THE SEA RANCH: THE HIDDEN CALIFORNIA’s GEM

SEA RANCH

Everyone experiences periods of increased stress, when anxiety can feel overwhelming. At such moments, it might be worth considering a trip to Mendonoma Coast. A place that will offer you so much desired chill escape. Our compass is directed towards the Sea Ranch in Sonoma County, CA. A place that embodies charming sceneries. Where the majestic ocean and mild climate made this area home to unique wildlife.

I’ve been travelled a lot of beautiful places in California but the Sea Ranch would always be my number one destination in the list. This is a must visit place if you want to recharge your soul batteries, unplug from the whole world, and reconnect with a nature.

The enchanting area between the counties of Sonoma and Mendocino is also called “The Mind on Mendonoma”, which once again emphasizes how calming this place is for the human mind. Here is the Sea Ranch, where the waves of the Pacific Ocean bring peace and serenity to travelers.

No matter what you decide to do in this place, just take a deep breath of fresh salty air and let the Sea Ranch relax enter your mind.

SEA RANCH THROUGH THE DECADES

Steeped in rich California history, Sea Ranch was created by architect and land planner Al Boeke. He put together a team of planners and landscape architects, among which was Lawrence Halprin, one of the most influential landscape architects of the time. The main goal was to develop a new neighborhood on rugged terrain.

Al Boeke and a group of Bay Area architects aimed to create an urban area in which architectural design was combined with the great sense of community spirit, and that area would be affordable for people. Indeed, Al Boeke was looking for a place on the California coast to develop a new town, but firstly The Sea Ranch became a second home for the creative intellectuals.

Years later, the community has evolved from a young creative class into a mature society of erudite and affluent people, tired of the hustle and bustle of big cities, whose souls strived for a peaceful lifestyle based on being in the midst of nature. The Sea Ranch boasts many notable citizens such as the Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, well-known psychologist Philip Zimbardo, PhD, professor at Stanford University, and CBS News reporter Barry Petersen.

ACTIVITIES:

ENDLESS HIKES

Walk, walk and again walk. It is a must while you are at the Sea Ranch. This marvelous place offers such a huge variety of hikes that you can find everyday the new hiking trail with a stunning ocean views. At the ranch, you can choose one of six public picturesque trails that lead to the ocean. These trails are maintained by Sonoma County Regional Parks, and in order to find them, you need to get to the parking lots on Hwy 1. Trust me, you’ve never seen such magnificent views of bluffs and coast. Leave your car and go down to the beach, having a picnic on the way or observing the local sea fauna.

THE SEA RANCH CHAPEL – MEDITATION AND SPIRITUAL RETREAT
Once you get to the Sea Ranch, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit tiny but unique Sea Ranch Chapel. Just enter this stunning building and everything around will be flooded with bright golden light that runs through vivid stained-glass windows. Sea Ranch Chapel is a retreat for everyone who’s looking for spiritual renewal. Raise your eyes while praying and you’ll see an exquisite ceiling dotted with seashells. The mosaic of natural stone on the floor is also equal in beauty. The Chapel is usually open to visitors all year round, until the sunset. Still, it may be closed for special events.

Sea Ranch Chapel40033 Hwy 1, 707-785-2444.

SALT POINT STATE PARK

Do you want a lot of likes on Instagram or Facebook? Then this place is a must see! Salt Point State Park is where land and ocean merge in the enchanting union of nature. This 6,000-acre park is full of wildlife, rock pools, kelp-dotted coves, and breathtaking views. This place is worth visiting to see one of the first underwater areas in California, Gerstle Cove Underwater Reserve. The coastal park is located along Highway 1. Here, you really want to capture every step of the way. All you have to do is choose which path to explore, and it will lead you to sculpted wind-carved features or honeycomb-like network of pockets known as tafoni.

GUALALA POINT REGIONAL PARK

One of the must-see spots during your trip to The Sea Ranch, is Gualala. A few miles up the coast in Mendocino County, you’ll find Gualala, home to artists, art exhibitions and events. There’ s also Gualala Point Regional Park, located atop coastal bluffs with breathtaking Pacific Ocean vistas. Taking a walk in the 195-acre park, you’ll enjoy a variety of scenic views along the system of trails. If you are a lover of active lifestyle, we suggest you try kayaking or canoeing on the Gualala River.

One more Gualala attraction is the 15,000-square foot Gualala Arts Center. This center was established among the redwoods thanks to the volunteers’ efforts. Here, you can admire the sculpture garden, visit the gallery, or attend an event.

FORT ROSS STATE HISTORIC PARK

Just a 30-minute drive from the Sea Ranch, you will find a place that, like a time machine, will take you back two hundred years. Fort Ross is a tribute to the history and culture of the first Russian colonizers who, by a happy coincidence, landed in California. If you want to get a truly unique experience, then order online at the www.fortross.org personal tour (this VIP experience costs a ridiculously small amount of money – only $40) and plunge into the depths of history, traditions, and habits of the times when California was still owned by Mexico.

Fort Ross State Historic Park19005 Coast Highway 1, 707-847-3437.

 IT’S A READING TIME

What could be better than reading books? Only reading books with ocean views and the soothing sound of wood crackling in the fireplace. Brew a cup of strong and flavorful coffee, take a chocolate muffin, and go on a fascinating journey with your favorite characters in books. Also, you can borrow different books from the Sea Ranch Library which is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

WHERE TO STAY IN THE SEA RANCH

This is the place for vacation rentals rather than hotel chains. Many homes are available for rent via Airbnb or through the agency Grand Welcome. The majority of the homes offer panoramic ocean views, hot tubs, and access to local amenities, including the community pool.

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Lika Emelyanova

Russian Time Magazine Contributor

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