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The Southern Mendocino Coast is not only dramatically beautiful and relaxing but it has a variety of activities from surfing to wine tasting, so if you like to go out or stay in, it's all right here! The following is a list of places and activities we think you might enjoy.
BEACHES AND HIKES
Anchor Bay Beach: This is the gorgeous 1/2 mile long white sand cove beach that you have walk-in access to from the Tree House. It is one of the most beautiful beaches north of San Francisco. Perfect for a romantic stroll, picnic, tidepooling, boogie boarding, kayaking, fishing, diving or just hanging out. At certain times of year you may see whales going by and you can almost always spot a seal or two frolicking in the surf as their home is just offshore on the rocks. Inflatable boats and kayaks are easily launched from the beach.
Schooner Gulch: (10 minutes north of the Tree House) You have two choices when you park at Schooner Gulch entrance, you can walk down the south trail and come out on a nice little sandy cove beach or take the northern trail and find yourself on Bowling Ball Beach, named for it's unusually shaped rocks. It's best to go at low tide so you can see why the beach was named Bowling Ball. If you're into shell collecting and tidepooling this is the place.
Gualala Point Park: (Just south of the Gualala River Bridge) This mile long beach is where the Gualala River meets the Ocean. The park has many trails with great opportunities for watching whales, wildlife and thundering surf. If you're into a longer hike, take advantage of the access the park provides to the Sea Ranch bluff trails, you can walk for miles.
Salt Point Park: (25 minutes south of the Tree House) This state park offers a variety of things to do. For the serious hiker there are miles of nature trails, there are also beaches, tidepooling and great spots to picnic, plus the Kruse Ranch Rhododendron reserve.
Point Arena Lighthouse: (15 minutes north of the Tree House) This is a must, especially on a clear day. Climb the stairs to the top of the lighthouse to view breathtaking scenery from every direction. The BLM has recently opened miles of trails for hiking along the bluff top in this area. For hours call (707)822-2777.
Surfing: Our coast can be fickle for surfing. Winter is rough and unforgiving, best left to the experts. In summer and early fall the ocean settles down and can be more user friendly for all. Gualala River: Take a nice float down the river, pull over for a picnic or just rest in the sun on one of the big sand bars along the way. The weather can be 10-20 degrees warmer upriver than down by the ocean. Call Adventure Rents to rent kayaks or canoes. (707)884-4386 They will drive you up to the drop in point. It's a great way to spend the day.
Diving: This is a world class diving location. When conditions are right you can experience one of the richest marine environments on Earth. Jay Baker's Hardware has all of the equipment you need to rent, call (707)884-3534. Anchor Bay Beach is a perfect spot for launching kayaks and inflatables.
Fishing: The fishing in our area is some of the best in the state. Bottom fishing and salmon can be found close to shore. Fish for free from the rocks or the Point Arena Pier. For access to an extensive charter fleet just drive north to Noyo Harbor.
Birdwatching: The coast is a paradise for birdwatchers. Not only do we have the usual coastal birds; pelicans, egrets, hawks and so on, an albatross has been making the trek to Pt. Arena Cove every year for the last 7 years. It's worth a trip just to check him out! Don't forget your binoculars!
Horseback Riding: The Ross Ranch is located 25 minutes north of the Tree House and offers trail rides through the coastal mountains of Elk or beautiful beach rides along Manchester Beach. To schedule a ride, call (707)877-1834.
Golf: The Sea Ranch Golf Course is a world famous links style course. It has amazing ocean views and is reasonably priced for a privately owned course. The course is rated 72.3 by the NCGA. For tee times and prices call (707)785-2468.
Gym: The Physical Gym located in Gualala's Cypress Village will fill your need if you want to keep up with your workout routine. Enjoy your workout in a friendly, clean environment with an ocean view. Call (707)884-1555 for more information. Open daily.
Massages: What about experiencing pure decadence while you're here? Have a masseuse come to the Tree House and give you a massage. We recommend Gordon Smith (707)884-9210 or Sarah McDonough (707)886-1940.
Movies: Located in Pt. Arena, just 15 minutes north of the Tree House, the Arena Cinema is a charming historical theater lovingly restored by the local community. Check out a first run movie or live show and concession prices that won't empty your wallet. Call (707)882-3456 for show times.
Arts: There are several galleries in Gualala and Pt. Arena to explore. The Gualala Arts Center holds special art exhibits and live shows throughout the year. The local newspaper, the Independent Coast Observer (ICO) has concert, recital, and gallery openings listed in the paper weekly. For more information call (707)884-1138.
Mendocino: 1 hour north of the Tree House. Mendocino is a New England style village featuring Victorian style homes, amazing galleries, unusual shops and delicious restaurants. There are beautiful state parks and beaches to check out along the way. Many films and the TV show "Murder She Wrote" were shot in Mendocino because of its charm and beauty.
Ft.Bragg: Just 15 minutes further north of Mendocino. The best thing to do in Ft. Bragg is get on the Skunk Train for a full or half day train trip through the redwoods. The full day trip takes you to Willits and back while the half day trip takes you 21 miles along the Noyo River to a little place called North Spur. During the winter months the train is only running the half day trip. For reservations and more information call (707)964-6371.
Ft.Ross: 1/2 hour south of the Tree House. Fort Ross is the last Russian settlement in the United States. Situated on the cliff edge the fort is beautifully restored and includes an interpretive center, picnic area and guides. Call (707)847-3286.
Annapolis Winery: 20 minutes south of the Tree House. Enjoy some great wine tasting in an intimate setting. The Annapolis Winery is family owned and operated. You can enjoy a picnic on their lovely grounds or have the perfect wedding. Call (707)886-5460 for hours.
Anderson Valley: 1 1/2 hours northeast of the Tree House. The Anderson Valley, which includes the town of Boonville, plays host to some incredible wineries and breweries. Enjoy a day of tasting along the Navarro River and experience the quaintness of Boonville while you're there.
RESTAURANTS Dinner reservations are highly recommended for weekends and holidays.
****St. Orres: Unbeatable ambience, features wild game and seafood. Expensive. (707)884-3335
***Top of the Cliff: Great ocean view with full bar. Features fresh seafood and steak. Expensive. (707)884-1041
***Trinks: Small but tasty. Serves dinner Mon., Wed. and Fri.. Locals favorite hole in the wall. (707)884-1713
**Bones Roadhouse: Smokehouse flavor. Features meat and meat. Moderate. (707)884-1188
**Cove Azul: Casual, friendly atmosphere. Features burgers, seafood and sandwiches. Moderate. (707)884-1835
**Laura's Taqueria and Bakery: Features mexican entrees and baked good. Very affordable. (707)884-3175
**Sea Sprite: Within walking distance from the Tree House. Casual, friendly atmosphere with good food. Features fresh seafood, burgers and a salad bar. Affordable to moderate. (707)884-1639
**Mariachi's: Within walking distance from the Tree House. Mexican cuisine. Affordable. (707)884-1735
****Anchor Bay Store: Within walking distance from the Tree House. Gourmet and organic foods plus Wine World for an unbelievable selection of wines. Pick up a picnic lunch on your way down to the beach.
***Pizzas and Cream: At the pier in Pt. Arena, the original. Great ocean view with patio. Features outstanding gourmet pizza, salads and ice cream. Moderate. (707)882-1900 www.pizzasandcream.com
***Phoenix: Main Street. Features delicious Italian comfort food. Affordable to moderate. (707)882-1619
***Frannie's Cup and Saucer: Main Street. Specializing in delicious baked goods.
Breakfast and Lunch
-Sea Sprite -Laura's Taqueria and Bakery -Cafe LaLa (Cypress Village-Gualala) -Trink's (Sea Cliff Mall- Gualala) Specializing in coffee drinks, great breakfast entrees and lunch, finish with amazing baked goods. -Blue Canoe (Anchor Bay) Specializing in coffee drinks, teas and snacks.