Is there public transport to Bodega Bay?
April 7, 2008 3:58 PM   Subscribe

A friend will be visiting San Francisco in September and really wants to visit Bodega Bay, where Hitchcock's The Birds was filmed. Is there any way for him to get there without a car?

My friend would dearly love to visit Bodega Bay and stay there one night, but according to his travel guide there is no public transport to there from San Francisco. Do any local MeFites know if that's actually the case? And if not, does anyone know of any tours or day trips that go there, which he could join? He's English living in Australia, and he won't be able to drive in the US (he doesn't drive here either) so renting a car is out of the question. Any advice very much appreciated.
posted by andraste to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Possible, via public transit, but it looks like a huge pain.

In SF, he'd catch a Golden Gate Transit bus (#80) in San Francisco, to Sonoma, and from there, a South Mendocino Bus (.pdf) to Bodega.

I haven't looked at the schedules closely, but I'll warn you that a lot of these buses will run most frequently (or, only) on weekdays, and most weekday traffic will be North to South in the morning, not vice versa. I live in the city, and worked in Marin for a while; I didn't want to have to drive if possible, but when I looked into using the bus, or ferries + bus, 90% of the traffic was into the city in the morning, and out of it in the afternoon.

Good luck with the tour thing - it's not something I know anything about, so I can't advise.
posted by rtha at 4:12 PM on April 7, 2008

This is a job for Craigslist rideshare. With gas prices I bet he'd have luck at least one way, to soften the pain of connecting local buses.
posted by MattD at 4:22 PM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: I work in Bodega Bay and yes, public transport to get there is very very limited but possible. Your friend could take the Amtrak to Santa Rosa. Then from there, there is one shuttle a day.

From my lab's webpage (scroll down a bit):

Limited to one shuttle bus from Santa Rosa. This shuttle bus runs once a day and you must walk 1.5 miles to the bus stop, (unless, of course, you are able to get a ride from your sponsor or others). The bus leaves Bodega Bay at approximately 10 am and returns at approximately 5 pm.

I'll be there again on Thursday and I'll find out exactly where the shuttle leaves from.

There's also another option. There are many people who live in SR and commute everyday to my lab. Memail me and I will forward a ride request to our listserv. I can also provide other local info if he needs any (again just memail me).
posted by special-k at 4:34 PM on April 7, 2008

Also, just to make this more difficult, your friend probably wants the town of Bodega, which is not the same as Bodega Bay (although not far away).
posted by gingerbeer at 4:52 PM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: Good point gingerbeer. The two towns are 5 mi apart (should be very easy to hitch a ride). The schoolhouse is in Bodega but the rest of it was mostly filmed in Bodega Bay. The road where the kids run down hill is actually in Bodega Bay (Taylor road), so is the farm house (which is now the site of the marine lab) and the Tides (which now serves overpriced bad food and cheap souveniers).

There's some other cool stuff for Hitchcock buffs (a bridge he built for the movie).

Geek fact: Many of the cypress trees in the film are still around today.
posted by special-k at 5:28 PM on April 7, 2008

Here's a nice url with a little google map showing the distance. Stuff in the world is not located where you would expect it to be from the movie.
posted by hexatron at 5:42 PM on April 7, 2008

The getting to Sonoma County (Petaluma or Santa Rosa) leg can be simplified a bit by taking the Airport Express.

Is he into cycling? Santa Rosa to Bodega via Sebastopol and Bodega Highway is a beautiful and very popular bike touring route. Lots of open farmland surrounded by rolling hills. If he's got a couple grand to throw at the problem, here's a week tour that includes a day (and night) in Bodega Bay. Otherwise, just check around with the local cycling clubs. It shouldn't be hard to hook up with some folks headed in the same direction.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 6:24 PM on April 7, 2008

Listen to gingerbeer and special-k. There really isn't anything in Bodega Bay that's recognizable from the movie. The Inn at the Tides, one of the filming locations, has been entirely remodeled and looks nothing like the set.

The schoolhouse in Bodega is cool, but that's a really, really long trip on public transit just to see one building.

Is your friend a Hitchcock fan (rather than a Birds fan)? If so, tell him to check out some of the filming locations of Vertigo, right in SF.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:08 PM on April 7, 2008

Getting to this area is much easier by car than by public transit (I believe Bodega is 1.5 - 2 hrs outside of the city). Your friend will spend most of a day getting there and back. Given that, I recommend making it an overnight stay and looking for an inn or B&B in town.
posted by zippy at 5:46 AM on April 8, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you, everyone. I've passed all your information on to my friend and he's working out what he wants to do based on your input. Thank you Team MeFi!
posted by andraste at 6:56 PM on April 20, 2008

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