It was a hot and sunny day in Healdsburg, so we decided to head to the nearby coast! We stopped in Guerneville along the way to pick up some sandwiches and drinks before continuing down beautiful highway 116 (River Rd.) towards Jenner. Then we headed south a few miles until we reached Portuguese Beach. Often times when you head to the beaches in Northern California it is foggy, but today it was absolutely beautiful, clear and warm!
The name of this beach is perfect! Why? Well, the California coast looks very similar to the coast in Portugal! You just won’t find any pasteis de belem (yummy Portuguese pastry) nor a Pastelaria ;).
They clearly don’t want you to be swimming here!
While we were scoping out our spot on the beach a little kid started yelling, “I saw a whale!!”. Well, that may be possible but unlikely I thought cause it wasn’t whale season, right? But what do I know!? So we sat down and soon enough Heidi and I saw a spurt of water into the air, but we weren’t convinced yet, because it was very close to the shore! We both thought is was water splashing on rocks! Then it happened again and again and we finally saw the back of the whale surface. We couldn’t believe it! The whales were no more than 150 meters from shore. That’s right, there were 2 of them!
What a nice treat to get a free whale sighting without having to get on a boat!
If you have extra time while visiting Sonoma County and want a break from wine tasting, the coast is very nearby and you can do a loop. Starting from either Healdsburg or Santa Rosa, take River Rd to Guerneville (where it turns into Hwy 116) and continue until you reach the coast at Jenner. From here you can explore the nearby beaches of Jenner or head south (Hwy 1) towards Portuguese Beach. Then you can stop in Bodega Bay for either lunch or dinner and to do some souvenir shopping and even camp here. Continue south on Hwy 1 until you reach the Bodega Hwy and follow that into Sebastopol where you can stop for ice cream at Screamin’ Mimi’s. Then follow Hwy 12 into Santa Rosa.