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Bodega Bay or Carmel

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Chicago, Illinois
posts: 20
reviews: 1
Bodega Bay or Carmel

My husband and I are planning a trip to the wine country. We are currently planning to spend two nights in Sonoma (Kenwood Inn). We were then planning to spend our last two nights in Carmel. How does Bodega Bay compare to Carmel? Should we consider staying in Bodega Bay and scrap Carmel? Thanks for your advice.

Pacific Grove...
posts: 792
reviews: 26
1. Re: Bodega Bay or Carmel

Bodega Bay does not have much to do compared to Carmel. Bodega Bay has a few art Galleries, and about 5 restaurants. No movies near by, no cultural event places nearby, and windy foggy beaches. Take it from an ex-local.

Carmel has many shops and galleries, sunny wind blocked beach, lots of restaurants to choose from, Point Lobos nearby, The Sunset Center for musical events, and The Forest Theatre for theatrical stuff. Take it from a local.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
posts: 27,229
reviews: 6
2. Re: Bodega Bay or Carmel

I agree, I would not scrap Carmel. Bodega Bay is a nice restful stop but it isn't Carmel. Nothing to see or do there. You will love Carmel.

Fresno, California
posts: 194
reviews: 10
3. Re: Bodega Bay or Carmel


We have been to and stayed at both places. Bodego Bay is a quite place with not much to do. The golf course looked inviting. Carmel is in one of the most beautiful coast areas in the world with lots to do and see. Too many places to shop!!

So it depends on what you are looking for. If it is a nice restful place to kick back and read a book than Bodego Bay is the place. (This is not a put down as when we went up to BB we were looking for a place to just veg and recharge our batteries. we enjoyed our time there) If you are looking for lots to do and see then the Carmet/Monterey area is your ticket. Carmel is quite a long drive from Sonoma.

Whatever you have picked some nice places to choose from. Have a great experience in Califronia.


Chicago, Illinois
posts: 20
reviews: 1
4. Re: Bodega Bay or Carmel

Thanks very much. We are most likely going to do Carmel. I was just concerned that it would be too long of a drive. Should we count on three hours, from Kenwood to Carmel? We are planning to drive on a Friday afternoon. Will San Francisco traffic be an issue?


Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
posts: 27,229
reviews: 6
5. Re: Bodega Bay or Carmel

Three hours is about right from Kenwood to Carmel, but I would leave early afternoon. You will be going in the opposite direction from the commute traffic, I think. I would suggest the following route - After the GG Bridge get in the right lane and take the exit for Park Presidio/19th Avenue. Stay on this until it becomes I-280. Then exit to Hwy 85 at Sunnyvale and take this all the way to 101 north of Morgan Hill. Then exit at 156 which will take you into Monterey. Hwy 1 a short distance to Carmel.

Notice that I am not taking you through Santa Cruz. Highway 1 is being widened from the Hwy 17 interesection with Hwy 1 for several exits and the traffic backs up for miles.

Safe trip

Carlsbad, California
posts: 294
reviews: 27
6. Re: Bodega Bay or Carmel

I agree that Carmel has a lot more to offer than Bodega Bay UNLESS you're a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan - The Birds was filmed there and you can still see a few houses and parts of diners used.

Destination Expert
for San Jose
posts: 5,838
reviews: 101
7. Re: Bodega Bay or Carmel

I'm not sure how anyone can say that there's nothing in Bodega Bay besides Hitchcock nostalgia.

It really depends on what you want to do.

If you're an outdoors person, I'd argue that Bodega Bay still has a lot to offer. Firstly, it's a launching point for Point Reyes National Park--tons of great hiking. On the contrary, there are no National Parks anywhere near Carmel. The closest you'd get is Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and the like. IMO, Pt Reyes' hiking is far more spectacular.

The treats of the Bodega Bay area are also a lot cheaper than anything in Carmel.

However, if you've never been to Carmel/Monterey...its SCUBA possibilities are hard to beat anywhere on the West Coast.

8. Re: Bodega Bay or Carmel

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