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“Nice campground overall. Get there early: a lot of bad sites” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Bodega Dunes Campground

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Bodega Dunes Campground
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Bodega Bay, CA   |  
Hotel amenities
Roseville, California
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Nice campground overall. Get there early: a lot of bad sites”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

Stayed 4 nights over Memorial Day weekend. 4 adults and 4 kids in two sites. Had to get there a day early so we could get two sites together, which is one of the biggest drawbacks of the California State Park system. We made the reservation for a 31' site to accomodate our motorhome, but it is still first come, first served when you get there. Kinda felt like flying on Southwest Airlines...I have my ticket but I have to shoulder my way in line to get a good seat. Not enjoyable. All weekend we saw people flying through the campground trying to find and secure a site before someone else grabs it. Not a very relaxing way to start a vacation.

Anyway, we got there a day early and I'm glad we did. Half of the available sites could not fit our equipment. Had we gotten there on Friday evening, I don't know if we could find a spot at all that we could fit in. A lot of good sites for tents, some more private than others, but a few wretched ones next to the road, neighboring homes, or the main road to the marina.

There is nothing to do in the campground itself but it was close to a lot of neat things: marina, shops, restaurants, beautiful beach (20 minute walk), and a local farmer's market on Saturday. If you have a second vehicle, you can drive to a lot of hiking areas and other points of interest.

The sites themselves were basic and clean. There was a bear box for food, older but solid table and a fire pit. The fire pit sucked. It was a large ring over two feet high, so if you were sitting in a chair next to it, you could only see the flames flickering at the top. Not good at all for roasting marshmallows! We had to stand if we wanted to look into the fire. Not a big deal, but probably the main reason I likely won't go back. We enjoy sitting around the fire pit watching the flames as we talk about the day, not looking at the outside of a big metal drum.

It was a holiday weekend and the campground was pretty full. The site next door was apparently the host site for several families. 4 minivans parked on the grass (Rangers came by one day and had them remove two of the cars) and 15 chairs around their firepit. They were LOUD. Not because they were young drunken fools, just because there were at least 20 kids and adults eating and talking in the one site. Had it not been a holiday weekend, maybe this wouldn't have happened. At 11 o'clock at night I shouldn't have to use earplugs to sleep in a camper. I wish the hosts had enforced the number of people per site rule. Also, the showers were clean but the bathrooms got destroyed pretty early in the day...probably not a problem when it is not a holdiay weekend.

Campgroud has three loops. One is sheltered near the dunes, one has more open sites for the sun, and one was closed (this one looked great; up by the entrance and sheltered from the wind). No preference on the sites, pick one that works for you. We encountered strong winds, moderately windy, overcast and pleasant, and a little rain on the get-away day as we packed. This place could be really nice when the wind isn't blowing.

The beach was huge and windy. Typical Pacific Ocean coastline. Bring a kite!!

So, for $35 a night we got a worn out campsite with an uneven parking pad, free hot showers, and got to play "race against other campers for a site." I wish CA State Parks were more like Oregon's: Reserve your specific site in advance. Also, Oregon only charges $22 a night and you get water and electricity in each one. This campground might be good for someone looking for a quick gettaway from the valley heat or for someone with Bodega as a specific destination. If you're looking for a very nice campground, relaxing and fun weekend, and things to do...this might not be the one for you.

Room Tip: Sites in the 40's were protected from the wind. Sites next to the road to the Marina will be lo...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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40 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013 via mobile

Make sure you take a good torch / flashlight as the shortest routes to the restrooms can be through narrow paths in the woods. It can get chilly even when the surrounding area is warm but we liked that. Clean restrooms but the site was really empty when we stayed. Only a couple of toilets so could be tough when busy. The fog horn isn't very loud but it is constant. We quickly got used to it and unless you really struggle with noise you should be ok. It's a lovely spot and I'd definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013 via mobile

Really lovely site. Great wooded pitches. Free showers (big plus when tenting). Stunning beach is quite a walk but well worth it. That foghorn thing is there in the background but it never bothered me and I'm quite a light sleeper.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, CA
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

We stayed here earlier this summer and at first were very happy with our decision. We had some difficulty with some kids from a neighboring site not respecting our camp area, but that was their parents' fault, not the campground's. We loved our site on a dune, and walking to the beach was a great way to spend an afternoon. We found the bathrooms to be clean given that it was a weekend in the middle of summer and the campground seemed full. Everything was going great until all got quiet and we realized that the buoy would be dinging every five seconds all night. Literally. We ended up with about three hours of sleep before packing up the next morning and heading out. I wouldn't mind staying there again, but I'd bring earplugs.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

We camped 2 nights over the past few days and the park was virtually empty. We hand picked out site, so of course we loved it! Most of the sites we saw were very large and very clean. As others mentioned there was plenty of hot water for showers (free). The bathrooms were a decent distance from the site we chose, but that is how I like it. We had a great time and with Bodega Bay right on the other side of the gate (there is a pass through near site 65), we just carried our kayaks and put in the water. It was fantastic. After kayaking we went to the marina and had grilled oysters and awesome clam chowder. Very fun trip. Definitely will go back!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

We went to this last weekend and overall had a good time.

It's prolly on the better side of a typical state park campground with good facilities. Enough restrooms with running water - cold and hot! They also have free hot showers. We didn't face any issues with the folks at the gate or the host and they were as cordial as I would expect them to be. I think overall from a facilities perspective, it has it all.

Coming to it's location - this was my biggest complain at the end of the day. I didn't fancy it being so next to Bodega Bay to the point where from quite a few sites you could see road traffic. Psychologically, it just didn't feel like I am away from my regular world. On the positive side, it's just a 5min drive from the Sonoma Bay State Beach which we ended up visiting.

The sites themselves were not necessarily big and as they are allocated upon arrival, it makes sense to get there in time to get the better ones.

Room Tip: Get there early to grab a good sized site if you have to put more than 2 tents/site.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orangevale, California, United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

I've gone here as long as I can remember to camp. The beach is near (but they've recently made it so you have to walk long ways! ugh) and amazing. My family and best friend had a blast building a drift wood fort on the beach. Where I stayed, the bathroom was through a path and it looked like any site you were at, there was a nearby bathroom with hot, free showers. The lady up front was very kind and very helpful! Can;t wait to go back next week.

Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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Additional Information about Bodega Dunes Campground

Address: Bodega Bay, CA
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Bodega Bay
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Bodega Bay
Number of rooms: 98
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Camp amongst the dunes, and it even has hot showers. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bodega Dunes Campground Hotel Bodega Bay

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