1. Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve
Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve was named a natural park and botanical garden in the 1870s. The 752- acre reserve is situated just north of the Russian River, and has been managed and maintained by the State of California since 1934.
Hiking through Armstrong Redwoods is truly a magical experience. You’ll witness some of the biggest and oldest trees you’ve ever seen!
Redwood trees, the world’s tallest trees, can survive over 2,000 years and they are magnificent to see up close. The smells, the sounds, and the sights are incredible!
You’ll find the oldest tree, Colonel Armstrong, which is over 1,400 years old and the tallest tree as well, Parson Jones, which is more than 310 feet tall.
Take a self-guided tour through the redwoods on the Armstrong Trail. You can learn about the redwoods through signs that you’ll see along the trails.
Or you can take the Discovery Trail which features a tree-hugging platform!
Both of the trails are wheelchair accessible, and the Armstrong trail even has displays in Braille.
You can also enjoy horseback riding, bicycle through paved roads, and enjoy a family picnic.
There’s even a redwood forest theater that can seat up to 1,200 people. It’s completely surrounded by the tallest redwoods, and you can explore and relax inside the theater.
Parking at the state reserve is $8.
Address: 17000 Armstrong Woods Road
Contact number: District office: (707) 865‑2391
Park: (707) 869‑2015.
2. Bodega Head
Bodega Head is located at the southern end of the 17-mile-long Sonoma Coast State Park, and boasts the most breathtaking views of Bodega Bay.
It’s a small peninsula off the Pacific Ocean featuring bluff top vistas, magnificent trails, wildlife viewing, and even beach access.
From Highway 1 in Bodega Bay, go west on East shore Road, right onto Bay Flat Road, and then continue straight on Westshore Road. This will lead you to the bluff top parking lot for Bodega Head. Parking is free, and there are restrooms and picnic tables available as well.
There are massive boulders at the end of the parking lot that are perfect spots for whale-watching.
You can usually find volunteers here from the whale watch public education programs that are very knowledgeable on whales. They are available to answer any questions, and they also have binoculars and scopes to share!
The walk on Bodega Head is fairly easy, and loops about a mile around the southern end of the peninsula. You’ll witness breathtaking ocean and bay views, and you’ll be able to look down at the Hole in the Head pond. You may be able to catch whales migrating! And you might see some seals as well.
For a more intense trail, you can trek the three mile long overlook trail north from the Bodega Head parking lot. On this hike, you’ll find a fork in the trail that will lead you down a quaint beach. You can also head to the Bodega Dunes on this route.
3. Doran Regional Park
Doran Park is a popular family destination for picnics, paddling, surfing, flying kites, fishing, or playing in the sand.
The park offers a lovely 2-mile stretch of sandy beach. There’s also a large rock at the harbor mouth that is perfect for exploring sea lie and fishing.
A boat launch is available, and can accommodate up to 20-foot boats.
Doran Park also features a fish-cleaning station, boat-rinsing station, picnic areas and an electric vehicle charging station in the Cypress Day-Use parking lot.
Bring your camping gear! The park includes a campground with tent and RV sites available. Accessible features include campsites, a boardwalk with viewing areas, and beach wheelchairs are available upon request.
Park hours are 7 a.m. to sunset and dogs are allowed on leash. Parking is $7.
201 Doran Beach Road
Bodega Bay, CA 94923