Northern California February 20, 2017
There’s A Tiny Town In Northern California Completely Surrounded By Breathtaking Natural Beauty
Tucked away on the Northern California coastline where a freshwater river meets the sea is this stunning, one of kind destination town that will blow you away with its beauty. Gualala is surrounded by mountains, forests, beaches and water, and without the crazier crowds many Northern California destinations see, it’s a nature lover’s paradise.
Your quintessential beach town, Gualala relies primarily on tourism but still manages to maintain it' sleepy, relaxed character.
It shares its name with the Gualala River that runs through the area. It is a 40 mile stretch of freshwater that is fed by the land in both Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.
If you visit in the summer, it's pretty much guaranteed you will want to jump in for a quick dip.
The unique coastal and forested climate here is really something else. It's the meeting of two unlikely landscapes that makes Northern California such an adventurer's playground.
The local flora and fauna are incredibly enjoyable, as well. Down by the ocean, you will see and hear seagulls and can explore the coast for starfish and other marine life.
Up in the forest, the rain forest climate bodes well for all living and growing things. These vibrantly green ferns, for example, thrive in this climate.
The town boasts incredible gardens and it's not surprising to see flowers blooming all year round.
Gualala itself is an unincorporated part of Mendocino, just near the border of Sonoma County. It's just to the north of Sea Ranch and south of Point Arena.
It's a small, close knit community full of people who choose to live here for the views and opportunities to get outside and enjoy the area. It was once a logging town, and before that was inhabited by the Pomo Native Americans. They pronounce the name of the area, Wah-la-la.
It was once a remote logging town, and before that was inhabited by the Pomo Native Americans. The name the originally gave to the area was "ah kha wa la lee," meaning "coming down water place."
The area became a tourist destination around 1861, when people started escaping city life here and came to hunt and fish and get away from the crowded cities. By the end of the 1800s, Gualala had become a major commercial hub for the entire area.
The community, small though it is, has a lot of character. These metal dinosaurs greet visitors who come to the local nursery shop.
They may look threatening, but really they are just beckoning visitors over to say hello and enjoy the flowers!
Regardless of if you visit and prefer the beach, the forests, or the town, you will be completely surrounded by beauty at all times.
Even the rustic coastal architecture has a distinctive character that you will quickly fall in love with.
Don't expect the ostentatious resort style accommodations, here, however. The best places to stay are simple and have been that way for years. You wouldn't want to spend your time here inside, anyway! Many visitors choose to rent houses overlooking the ocean.
This amazing place is located on State Route one and is well worth a stop if you are passing through on your way up the coast. It's also the ideal vacation destination in its own right, however, and best enjoyed if you can spend at least a few days exploring the scenery.
Have you been in Gualala? What are your favorite things about this one of kind little coastal community?