Russian Gulch Just North of Jenner

Autumn is Ideal for Visiting the Sonoma Coast

By Regional Parks Staff

For many of us in Sonoma County, fall is a special and much-anticipated time to be outdoors. The summer crowds have thinned, the vineyards turn striking shades of red and orange, and the air carries the scents of autumn. But one of the best features of the season is the spectacular weather along the Sonoma Coast.

Average High Temperature: 77 Degrees

Doran Beach on Sunny DayLocals know September, October and November typically deliver some of the most glorious days of the year on the coast. Summer at the beach is often marked by foggy mornings and evenings. But by fall, the coastal warming process has reached its zenith, bringing clear skies and some of the most temperate days of the year.

In fact, October’s average high temperature in Bodega Bay is 77 degrees. And the winds are usually lightest this time of year.

Explore Parks from Bodega Bay to Gualala

Doran Beach Man with KiteThe Sonoma Coast features some of the most stunning landscapes in all of California. Our coast stretches 58 miles from Bodega Bay to the Gualala River, and there are many Regional Parks to be explored along the way.

• Come out to Doran Beach and walk the long, sandy shore or cross Cheney Creek and meander along the Birdwalk Coastal Access Trail.

• Hike down Pinnacle or Shorttail gulches to marvel at the tide pools and the solitude.

• Drive north on iconic Highway 1 to Stillwater Cove and find the historic schoolhouse in the ferns and redwoods.

• Follow The Sea Ranch coastal access trails across wind-swept meadows to hidden coves.

• Visit Gualala Point and take in the unending sea views from the Bluff Top Trail and explore the driftwood creations on the long beach.

Whatever coastal outing you choose, don’t forget to pack a picnic and bring a blanket for a nap in the autumn sun. If you have a dog that loves the ocean, bring him along too. All of Regional Parks' coastal beaches and trails are dog-friendly. 

If you'd like to join us for guided activities on the coast, visit our calendar. We often lead tide pool hikes, bird walks, yoga classes, and other outings at beach parks.  

Note: Parking is $7 at Doran, Bird Walk, Stillwater Cove and Gualala Point or free for Regional Parks members. Parking is free for all at Pinnacle/Shorttail Gulch and The Sea Ranch coastal access trails. 

This post was originally published in October 2016.

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