California Beaches


Irish Beach in Manchester, California -

You're in luck (as in Luck of the Irish) if you happen upon Irish Beach located on Manchester State Beach. The long and stunningly beautiful four mile stretch of sandy beach, with a lighthouse at the end captures the charm one would expect to see on the beaches of Ireland. At night the lighthouse beacon flashes its beam, often through a foggy mist as you and your companions think how truly lucky your are to be sitting there enjoying locally crafted wines (or craft beers) and have access to so much beauty. From charming B&Bs to the grace of the towering redwood groves in Hendy Woods State Park, it really is the vacation that inspires.

Irish Beach lacks the feeling of a tourist trap, simply because of its natural setting and something missing--all those chain fast food joints. Can you get by without them? You certainly can when you have access to locally sources fruits, vegetables, cheese, beef, lamb and the finest chefs to prepare splendid meals in intimate bistros at the B&Bs and hotels.

As the only stretch of the Mendocino Coast where the hills hug the sea, imagine enjoying the feeling that you have discovered this gem, a hidden secret that you would love to share with your closet friends, but not too many people. Irish Beach and the tiny hamlet of Elk are the only semi-developed areas for 20 miles of coast!

Access to Irish Beach requires a bit of adventure and stamina, described as a lengthy and vigorous trail. The Irish Beach Improvement Club, a voluntary homeowners association, maintains picnic grounds and access roads, including the road down to and up from the beach, accessible only to guests staying in the rental cottages. At the north end of six miles of sand and surf, Irish Beach offers the look & feel of a private beach, something you rarely see in California. Irish Beach is gated and vehicular access is available only to residents and vacation rental visitors, which means that day-trippers must get to the beach on foot. Wear walking shoes.

Beginning at Garcia River north of the Point Arena Lighthouse, the pubic accessible Manchester State Beach ends at the rocky promontory below the Irish Beach community. Irish beach varies in width from 50 to 100 feet, fluctuating with low and high tides. Irish Creek sometimes forms a lagoon which creates a sheltered pool for kids to play in.

Things to do: Horseback riding on Manchester State Beach,
Massages & facials at the local spa in Elk
Limousine tours of the wineries
Bird watching
Whale watching - during the annual whale migrations
Beach jogging
Wildlife viewing--deer, fox and raccoons and seals are plentiful
Sand castles, kite flying, and tide pooling at the north end of the beach
Surf casting for sea perch

History of this emerald gem: Irish Beach was a sheep ranch sold in the early 1960s. A lumber magnate, Bill Moores, bought the property to use as a 2nd home. The Ukiah investor sought to rekindle the spirit of his adventures along the Oregon Coast's Gearheart and Cannon Beaches. 160 homes have been constructed on the ranch land but the feel remains quite rural.

Victorian Bed & Breakfast Inn with fine dining restaurant open to the public in Irish Beach but for supplies you may have to drive to Manchester. The Post Office is in Manchester as are groceries and supplies. Gasoline is available in Point Arena 8 miles south.