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Take a Chance on Sea Ranch!

When planning a trip to California most people probably think of visiting Los Angeles, San Diego, or San Francisco, but I hope my post today makes you consider adding one more location in California to your list- the unique community of Sea Ranch!

Where is Sea Ranch?

I’ve always thought that one of the coolest things about traveling is stumbling into a place that not many people you know have been. That’s exactly what happened when we discovered Sea Ranch on a road trip. Sea Ranch is located along ten miles of the Sonoma Coast in Northern California about 100 miles north of San Francisco. It is one of the most unique places we have ever visited!

What makes it so unique?

Highway 1 to Sea Ranch

Sea Ranch was built in 1964 with the idea of living lightly on the land. Architect and visionary, Al Boeke, called Sea Ranch an experiment that he hoped would prove people could live in a gorgeous location along the California coast without destroying it.  His experiment worked and today Sea Ranch is unique because the people that live here share a common belief that they should preserve and protect the natural beauty of their community.

Condominium One in Sea Ranch, CA

In accordance with the beliefs of the community, Sea Ranch has very specific guidelines when it comes to building anything. One of these guidelines is homes should be modest sized with exteriors that are not showy but reflect the land. These guidelines have resulted in homes with distinctive architecture, that are typically, simple timber-frame structures, covered in wood siding or shingles. The town is like a work of art!
Note: Condominium One, pictured above, was completed in 1965, and was the first unit built in Sea Ranch. It was added to the National Historic Register in 2005.

Ok, so where do I Stay?

Sea Ranch Lodge

Before you book your trip to Sea Ranch, I want to be clear that you should want a vacation where you can slow down, relax, and take in the beauty of nature. The population of Sea Ranch is only about 1,300 so when I tell you it’s a small community, understand how small. If you are looking to unwind then book a room at the Sea Ranch Lodge.
Sea Ranch Lodge is a dog-friendly boutique hotel that consists of 19 rooms with incredible views of the ocean. Each room comes equipped with a refrigerator and most have gas fireplaces. The one thing that the rooms do not have is televisions, and while there is Wi-Fi, it’s pretty spotty. The thing is, you don’t come to Sea Ranch to watch TV, you come to completely disconnect, and I loved the break from our electronics!
The lodge also has a restaurant, gift shop and spa.
We loved our stay at the lodge! The restaurant was good, the room very comfortable, and the view cannot be topped!

But, what do I do in Sea Ranch?

 Off to explore Sea Ranch!

Even though the town is small, there are many things to do in Sea Ranch!

Go for a Hike!

There are over 50 miles of hiking trails right outside of the Sea Ranch Lodge. These trails take you through coastal meadows, forests, and past some of the community’s unique architecture.

The most popular trail is about 8 miles long and is called, “The Bluff Trail.” It starts at the lodge and ends at Gualala Regional Park. Gualala is a neighboring town about 6 miles away well known for its art community.

Hang out on the Beach

There are five beaches with public access in Sea Ranch. The closest to the lodge is a 5-minute walk and called Black Point Beach. Please note that the water here has very strong currents and is too dangerous for swimming. Admire the beach, but don’t turn your back to the ocean because the waves are quite powerful in this cove!

Admire the Redwoods

When you’re staying so close to the ocean it’s quite easy to forget that there is a forest nearby, but, you should definitely add seeing the Redwoods to your itinerary while in Sea Ranch. When you arrive at your hotel ask for a trail map and it will show you how to get to the Redwoods. There are hiking trails throughout the forest and this is a must-see!

Visit the Sea Ranch Chapel

The Sea Ranch Chapel is an architecturally stunning, non-denominational chapel, that was designed by James Hubbell and completed in 1985. While, it’s amazing to see from the outside, the inside is just as incredible with its beautiful stained glass windows. Whether you are religious or not, this chapel is worth a visit!

Sample some of Sonoma’s wine while the sunsets…

Sonoma County is famous for its wineries and it would be a shame if you didn’t sample some of them while in Sea Ranch. Annapolis winery is only a 15-minute drive away, but Sea Ranch Lodge also has a fantastic wine list. So, why not grab a glass of Vino and watch the sunset? Our dog really enjoyed ending the day in one of the lodge’s wooden chairs overlooking the ocean.
Once the sunsets, the view only gets better because Sea Ranch causes little light pollution and it’s very dark. Stargazing is one of our favorite memories from our stay at the ranch.  We hope you get the opportunity to visit Sea Ranch, California! It is so beautiful that these pictures really don’t even do it justice. Go see for yourself!


Lindsay, Christopher, & Remi 

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