Kayaking and Paddling Wine Country

The weather is warming up so it’s time to hit the water; it’s a great way to beat the heat while enjoy the natural beauty of the region.  There are a host of great locations throughout Wine Country to kayak, canoe and even paddleboard.  The most popular nearby locations for getting on the water are Lake Sonoma and Spring Lake and, of course, the Russian River.  For those wanting to explore the coast, Bodega Bay is the place to be.  Tomales Bay, in neighboring Marin County, also draws kayakers from across the nation.

To get out on the water, you will need equipment, which not a difficult problem to overcome.  There are a number of rental options to get you on the water in no time.  Kayak, paddleboard, and pedal boat rentals are available for $12/hour at Spring Lake through Labor Day. Paddleboards rentals and guided paddleboard tours are available at Riverfront Regional Park in the summer by appointment. For more information, visit russianriverpaddleboards.com.  There are also a number of private kayak rental locations throughout the region.

Paddling the Russian River
The Russian River runs through Sonoma County from Cloverdale in the north to Jenner in the west and has seven Regional Parks located along the shore which provide launch points for kayaks, paddleboards and canoes. Paddling season is typically May through September. As you cover more area when paddling a river, it is great for nature watching allowing people to experience such animals as ospreys, bald eagles, kingfishers, great blue herons, turtles, otters and other birds and wildlife you may not notice on land. Below are some travel times by kayak, courtesy of Sonoma County Regional Parks.

Travel Times by Kayak
Del Rio Woods to Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach – 1.5 to 2 hours
Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach to Forestville River Access – 4 to 6 hours
Steelhead Beach to Sunset Beach – 2 hours
Steelhead Beach to Guerneville River Park – 4 to 5 hours
Guerneville River Park to Monte Rio – 1.5 hours
Monte Rio to the Highway 1 bridge in Jenner – 3-4 hours
Note: If traveling by canoe, add 1 to 2 hours to the kayak times.

Want to explore more?  Here is a quick list of paddling destinations throughout the region, courtesy of Sonoma County Regional Parks:

Riverfront Regional Park – Windsor
Steelhead Beach – Forestville
Sunset Beach – Forestville
Doran Regional Park – Bodega Bay
Spring Lake Regional Park – Santa Rosa
Cloverdale River Park – Cloverdale
Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach – Healdsburg
Del Rio Woods – Healdsburg
Westside Regional Park – Bodega Bay

Looking for more adventure?  Here is a great link showcasing numerous additional kayaking and canoeing locations throughout Sonoma County.

So grab that gear and hit the water for a memorable and relaxing adventure the whole family will enjoy.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Five Favorite Winter Sonoma Coast Instagrams

When we are all bunded up for Winter, the last place you may consider visiting is the Sonoma Coast.  But you may be surprised to discover that a quick trip to the coast this time of year will produce spectacular sunsets and miles of rugged and beautiful coastline that the whole family can experience and explore.  Whether you visit the rich history at Fort Ross or just relax for an enjoyable day of shopping and dining on chowder at Bodega Bay, the Sonoma Coast doesn’t disappoint this time of year.

If you do make it to the coast, snap a few images and share with us on Instagram;  we love to see your Wine Country experiences through your eyes. If you haven’t done so already, follow us on Instagram as we showcase Mayacama and this incredible region we call “home”.  There is beauty all around so snap away and be sure to share.

Just in case you need a bit more prompting, here are a few Sonoma Coast Instagrams which caught our eye this season.

Storm clouds gathering over the Sonoma Coast via @adventurescapes

Vibrant succulent colors at Bodega Bay via @gozandolavidareal

Sadie, the Blue Healer, enjoying the Sonoma Coast via @sadie_theblueheeler

The vibrant blues of the ocean set against the rugged shoreline via @authenti_cat_ed

The calm after the storm at Doran Beach via @kayraexo

Share your own experiences with us by using the hashtag #MayacamaScene. There will be giveaways throughout the year, so grab those phones and cameras and start sharing.

We invite members and guests to share their visual journey and experiences at Mayacama in our Annual Photo Contest*.  In order to be entered, be sure to check-in or tag your location at Mayacama and use #MayacamaScene in your photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. You can submit as much imagery as you like, so share often and watch for giveaways throughout the year for our favorite photos! At the end of 2016, Grand Prize photo winners will enjoy some very special prizes.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

*Contest Rules: Open to members and member guests only. By submitting your entry, you agree to allow Mayacama and its agencies to use your entry in marketing materials including the digital magazine, e-news, advertisements, collateral and social channels. All entries will be verified as members or member guests by Mayacama. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are in no way associated with the contest.

 

January Events in Wine Country

If one of your resolutions is to experience more local adventures, you’ve come to the right place.  Wine Country has a number of events to kick off 2017.  From nature hikes to crab feeds, beer and wine festivals to live performances, there is something for everyone to enjoy during the month of January.

Free Hike Day (January 1)
Start the New Year on the right foot! Jack London State Historic Park will offer its fourth annual First Day Hike, part of a collaborative national fitness event with California State Parks. The First Day Hike is a fun and healthy way to kick off the New Year with an active start and is the first in a series of Fitness Hikes at the Park for 2017.  More information can be found here.

Crab Feed (January 13)
Feast on the local harvest at the 32nd Annual Crab Feed at The Tides Wharf in Bodega Bay. Price includes chilled Dungeness crab, clam chowder, pasta, green salad, French bread, cocktail and mustard sauces, melted butter. Reservations are strongly encouraged. More information can be found here.

Winter WINEland (January 14-15)
Meet winemakers, taste limited production wines and new releases at the 25th Annual Winter WINEland. All participating wineries will highlight a Vintage, Varietal or Vertical tasting for the weekend. Ticket price will include wine tasting at all of the participating wineries for the weekend as attendees travel from winery to winery, visiting the ones of most interest. More than 140 wineries will be participating in the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys. Winter WINEland sells out, no ticket sales at the door. Advance ticket sales end Jan. 9, 2017. More information can be found here.

The Peking Acrobats (January 17)
This incredible show is back by popular demand! Don’t miss the awe-inspiring theatrical experience featuring China’s most gifted tumblers, contortionists, jugglers, cyclists, gymnasts with live musical accompaniment. More information can be found here.

RateBeer World’s Best Beer Festival (January 28-29)
Widely regarded as a top three beer event in the world, RateBeer World’s Best Beer Festival will offer an amazing beer list from the world’s most sought after breweries.  The RateBeer Best Festival on Saturday, January 28 is held in a private hangar at Santa Rosa Airport as brewers from over 34 of the world’s top breweries pour their own beers. Food items from Sonoma County food vendors will be available for purchase.  More information can be found here.

Annual Chowder Day (January 28)
Enjoy the beauty of the coast in winter at Chowder Day in Bodega Bay offers a culinary tour of town. Spend the day tasting chowder and meeting the chefs. If you visit all the stops and you’re eligible for an entry in a prize drawing! You definitely won’t leave Bodega Bay hungry! Tickets are available pre-sale only. Tastings start at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., completed by 3 p.m. More information can be found here.

The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio Joseph Kalichstein, piano | Jaime Laredo, violin | Sharon Robinson, cello (January 29)
For nearly forty years, pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson have garnered numerous awards and set the standard for performance of piano trio. The Washington Post writes, “Among the superstars of the chamber music world, few induce as much open-mouthed rapture as the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.” More information can be found here.

Looks like we are off to a great start in 2017!

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

Microadventure: Explore Bodega Bay

Looking for a local Microadventure the whole family will enjoy?  Then head to the rugged and picturesque Sonoma Coast and explore all that Bodega Bay has to offer.

Walk Along the Beach. Doran Region Park and Beach is a lovely strip of sand formed by the currents of Bodega Bay. It has a bay side, complete with clam flats and salt marsh where a wide variety of birds can be found as well as an ocean side which offers protected surfing, kayaking and swimming with modest waves most of the time.  The beach can get windy at times, so layering your clothes is highly recommended.

Take a Hike.  There are numerous trails in Bodega Bay to explore the coastline at its best.  Whether you explore the peninsula of Bodega Head or walk from Bodega Harbor to Pacific Ocean in the Bodega Dunes, there are a number of trails which allow for exploration, fun and adventure.  A list of local trails and adventures can be found here.

Watching Birds. Coastal Bodega Bay is famous as one of the best birding areas in the region;  the Sonoma Coast and Pacific Flyway offer a number of coastal birding hotspots year round for all levels.  Did you know?  Bodega Bay and the neighboring town of Bodega are famously remembered for their location in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. The Tides Wharf & Restaurant protected characters during the attack, but has expanded into a hotel complex since the film was made.  The iconic schoolhouse from the movie still stands in Bodega, but is a private residence today.

Dine on Local Food.  The region is famous for its fresh seafood, with clam chowder, fish and Dungeness crab (excellent this season) being the most popular items on menus. If you are looking for a more formal dining setting, visit The Duck Club, The Bluewater Bistro & Bar, The Tides Wharf and the casual yet elegant atmosphere of The Bay View Restaurant & Lounge.  More informal dining the whole family will enjoy can also be found throughout the town.  Try Lucas Wharf, Spud Point Crab Company, Fisherman’s Cove, The Bird’s Café, Fishetarian and finally The Dog House, for those seeking casual, non-seafood dining.

Relax and Unwind.  There are a number of spas where you can relax and rejuvenate during your trip to the coast.  The Bodega Bay Lodge offers a number of spa treatments, massages and facials.  Sonoma Coast Villa & Spa provides a full line of rejuvenating treatments as well.  And for those of you looking for a truly unique spa experience, you’ll want to schedule a treatment at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary  in nearby Freestone. It’s a short drive from Bodega but worth the effort, just take a look at the review by Yelper Taffie H. – “The most relaxed I’ve ever been! I highly recommend the “full experience”—cedar enzyme bath, facial and massage. Worth. Every. Penny. Be sure to leave extra time either before or after your treatment to spend some time in the gardens!”

If you have time, be sure to take in the end of the day as the sun sets on the horizon of the Pacific Ocean.  It’s hard to beat the entire sky lit up with vibrant reds, oranges and yellows; it’s a perfect ending to a perfect Microadventure.  So pack up the car and head to the coast for some regional fun in this truly unique and relaxing setting.  Happy Travels.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo credit: Bodega Head Beach by Don DeBold on flickr