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Rich with the promise of wine, great food and outdoor adventures, not to mention sweeping views of the Sonoma coastline, Bodega Bay is the best of California in microcosm. Its natural beauty is matched by a charming collection of lodges, inns, villas and ranches. When you’re in Bodega Bay, this is where you should stay.
As the name suggests, the ocean looms large over life at this welcoming boutique, which affords sweeping bay views from its hillside perch. There’s a wholesome feel, which extends from the homey rooms to the market-fresh fish and produce served at the hotel’s two restaurants. Film aficionados may recognize the locale from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror film The Birds – while Bodega Bay is just as beautiful in real life as it is on screen, it’s also a much more relaxing affair.
The coastal hills and rivers of Salmon Creek become your playground at Chanslor Ranch, set in 381 acres (154ha) of private nature reserve. Animal lovers in particular will find plenty of new friends here, from roosters to horses, and alpacas to Highland cows. A guided horseback tour is an incomparable way to explore the Sonoma coastline, rivaled only by kayaking down Salmon Creek to the Pacific. At the end of a day’s adventures, retreat to a basic but comfortable room or glamorous tipi.