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.
- 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