Bodega Marine Laboratory & Reserve

Run by University of California (UC) Davis, this spectacularly diverse teaching and research reserve surrounds the research lab, which has studied Bodega Bay since the 1920s. The 263-acre reserve hosts many marine environments, including rocky intertidal coastal areas, mudflats and sand flats, salt marsh, sand dunes and freshwater wetlands. On most Friday afternoons docents give tours of the lab and surrounds.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Bodega Head

0.57 MILES

At the peninsula’s tip, Bodega Head rises 265ft above sea level. It’s great for whale-watching. Landlubbers enjoy hiking above the surf, where several…

2. Ren Brown Collection Gallery

1.85 MILES

The renowned collection of modern Japanese prints and California works at this small gallery is a tranquil escape from the elements. Check out the…

3. Salmon Creek Beach

2.84 MILES

Situated around a lagoon, with 2 miles of hiking and good waves for surfing.

4. Schoolhouse Beach

3.83 MILES

A very pleasant beach with parking (but no other facilities); can be prone to riptides so swimmers should take care.

6. Duncan’s Landing

5.42 MILES

Small boats unload near this rocky headland in the morning. A good place to spot wildflowers in the spring.

7. Grove of the Old Trees

7.01 MILES

Outside Occidental and up on a ridge off Fitzpatrick Lane, Grove of the Old Trees is a peaceful, 28-acre forest of old-growth redwoods. The forest and its…

8. Shell Beach

7.09 MILES

Just south of the small town of Jenner, a boardwalk and trail leads out to a stretch perfect for tide-pooling and beachcombing.