Take a Day Trip!
During the average summer, kids climb the walls. Add in more than a year of sheltering-in-place and general pandemic insanity, and the kid crazies have most likely reached biblical proportions. The solution: a day trip. We live in a place world-renowned for its beauty. Take advantage of it! Here are our ideas for a memory-making weekend adventure.
Begin. Start off in Sebastopol and drive toward the coast via Bodega Highway. Let rolling hills bearing the secret of soon-to-be-seen waters bring a smile to everyone’s faces. Play car games like I Spy or 20 Questions to keep any backseat squabbling at bay.
1. Get breakfast at Wild Flour Bread. This Freestone bakery is worth making carbs legal for a day. And they’ve got their COVID game on, too. A quick-moving, well-ordered outdoor line will greet you, along with a blackboard listing pastries from their wood-fire brick oven. Everything—from the sticky buns to the fig-ginger-pear Egyptian bread to the scones in flavors like apricot or double chocolate—is a treat for the tastebuds. (Gluten-free scones sometimes make an appearance, too.) Once you’ve eaten your fill, and packed some goodies for the road, forge ahead for some beach time.
2. Hit the beach at Doran Regional Park. Take a walk on a two-mile stretch of sand, fly kites, build castles, and even fish at this Bodega Bay park. Be sure to get there early so you have plenty of time on the beach before the brisk late-afternoon wind kicks in. Day-use fee is $7.
3. Grab lunch at the Fishetarian Fish Market. After you’ve had enough sea and sand, head north about a mile and a half on Highway One to this popular eatery (right next to Lucas Wharf) for a delectable rockfish sandwich or fish tacos. The Kids’ Menu offers small portions of fish and chips as well as staples like grilled cheese and an almond-butter version of PB&J. Another option: Head to Spud Point Crab Co. in Bodega Bay for a cup of their famous clam chowder.
4. Hike at Jenner Headlands. After filling up on fruits of the sea, continue north on Highway One and, just past Jenner, find this park. You’ll be treated to spectacular ocean vistas as you hike up the 4.5-mile Sea to Sky to Raptor Ridge Loop Trail. (Leashed dogs are allowed.) If you are looking for a flat walk, double-back on Highway One and head to the Kortum Trail, which runs along the bluffs. The wooden walkway on the first leg of the northern part of the trail is stroller-friendly, but dogs are not allowed. If you favor water over land, then rent kayaks in Jenner at the Water Treks kiosk (across from the hip Aquatica Café; watertreks.net) and take a paddle around Penny Island. You might even see some seals!
5. Go Mexican (or Mediterranean or Indian) for dinner. All that exercise will surely fire up an appetite. And there’s nothing like a taco truck to fill up bellies on the cheap. There’s a great one in Guerneville, in the Walmart parking lot, called simply the Guerneville Taco Truck. We love their burritos, which drip with savory authentic goodness. If Mexican isn’t your thing, then head back to Sebastopol and choose from a variety of eats, such as the Mediterranean fare at East West Café (kids love the sweet potato fries), vegetarian grub at the newly remodeled Slice of Life, or get samosas at Namaste Kitchen. If you have any energy left at all, indulge in the homemade ice cream at Screamin’ Mimi’s, a local favorite for 20 years. Or go to Sonoma Chocolatiers for some organic award-winning truffles. (Just get there before they close at 6 p.m.) Then rustle up the brood and go home, where all will fall happily exhausted into sweet slumber.