Sea Ranch has a population of about 750, of which about 300 are permanent residents. Landscaping in The Sea Ranch is regulated by a design manual which prohibits perimeter fences and limits non-indigenous plants to screened courtyards. A herd of sheep is used to keep grass cut low to the ground to reduce the threat of fire during the summer months.
Travel by car, usually west from the 101 but located right on "the 1," one of the United States' most-scenic highways.Private pilots may fly in to The Sea Ranch private airstrip.
By car for side trips, on foot for the immediate area. Bikes are popular for side trips and on nearby trails. Horses also allowed if you are a guest at one of the vacation rentals or are own property. There are stalls for guests horses.
The ocean. The Sea Ranch is a developed community that features a homes (many available as vacation rentals) specially designed to "live lightly on the land" within the ocean bluff, meadows and redwood landscape. The trails are restricted to guests and residents although there is public access to five beaches. The development offers 40 miles of trails system for people, bikes, leashed dogs, and horses along the ocean ridge and in the redwood covered hills above. Private trails includes access to several private beaches accessible by stairways. Access to public beaches by the general public is by specially marked public trails accessible from S. Highway 1. One-eyed Jack's offers a public enclosed playground with bocce ball court, picnic tables and dramatic cypress hedgerow trail to Walk on Beach.
Along the paths, one can see a wide variety of wildflowers, grasses and trees as well as roaming deer, fox, wild turkey, blue herons and other birds. During the rainy season mushroom hunting is popular in the redwoods. There are three marine sanctuaries that include protected seal habitat. A striking ocean landscape can be seen from almost everywhere.
The Sea ranch celebrated it's [50th Birthday]The Sea Ranch 50th Birthday Celebratory Year: An Invitation lasting from 2014-2015 with many activities honoring it's original design and philosophy of "Leaving a small
Drive US 1, watch out for bikes and cows crossing the highway to graze on the other side, and driving off a cliff, but otherwise live the American dream.
Rent a vacation rental or purchase a home in order to gain access to the more than 40 miles of hiking and biking trails on the Sea Ranch grounds. As a guest you have access to any of the three recreation centers each with their own swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, and dressing area. There is also a children's park, One-eyed Jacks with an enclosed play area, picnic tables and bocce ball court
Explore the public beaches. Watch wildlife.
Visit the nearby state parks and reserves to the north and south and explore the towns of Gualala and Anchor Bay.
Golf the Sea Ranch Golf Links to the north of the development (open to the public). Have a meal at the Sea Ranch Lodge's Black Point Grill, or a sandwich made from Two Fish Bakery's freshly baked bread, followed by one of their wonderful cookies. Shopping is limited to the Lodge's boutique, the Club house at the Golf Links. There is a hardware store, Sea Ranch Supply.
Have a massage either at the Sea Ranch Lodge or Birdsong Clinic located at 35590 Verdant View Drive in Sea Ranch, CA.
The Sea Ranch Lodge restaurant offers a friendly bar (with a happy hour with a good selection of wines by the glass) and a fireplace room to which one can repair with drink on a blustery day. The restaurant's menu leans to local ingredients prepared in a fairly-formal style. Evening diners have a view of the setting sun over the undeveloped grounds and bluff.
This is not the heart of wine country but local labels can be found from the grocery story to the fine restaurant.
Many of the houses and condos in the Sea Ranch development may be rented. The architecture and the development ranges from those basic properties developed early (often very private with fully-developed landscapes) to newer properties with actual lawns. Nearby communities offer small motels, inns and there is quite a bit of camping at parks and private campsites.
The primary danger in this area seems to be hitting a deer with one's car or being run over by a car if on foot or bike. Also, be careful if near the ocean or on a ridge top. "Don't turn your back on the ocean" is the motto of all familiar with how the swell of waves can sneak up without warning and wash you out to sea. Although walking backwards can be dangerous too.
Sea Ranch avoids pollution of any kind conforming to their motto of "Living lightly on the land." This includes light and sound pollution. There is not a single street light in all of Sea Ranch and all yard lights of the homes in Sea Ranch are pointed downward to the ground. While this makes for excellent stargazing at night, it also makes it difficult to see the path ahead of you requiring a need to have a flashlight ready. If your outdoor gathering becomes too loud, or you have a pet that barks insistently, you are assured of a visit by the security guard who has the authority to have you removed from the area.
Sea Ranch sits on the San Andreas Fault and has had a few minor earthquakes.
California has suffered the worse drought on record. Without the rain the grasses and trees have become very dry. For that reason open fires are prohibited and you are cautioned about inadvertently causing a fire.
When there is a rain storm the power frequently goes out. Here again your flashlights become critical. Most businesses have back up generators, however only a few homes have them.
The nearby towns to the north of Gualala and Anchor Bay offer galleries and restaurants to explore. Two grocery stores in Gualala and a little organic shop in Anchor Bay can supply basics or carryout for picnics. "Barbequed oysters" are advertised up the north coast. As explained at Bones along US 1 in Gualala (a "biker friendly" bar that turned out to be just friendly) this means "cooked on a grill" and served with a vinegar dipping sauce. They are also generally very, very fresh.