“The Birds” Filming Locations
Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” (1963), forever cemented in many of our brains to haunt us through eternity, was filmed in multiple locations in California but two of the main locations in the Bodega Bay area were in both the town of Bodega and the town of Bodega Bay. Hitchcock intertwined the scenes filmed in both towns to make it appear like one town.
My husband and I spent one summer many years ago watching all the Hitchcock movies. We watched one a week throughout the entire summer (and a bit longer). We would collect all the trivia about the movie before watching it and read it all and then sit and enjoy the movie. As you can imagine, our Hitchcock collection is rather large. Still I think we are missing some of the lesser known movies of his. So it was fun for us to visit this location and do some “birding”!!!
The first stop for us was the “Bodega Country Store” in the town of Bodega. Bodega is about 5 miles inland from the town of Bodega Bay. This quaint, little store has not only food and drink but the largest collection of “The Birds” memorabilia in the world. Really, seriously! We grabbed some coffee and a snack and sat at one of the tables and soaked up the atmosphere. Lots of memorabilia hanging on the walls and even a TV set in the corner playing Hitchcock films. How cool is that? The clam chowder and the chilli are both excellent as are the cinnamon rolls!
Up the street from the store is the old Bodega Schoolhouse called the Potter Schoolhouse where the school scenes were filmed. It is currently a private residence but you are free to drive by and take pictures. In the movie you can see the children running “from” the schoolhouse as they were being attacked.
Then on to the town of Bodega Bay to Taylor Street where the rest of the schoolhouse scenes were filmed. In these schoolhouse attack scenes the children can be seen running down the street “towards” the Bodega Harbor.
Also in the town of Bodega Bay is The Tides restaurant. Of course, it is all new now and not recognizable from the movie but still fun to visit and look around, grab some wine or a bite to eat.
In one of the early scenes in the movie, Tippi Hedren is seen driving to Bodega Bay. That was filmed on Bay Hill Rd in the northern part of Bodega Bay. A beautiful, peaceful road to drive with fabulous views looking back over to Bodega Bay.
Additional filming locations were at Bodega Head at the Gaffney Ranch. The Brenner House in the movie was located here but no longer stands. All you can see is the current Marine research lab and the trees in that area. Oh well.
But there was a scene with Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren at Bodega Bay outside walking in that area referred to as Bodega Head. That is located in the area of Sonoma County State Beach.
Sonoma Coast State Beach
Just around Bodega Harbor is the lovely Sonoma Coast State Beach with hiking trails, beach access, picnic tables, washrooms, and very steep cliffs in places. A great place to go spend a beautiful afternoon. To the south is an island full of Sea Lions and you can hear their barking in the distance. And if you are lucky you may be able to spot some Gray Whales migrating.
Bodega Bay has a charming marina area along Bodega Harbor with a few fsheries, lots of crab traps, and a boardwalk with a very nice statue in remembrance to those Bodega Bay commercial fishermen who lost their lives at sea. Don’t miss the Spud Point Crab Co, voted Best Clam Chowder on the Coast.