The Sea Ranch
is a community that
aspires to "live lightly on the land."
The Sea Ranch is located about three hours driving time north of the Golden Gate Bridge in the northwestern corner of Sonoma County. It is a community of full and part time residents who share an interest in nature and who attempt to "live lightly on the land." Several thousand private homes are situated along ten miles of the California coast with fully half of the land area being devoted to commons. Fences are discouraged and a serious effort is made to have the architecure blend into the natural setting. All Sea Ranch roads, most facilities, and most trails are private, for use only by owners, renters, and their guests, but visitors who rent our vacation homes in the Sea Ranch are considered to be guests of the home owner and, as such, are permitted to use the private facilities and trails of The Sea Ranch.
The main commercial facilites that support the community are located just to the north, across the county line and the Gualala River, in the town of Gualala. A very small commercial area is located in The Sea Ranch proper, just off of Annapolis Road, with a few offices, a hardware store, and an excellent bakery that serves coffee to go with their delicious culinary creations. There is also an austere private airfield located in The Sea Ranch and an eighteen hole championship golf course, open to the public, which was designed by Robert Muir Graves. It is a Scottish style links course and is considered to be one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the country. There are about seventy five miles of foot trails within The Sea Ranch accessing the entire community from the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the redwood forest on the ridge that runs along the eastern edge of the community. There are also three recreation centers within The Sea Ranch with dressing facilities, saunas, tennis courts, swiming pools and even a half basketball court. A small children's playground with swings and slides is centrally located within the community. A private non-denominational chapel just off of Highway One, in the heart of The Sea Ranch, is open to the public and can be rented for small wedding services. The Sea Ranch Lodge is a private lodging venture located at the southern end of the community. It has an excellent, highly rated, restaurant with superb ocean views. Unbeaten Path Hiking Tours offers guided hikes in The Sea Ranch and in the general area.
A wide variety of wildlife lives alongside the human component of the community. Whales pass by on two annual migrations that take the huge animals from the ice flows of the Arctic to the warm waters of Baja California. There are several excellent spots along the coast from which it is possible to occasionally see flutes, tails, backs, and heads, and more frequently to see their blow spouts. (A number of our vacation homes are equipped with telescopes that permit our guests to watch the show from a comfortable chair.) The seal population appears to be increasing and several of our beaches are used as nurseries for new-born pups while their mothers go out to sea to hunt. Our deer tolerate the human presence, but understand that they were here first. You will see them virtually everywhere. Small animals include racoons, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, and very rarely a bobcat or a coyote. The forest to the east is known to have mountain lions and very, very rarely they are seen along the eastern edge of the community. And then there are the birds. The Sea Ranch is located directly under one of the great flyways of the world and tens of thousands of birds travel through each year. Our full time resident feathered friends include a plethora of peeps as well as an impressive selection of raptors, and a spectacular variety of sea birds. The sea stacks just offshore are a natural preserve protecting the nesting grounds for innumerable sea birds. And don't forget the squishy animals in our tide pools! Part of the waters offshore are designated to be a Marine Preserve protecting the resources of the sea close to the coast.