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Local Knowledge: Bodega Bay

Nothing like eating a peach by the ocean for Marine biologist Jackie Sones

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Describe your perfect day in Bodega Bay.

Any kind of outdoor exploration, any kind of learning that expands my appreciation and understanding of place. Anything that connects me to where we live and work.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Bodega Bay and why?

Well, I love spending time outside, and after a walk or outdoor activity, I'm usually interested in a snack. I'm happy with a granola bar and a piece of fresh fruit from a local farmers market. There's nothing like eating a ripe peach next to the ocean, but I'm not opposed to a treat from the Tomales Bakery or a scone from Wild Flour Bread in Freestone either!

Where would you take first-time visitors in Bodega Bay?

I'd take them for a walk, probably on Bodega Head. The trail that follows the southern end of Bodega Head provides a chance to see whales. There are amazing views of Point Reyes and Tomales Bay. Looking across the harbor to town, you can watch the fishing boats and think about Bodega Bay's history and how lucky we are that people have cared about this part of the coast for so long.

What do you know about Bodega Bay that others don't?

There are so many different habitats in Bodega Bay that I think you could go out every day—on foot or on the water—and see something new. Take your pick: a sandy beach, sand dunes, a coastal bluff, coastal prairie, the tidal flats, a salt marsh, an eelgrass meadow, rocky tide pools, the open ocean. We're very fortunate to live in a part of the world where there's such incredibly high species diversity.

If you could change one thing about Bodega Bay what would it be?

There's no doubt that it would be easier to live here if everything was cheaper. But money aside, if I had a magic wand, I'd create a "town square" where community members and visitors could gather, a space that would encourage people to spend some time outside and to check in with each other.

Jackie Sones is a marine biologist at the Bodega Bay Marine Reserve and writes the excellent 'Natural History of Bodega Bay' blog at bodegahead.blogspot.com.

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