The Sea Ranch and Gualala share several school districts: Horicon School District in Sonoma County (K-8) and Point Arena Joint Union High School District in Mendocino County. Point Arena High School was named a California Distinguished School in 2006. Gualala students could also attend the excellent schools in Arena Union Elementary School District or Point Arena School District, depending on where they live. There are also several Charter schools in Gualala. Mendocino College and College of the Redwoods are in Mendocino County and Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College are in Sonoma County, all within easy reach of Gualala or The Sea Ranch residents.
Economy and Job Market
The economy in The Sea Ranch and Gualala is robust, based mainly on tourism. The job market in The Sea Ranch is limited but there are opportunities in Gualala in lodging, retail, food service, medical services and government.
Attractions and Points of Interest
The coastline and spectacular views are among the main reasons people make their homes at The Sea Ranch and Gualala. Whale and sea lion watching are popular activities, and there plenty of other fauna in the area, including deer, quail, doves, wild turkeys and the occasional mountain lion and bear. Sheep are used to keep the open land in The Sea Ranch from becoming a wildfire hazard. Residents and visitors enjoy keeping tabs on the herd.
There are dozens of varieties of native wildflowers and plants in The Sea Ranch and Gualala. Some types are found only in the unique environment known as the “Banana Belt.” The Banana Belt is a five-mile fogless micro-climate encompassing Gualala and northward to Anchor Bay. The wind does not blow on-shore in the Banana Belt, creating a sunny coastal climate adjacent to damp and dripping foggy areas. Very recently, the federal government acquired 1,660 acres of the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands that was added to the California Coastal National Monument.
Hiking the open land and beachcombing add to the relaxed pace of life in these communities. The Gualala Farmer's Market runs from May to October and features local produce, flowers, preserves and handicrafts. Local events include Art in the Redwoods Festival at the Gualala Arts Center, an annual Studio Discovery Tour that includes dozens of art studios, and the International Architectural Tour, Wine Tasting and Auction. The Sea Ranch Thespians perform in a barn built in 1880. The barn is a centerpiece of The Sea Ranch community and is on the National Register of Historic Places, as are some of the original homes built in The Sea Ranch.
Parks and Recreation
There is plenty of recreation for residents of The Sea Ranch and Gualala. Fishing, hiking, bicycling, kayaking, camping and golf ensure that there is something for everyone. The Sea Ranch Golf Links present a thrilling challenge akin to playing a round on the links in Scotland. Freshwater fishing in the Gualala River and saltwater fishing in the ocean are both exciting and rewarding. Hiking and horseback riding trails crisscross the bluffs, meadows, forests and shoreline. Bicyclers enjoy the views from Highway One while peddling up and gliding down the rolling hills. Divers find abalone along the rocky shore, and crab traps can be set from Point Arena pier.
Gualala Point Regional Park sits between The Sea Ranch and Gualala. The park, maintained by the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department, covers nearly 200 acres and includes a campground, trails, visitor's center, coastal vistas and beach access.
The Sea Ranch has an equestrian center with paddocks, stalls, a riding ring and grazing fields. The community also has three recreation centers. They include saunas, a basketball court, a volleyball court, tennis courts, 25-meter pool and changing rooms. There are two picnic areas in The Sea Ranch: One-Eyed Jacks has a playground and trail to the beach in addition to the picnic area with barbeques and The Hot Spot is in a redwood forest with a barbeque picnic area, trails and a river beach.
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