.Getaway: The Lodge at Bodega Bay

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Family lore has it that I was conceived on a Bodega Bay beach. Thus, any visit to our particular part of the Sonoma Coast is a look at where it all began—at least for me.

That was slightly over half a century ago. And the experience of Bodega Bay is still as romantic and relaxing as ever. Case in point, The Lodge at Bodega Bay.

Initially launched as a quaint seaside motor lodge in 1972—my birth year, incidentally—it has since blossomed into an 83-room Xanadu poised atop a tranquil bluff along the iconic Highway 1.

The serene eight-acre escape is a creative retreat and a place to recharge physically and spiritually. In short, plug in a car (yes, they’re EV-friendly), and unplug from life.

Rooms are tastefully appointed—sort of a contemporary nod to Arts & Crafts with understated-nautical notes, and contain all the accouterments one would expect from a lodge, like a hearty stone fireplace. But as comfy and aesthetically-pleasing as the rooms are, the oceanside views prove a formidable rival for one’s attention.

The Lodge at Bodega Bay has the benefit of being a gateway to numerous outdoor activities. Mere steps from Doran Beach, one of Sonoma Coast’s most popular destinations, the coastal enclave is just a quick stroll or quicker drive away (Pro tip: Borrow a complimentary beach parking pass from the front desk and save $7). Hiking and biking trails are everywhere—I even spied some equestrians moseying along, though I suspect this was a BYOH (bring your own horse) situation.

For bird enthusiasts, Bodega Bay’s diverse bird habitat, recognized by the Audubon Society as a premier birding destination, offers a unique opportunity to spot various species. And lest we forget, director Alfred Hitchcock filmed The Birds around these parts.

A walk around a marsh near the Lodge’s verdant grounds is inherently therapeutic; however, those interested in a more directed exercise can join in on a mindful movement class such as Pilates, yoga and guided meditation. There is also an infinity-edge hot tub as well as a heated swimming pool (I always find pools near the ocean deliciously decadent if not ironic), and outdoor fire pits to lounge around.

The Lodge also serves as a basecamp for numerous area adventures from the beach to Bodega’s picturesque fishing village and nearby towns like tourist-friendly Petaluma and world-class wine country adventures. Speaking of wine, the Lodge itself hosts informal wine receptions with visiting wine pros.

Additional delights await at Drakes Sonoma Coast—the on premises restaurant— where new executive chef, Christopher Lemerand, creates sumptuous locally sourced coastal cuisine.

Start with the handsome charcuterie board or chilled local oysters on the halfshell and graduate to the Whole Roasted Rainbow Trout with potatoes, fennel, saffron, sauce gribiche and smoked trout roe. If one is feeling more turf than surf, consider the Berkshire-Duroc Pork Chop (so named for a heritage pig breed) with stone fruit and bird’s eye chili glaze, king oyster mushroom bread pudding, green beans and bacon. One simply cannot go wrong with Lemerand’s menu and culinary artistry.

The Lodge at Bodega Bay is the very definition of a quick summer weekend getaway. It’s a place where relaxation meets inspiration—who knows, guests could start something big…like my parents did.

Learn more at lodgeatbodegabay.com.

Daedalus Howellhttps://dhowell.com
Daedalus Howell is the writer-director of the feature filmsPill Head and the upcoming Werewolf Serenade. Learn more at dhowell.com.

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