Green meadows bursting with buttercups and daisies lead down to the Pacific Ocean shore where you'll find sea lions basking in the sunshine, and starfish clinging to boulders near the sand. Deer roaming freely in people's yards and past the only hotel in town. It is the kind of place you want to bottle up and take home with you to Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Be sure to take time on your coastal drive to visit the local Sonoma Coast beaches (you can do a nature hike in as short as 30 minutes) and The Sea Ranch Chapel, a very unusual building designed by a renown architect.
The privately owned, unincorporated community features Sea Ranch Lodge where tourists can stay in ocean view rooms and enjoy the most scenic and natural environment found anywhere along the California Coast. One Sea Ranch architect, Charles Moore, was known for his meticulous attention to detail as seen in a variety of projects such as the Beverly Hills City Hall restoration.
Rustic wood sign posts engraved with the Sea Ranch logo are visible from sometimes fog-shrouded Highway 1. Shopping is across the Sonoma County line not far away in Mendocino County's Gualala.
Unlike anywhere else in California, Sonoma County has put into place laws and mandates to keep a large portion of the county in a pristine state without buildings to denigrate the small portions of natural coastline remaining. Tourists sometimes miss the conveniences and trappings of chain stores and restaurants, but in a quiet moment as you reflect, you realize the silence and lack of urban noise is necessary for sanity and survival.
The Sea Ranch, CA 95497