The drive along the Sonoma coast is just as beautiful as the drive along Big Sur… and there’s much less traffic. As an added bonus, while driving by some of the more popular beaches we noticed there always seemed to be parking available… no line-ups of cars waiting to park, no dangerous passing, and, no sitting impatiently in your hot car while you wait for someone to leave.

Sonoma Beach Parks are a series of separate beaches that line 17-miles of the Sonoma County Coast; it starts North of Jenner and ends in the Russian River/Bodega Head area. Some of the beaches are made of little pebbles, while other are sand. There are plenty of sea stacks and natural bridges to explore.

The names of these beaches are certainly discussion points: Goat Rock, Schoolhouse Beach, Blind Beach, Arched Rock, Penny Island and Bodega Head. Also, the tiny little towns and shops that line the coast are equally as interesting with some shops focusing only on fishing and others on kite flying.

There were times while driving when I would see a house perched over the side of a cliff and held there by some sort of bracing and (I assume) a lot of bubblegum and luck. It rather reminded me of Aunt Josephine’s house in A Series of Unfortunate Events. I could almost imagine them swaying in the wind as household items rolled back and forth along the floor.