Something special rolls around every fall in Sonoma County: Dungeness crab season, which starts in November and continues through spring. What, you’ve never gone crabbing with your dog? Most crabs are caught from piers where canines are banned, but one place you can both enjoy stalking crustaceans is the breakwater jetty at dog-friendly (leash and license required) Doran Regional Park near Bodega Bay.
Of course, you’ll want to bring a covered container in which to contain the skittery critters so your dog doesn’t get pinched (she’ll be excited enough as it is). You don’t need a fishing license to set a trap or net, but you might want to scan the rules anyway to make sure you’re in compliance. While you’re there, keep an eye out on the horizon for migrating whales. ‘Tis the season for that, too!
Bodega Bay, by the way, makes an ideal hub for discovering the many attributes of this section of coastal Sonoma County. Bed down at a dog-friendly property such as Bodega Coast Inn & Suites, Sonoma Coast Villa & Spa, Bay Hill Mansion B&B, Bodega RV Park or other campgrounds. Prepare to get sandy, as you’ll likely be exploring nearby beaches and coastal trails such as the 1.9-mile Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail, which follows a levee around two ponds in a 14-acre revitalized saltwater marsh area and connects to the above-mentioned Doran Regional Park, which boasts a 2-mile beach where leashed dogs can accompany you. Or, choose the Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail, which leads to spectacular coastal views and can be hiked as a 1.9-mile loop with the Shorttail Gulch Coastal Access Trail. Three miles north at Sonoma State Park, leashed dogs are allowed to accompany you on beautiful Portuguese Beach, a great for walking and surf-wading.
Where to eat once back in town? The Dog House is a logical choice if you’re in burger or sausage mode. For fish, chowder and fresh-caught crab, settle into an outdoor table at Fishetarian Fish Market, where the Dungeness sandwiches, in season, are heavenly.
Entertainment tip: Fire up the Netflix and spend an evening chilling with your best friend while watching Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 suspense thriller “The Birds,” which was filmed here (the special effects seem campy today, but they were state-of-the-art in their time). Next day, pick up a guide at the Sonoma Coast Visitor Center and check out the Potter schoolhouse, the Tides restaurant and other landmarks that appeared in the film.
Photo Credit: @therealcjyorkiePosted on: June 30, 2022