Bonny Doon is situated northwest of Santa Cruz in the southern Bay Area. It was founded in the 1850s as a logging camp. John Burns, a Scotsman living in Santa Cruz, named Bonny Doon after a line in Robert Burns song, "The Banks O' Doon" ("Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon...") referring back to the Doon River in Scotland. The name can attested back to 1902.
Bonny Doon has no "city center" or shops, but features several wineries, a church, two fire stations, a lavender farm, Bonny Doon Elementary School and a private-use airport. A beach of the same name is nearby. Evidence of 2,600 years of occupation by Native Americans has been found in the area.