Beautiful Doran Beach includes a wide, 2-mile stretch of shoreline on Bodega Bay and is perfect for strolling, picnicking, playing in the sand, flying kites, surfing, bird watching, and so much more. A boat launch area gives access to Bodega Harbor and Bodega Bay for fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and kite surfing. A stone pier on the west part of the arrangement is a mainstream spot for angling and exploring ocean life.
Here are just a few of our favorite things to do at Doran Beach.
This one might be obvious, yet something that makes Doran so unique is its outdoors. Regardless of whether you are setting up your tent between the sand dunes or parking your RV up to a spot close to the harbor’s edge, outdoors at Doran is awesome. The park has over 120 campgrounds for tents, trailers, and RVs. Doran is only an hour or two from the Bay Area and Sacramento, so outdoors reservations are a requirement, particularly in the mid-year. Ends of the week are right now reserved through Labor Day, however, some mid-week openings can be found. Check all availability at SonomaCountyCamping.org.
Doran is a south-bound shoreline, so it’s shielded from the ground-breaking waves and flows that characterize other North Coast shorelines. The gentle conditions make it family-friendly, where children can ride summer waves with boogie boards and starting surfers can enjoy practicing on nice waves. Doran has its own dispatch for boaters and paddlers. Paddlers can place in easily from the shoreline. For surfers, kayak and paddleboarders, rentals are available from suppliers in Bodega Bay, like the Bodega Bay Surf Shack. Keep in mind, the sea temperature midpoints just 50-60 degrees in summer so you might want to rent a wetsuit too.
A stroll along Doran’s shoreline is 2 miles one way from the stone breakwater at the park’s west end to Pinnacle Gulch on the east end. On the north edge of the shoreline, a 1.3-mile trail winds through lush rises and has an easy footpath for all ages. On the harbor side, the .3-miles Cheney Creek Trail crosses a marsh and connects with a 1-mile Bird Walk circle through a wooden bridge. Doran is pet-friendly, so pets on leashes are welcome on the shoreline and trails.
What better way to spend a sunny day than grilling up some favorite items? Picnic spots are available throughout the park, from tables to benches to the beach itself. Pack lunch or dinner and head out to the tables and barbecue rings inside the windbreaks at the Cypress Day Use Area. Tables and barbecues are also available near the boardwalk and at the Jetty Day Use Area.
When was the last time you fell asleep between sand dunes to the sound of waves breaking nearby? One of the best activities Doran has to offer is rest and reprieve. Let yourself doze for a while, enjoy the sun and the breeze, and let the day and stresses drift away.
Doran Beach is a great place to spend a day or two. As a heads up, on holidays or really warm days, the beach gets crowded, and when the parking lots fill, rangers will turn visitors away. On those days, plan to arrive before 11 a.m. or after 3 p.m. to get parking. Parking is $7
We’ll see you out there!
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