Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Sea Ranch, CA

  • Published 2022/09/02

Sea Ranch, located in Sonoma County, California, is known for its ocean panoramas, beautiful beaches, and seamless environment.

In the 1800s, the Pomos—the indigenous people of California—were the first to live in Sea Ranch, and to be able to survive, they would gather kelp and shellfish from the ocean.

Now, Sea Ranch is an excellent place for business, especially those related to its beautiful beaches.

The town, spanning about 16,000 square miles, also has plenty of unique timber-framed structures, one of which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Its development has captured more tourists’ attention through the years, making them want to explore the tiny town on the Pacific Ocean coastline.

Here are the best things to do in Sea Ranch, California:

Take a Moment of Silence at the Sea Ranch Chapel

Unique architecture of Sea Ranch Chapel

Tangent Imagez /

The Sea Ranch Chapel was a gift of two Sea Ranch citizens, Robert and Betty Buffum, in December 1985 in dedication to the late Kirk Ditzler, a navy pilot, a zoologist, and an artist.

Its construction took nine months to complete.

The chapel’s interior is undeniably beautiful with its artistic creation, redwood chairs, carved posts, flowery ceilings, and more.

Stained glass window at Sea Ranch Chapel

Tangent Imagez /

It was created by sculptor and carpenter Bruce Johnson, who aimed to give a likeness of the natural world.

Animals also wander around the surroundings of the Sea Ranch Chapel, so don’t be surprised if you are greeted by a deer, rabbit, or squirrel throughout your time at the chapel.

As it’s open 365 days a year, you can take a moment to yourself at the Sea Ranch Chapel.

Interior view of Sea Ranch Chapel

Tangent Imagez /

Enjoy the View at the Coastal Bluff

Located on Highway 1, the Coastal Bluff offers plenty of water activities such as diving, fishing, and boating.

There’s also a hiking trail that takes about two hours to complete.

You can also view wildlife or take a moment to appreciate the rugged coastline and sandstone formations.

However, note that campfires, RVs, and trailers aren’t allowed on-site.

Visit the Coastal Bluff, feel lost in nature, and enjoy the epic views.

Have Fun at the Del Mar Recreation Center

The Del Mar Recreation Center is among the few recreational areas in Sea Ranch that offers outdoor venues for different activities.

It’s the only center open for recreational swimming the whole year.

Visitors can engage in other sports like tennis or relax in their wet and dry saunas.

The center also offers lap swimming in its 40 feet by 82 feet outdoor pool.

You can find the Del Mar Recreation Center on Leeward Road.

Unwind at Walk-On Beach

Walk-On Beach is a public beach in Sea Ranch.

The beach has two coves worth checking out: the Northern Cove and the Southern Cove.

The trail to the Coastal Bluff or the Bluff Top also starts at Walk-On Beach.

Put yourself in a good mood and visit this beach, which offers a relaxing break from everyday life.

Walking in Walk-On Beach and its trail will allow you to have a deeper connection with yourself and reconnect you to the environment and the people.

Harvest Fruits and Vegetables at Posh Squash Garden

Considered Sea Ranch’s community garden, Posh Squash Garden opened in 1975 and is the oldest garden in the United States to still be farmed.

The community garden aims to be an eye opener and an environmentally sensitive garden.

With that goal, about a hundred members of Posh Squash Garden devote three hours of their time a week to maintaining it.

Lettuce, pea shoots, Swiss chard, tomatoes, and more are available in the garden.

Allow Posh Squash Garden to get your hands dirty with the work it has for you.

Swim at Stengel Beach

A Northern Sonoma County public beach, Stengel Beach gives a peaceful and dramatic vibe.

It’s among the beaches in the stretch of coastline in Sea Ranch.

Going to the beach, you’ll first have to go through a short access trail surrounded by cypress trees.

There’s also a wooden staircase going to the beach.

Stengel Beach is a small cove located on Highway 1, enclosed with rocky buffs.

Take a Vacation at Sea Ranch Abalone Bay

Courtyard at Sea Ranch Abalone Bay

TSRAbaloneBay, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sea Ranch Abalone Bay, located on Green Cove Drive, is a vacation rental home with an exceptional oceanfront view.

The vacation home has three bedrooms, two baths, a game room, complete furniture, Wi-Fi, and more.

Sea Ranch Abalone Bay is pet-friendly, with special amenities just for your dogs like a dog gate between the kitchen and dining room, a dog bed, dog towels, dog tags, and more.

View from Sea Ranch Abalone Bay

AbaloneBay, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s been almost a decade since the first time the Sea Ranch Abalone Bay owners offered their home for rentals in 2013.

Donna Martinez, one of the owners of Sea Ranch Abalone Bay, became Sonoma County Certified Tourism Ambassador in 2018, and in 2020, she became an Accredited Hospitality Professional.

Take Time Off at The Sea Ranch Lodge

The Sea Ranch Lodge is an iconic 53-acre property on Sea Walk Drive.

It’s one of the oldest buildings in Sea Ranch.

You’ll also satisfy your cravings in the lodge’s diner as they serve a variety of food choices with locally sourced and high-quality ingredients.

The pricing is fair as well.

The Sea Ranch Lodge also accommodates events such as conferences, lectures, wellness programs, and special occasions like weddings, rehearsal dinners, and family celebrations.

Play Golf at the Sea Ranch Golf Links

A privately owned property on Highway 1, the Sea Ranch Golf Link is one of California’s most regarded golf courses.

As it’s just an hour away from the northern part of Bodega Bay and the southern part of Mendocino, you can play golf in a windy, sandy, and wide-open environment by the sea.

In 1974, the first nine holes of the golf course were completed and became an exciting destination for golfers.

You can also take lessons at the Sea Ranch Golf Links with golf teacher Shelley Connolly, who has over 30 years of experience.

The Sea Ranch Golf Links also has a cafe open daily for guests.

Book a Staycation at The Ranch House at Sea Ranch

A cabin constructed in the 1970s, The Ranch House at Sea Ranch is a forest retreat with modern amenities.

As it’s located in the middle of a forested area, you’ll have a fantastic view from the window.

The Sea Ranch House is well-loved for its stylish design, boasting recognitions such as the AIA Award and the TSRA Design Award.

The cabin has also been featured in several magazines.

Guests are encouraged to make the most of their stay in The Sea Ranch House by exploring the recreational activities available in the area.

Find Your Inner Peace at Unbeaten Path Tours and Yoga

Unbeaten Path Tours and Yoga believes in interconnection and symbiosis.

With this, they offer a privately guided yoga experience that will let you connect with nature and find your balance.

This wellness experience is perfect for travelers of all ages.

While they take place outdoors, sessions are still private, promising guests their much-needed comfort.

The Unbeaten Path Tours and Yoga will provide you with a meaningful Sea Ranch encounter.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit Fort Ross State Historic Park

Entryway to Fort Ross State Historical Park

Ovidiu Hrubaru /

Established in 1909, the 3,400-acre Fort Ross Historic Park is one of the most popular attractions in Sonoma County.

It’s located in Jenner, 30 minutes from Sea Ranch.

Listed on the National Historic Landmarks and National Register of Historic Places, the park showcases the historic Russian-era compound in California.

Cannons in front of the wooden architecture of Fort Ross State Historical Park

Zack Frank /

Generally, Fort Ross was a settlement resulting from the Russian colonization of America.

Its name, “Ross,” was derived from the word “Russian,” since the Russian-American Company founded the property in the early 1800s.

Riffle kept for display at Fort Ross State Historical Park

Gerald Peplow /

Fort Ross Historic Park has the most picturesque coastal paths in the world and is also near lovely beaches and sequoia forests.

Check-in at Timber Cove Resort

Food at Timber Cove Resort

Shawn’s Lenz /

Timber Cove Resort is also located on North Coast Highway 1 in Jenner, just 30 minutes from Sea Ranch.

This one-of-a-kind hotel is famous for its breathtaking view of the Sonoma coastline.

Guests will immediately find comfort upon entering the resort as it gives a warm, homey feel with its redwood style and midcentury accents.

The hotel opened in the 1960s and, through some renovations, bestowed new comfortable amenities to the guests.

Although renovated, Timber Cove Resort has maintained its 1960s iconic architecture and authenticity.

Today, the resort stands out as it gives a rustic modern experience to guests.

Take Photos at Bufano’s Peace Obelisk

Bufano’s Peace Obelisk is a 93-feet monument found in Timber Cove Resort in Jenner.

It was created by a famous San Francisco artist and sculptor, Beniamino Bufano.

Benny Bufano was born in the late 1800s in Italy and studied Arts in New York later in his life.

The famous landmark was first named “The Expanding Universe,” mainly because it symbolizes exquisiteness, life, and peacefulness.

It was also known as the “Madonna of Peace.”

Today, the famous monument is still a popular attraction to tourists, including the well-known photographer Ansel Adams, who always returns to Bufano’s Peace Obelisk.

Camp at Gualala River Redwood Park

Only five to 10 minutes from Sea Ranch, Gualala River Redwood Park is located on Gualala Road in Gualala.

There are plenty of things to do in Gualala River Redwood Park, including camping.

The park has over 120 campsites with river views, electricity, and water.

It is perfect for families and has a picnic area, a children’s playground with a ping-pong table, and more.

There’s also a convenience store within the campsite area for those needing RV supplies and other necessities like firewood and ice.

At Gualala River Redwood Park, you can take advantage of the natural surroundings and breathe in the fresh air and go stargazing at night.

Buy Pastries at Twofish Baking

Twofish Baking is a delicious destination in Stewarts Point, less than 10 minutes from Sea Ranch.

They serve breakfast, sandwiches, soups, calzones, pizzas, bread, and salads.

Perfect for coffee lovers, the bakery serves coffee and espresso drinks in addition to tasty and healthy food.

As unusual as it may be for a pastry shop, Twofish Baking also offers wine and beers to go.

Final Thoughts

You’ll surely enjoy exploring the breathtaking beaches, rustic coastlines, relaxing recreation areas, and beautiful attractions Sea Ranch has to offer.

You can rent a vacation home, relax, play sports, watch amazing sunsets, walk at the beach, and more.

Explore this charming community and enjoy all the best things to do in Sea Ranch, California!

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