Bodega Bay Lodge, A Tranquil California Getaway

“Where’s that Bates Motel?” I wondered aloud.

“Wrong movie,” my companion said. “That’s ‘Psycho’, where the woman gets stabbed in the shower. We’re looking for the town ‘The Birds’ was filmed in, where the woman’s eyes get pecked out.”

“Thanks.” I drove a little faster.

We finally spotted a “Welcome to Bodega” sign and pulled into our destination, the Bodega Bay Lodge and Spa, where our ocean-view room featured a heavenly king bed, sky-high ceilings, fireplace, spacious bathroom and a complimentary bottle of local Merlot.


The night was library-quiet except for an A-flat foghorn sounding every few minutes in the distance, and the Duraflame log we fired up and stared for the next two hours further drained built-up soul-stress. An enormous flat-screen TV stayed off and we basked in the sound of silence, finally falling into deep, restful sleep.


It was Loch Ness foggy and drizzly at 6 AM as I crept out of my room and sped off in the car towards town, looking for gas and a banana. Bodega Bay features no strip of stores or shops; every small grocery, antique shop, the literally named “Candy and Kites” and other retail outlets are spread out. Gassed up and ready for breakfast, I woke my partner and we breakfasted on oatmeal, fruit, coffee and kick-ass Bloody Marys in the lodge’s kitschy dining room, our meal augmented by Lite-FM ceiling-speakered versions of 70s hits like “Tonight I celebrate my love for you.”


We toured the rest of Bodega and Bodega Bay, which, despite its association with Hitchcock’s iconic film, is happily free of any tourist trappings; no stores selling mugs, t-shirts, postcards and crap some famous towns seek to fob off on out-of-towners.


Locals are friendly but not nosy, and you can trip over one of the area’s more than 200 local wineries every few minutes. Our action-packed day-and-a-half included driving under the speed limit, petting a goat, talking to a calf, buying hats at the charming HAT STORE, and, finally, visiting the Hartford Family Winery in the nearby town of Seascape.’

It is off the beaten path, this Bodega Bay Lodge, and is ideal for the ultimate shhhhhhh.