generous gift certificate to this Four-Diamond lodge from our daughter a few years ago and had a blast! Their guest rooms and suites feature ocean views and fireplaces. They have a pool, whirlpool, sauna, full service spa and comlimentary wine hour. We had relaxing massages down by the pool and a first class dinner in their Duck Club restaurant. The Press Democrat said, “The Duck Club Restaurant is one of the most romantic dining spots in Sonoma County....the atmosphere makes every visit special... it is the perfect venue for a romantic, ocean-view meal. Excellent ingredients, many from nearby farms and fisheries, enhance the experience.”
Less expensive but very nice accommodations are available at the Bodega Harbor Inn. We’ve had family members stay here too and they loved it. The rooms are all different, many in their own little cottage or cabin. The rooms were clean, freshly painted, and nicely decorated. And some of their rooms are pet-friendly, yay!
If you’d like to bring the entire family, consider renting a vacation home out here. There are several websites offering gorgeous homes including Bodega Bay & Beyond. Some houses are so large that two or three families often share one for the weekend. There’s plenty for everyone to do, like kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, beachcombing, shopping, dining, wine-tasting, golf, and whale-watching. You can find out more at the Bodega Bay Visitors Center website.
Come have a Happy Valentine’s Day here in Bodega Bay!
Photo: The Links Golf Course, Bodega Bay
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