The coastal Sonoma County villages of Bodega and Bodega Bay exude a sense of lonely isolation—and that’s part of the reason Alfred Hitchcock liked them. When he filmed 1963’s The Birds, based on Daphne du Maurier’s gothic tale, the towns stood in for a few scenes in the English village besieged by the film’s namesake feathered tormentors. As it turns out, Bodega is indeed a natural bird magnet that regularly makes Audubon Society rankings for great bird-watching, thanks to the plethora of hawks, egrets, herons, and pelicans to be seen there.
While much of the area was re-created for filming in a studio, a few physical locations remain. In Bodega, for instance, you can see the two-story Potter Schoolhouse, where the birds first menaced the town’s children (though you can see it only from the outside—it’s now a private residence). To get inside a location from the movie, book a table at The Tides Wharf Restaurant, part of Bodega Bay’s The Inn at the Tides. Come for the Dungeness crab and views over the water—featuring happy (and non-homicidal) shore birds.