A little more than 100 miles north of San Francisco lies an untamed and beautiful stretch of the Northern California Coast - a place known for its cold and wild ocean waves, rugged and rocky bluffs, and understated homes that have been stunningly built in cooperation with the natural environment. This 10-mile expanse of secluded shoreline is The Sea Ranch, an internationally renowned community conceived in 1963 by architect Al Boeke to reflect the concept of "living lightly on the land." Today, this gorgeous region is a place to unwind and relax into your coastal surroundings - all while watching for migratory whales from the comfort of your Sea Ranch vacation home.
Where is Sea Ranch, CA?
Scenically situated in the far northern reaches of Sonoma County, Sea Ranch is bordered by the town of Gualala to the north and dense forests of California coastal Redwoods to the east. It's also just 42 miles north of Bodega Bay and 55 miles south of Mendocino - a location that offers wonderful access to two of the most thrilling and uncrowded stretches of California Highway One.
Things to Do in Sea Ranch
When landscape architect Lawrence Halprin devised his plan to blend each Sea Ranch structure into its natural setting, he ensured that guests would never be far from serene coastal beauty and outdoor recreation.
Sea Ranch homes enjoy lovely ocean, meadow, or forest views, allowing guests to observe black-tailed deer, foxes, bobcats, and more than 220 species of birds. This natural wonderland can be enjoyed from the warmth of a private hot tub, a comfortable window seat, or the beautiful Bluff Top Trail - a quiet path that follows the seven-mile shoreline between Black Point and Gualala Point Regional Park. Whether you're taking a leisurely walk or a scenic morning run, keep your eyes peeled for harbor seals, California sea lions, and passing grey whales.
Due to brisk water temperatures and powerful tide patterns, this stretch of Pacific Ocean is more aptly suited for experienced abalone divers than casual swimmers. But Sea Ranch guests will still be enthralled by visits to Stengel Beach, Shell Beach, and Walk On Beach, all of which feature gorgeous cliff formations and awe-inspiring tide pools laden with marine life.
The Sea Ranch promise to be "motivated by the character of the natural environment" is even apparent in the resort-style amenities, which include three heated outdoor pools, tennis and basketball courts, and saunas at three separate recreation centers. Guests can also play through the wind-sculpted cypress and pines at the Sea Ranch Golf Links, the first Scottish links-style seaside course on the west coast.
Day Trips from Sea Ranch
With California Highway One as the community's main thoroughfare, guests at our Sea Ranch vacation rentals need only take a scenic drive to reach some of the most beautiful towns and seascapes in the region.
Head 20 miles north to Point Arena, where the historic lighthouse on the edge of the Point Arena-Stornetta unit of the California Coastal National Monument creates one of the most spectacular sunset views in the state. Drive another 35 miles along ocean cliffs and sprays of wildflowers to reach the quiet town of Mendocino, a picturesque seaside colony where you'll find locally sourced restaurants, art galleries, and Mendocino Headlands State Park. Care to venture a bit further? Ten more miles will bring you to laid-back Fort Bragg, where you can spend the afternoon strolling through the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens or sampling local beers at North Coast Brewing Company.
If you'd rather head south for the day, follow Highway One's cliff-hanging turns for 25 miles to reach the Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery, where visitors can sip coastal pinot noir in a stunning hilltop tasting room.
Leave the crowds behind you and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Northern California Coast - our Sea Ranch vacation rentals will give you a relaxing retreat you won't soon forget.
Photo Credit: Jeff via Flickr