Updated: Oct 16, 2018
These seaside villages along the Pacific Coast offer serene views, romantic sunsets, fantastic food, beautiful wildlife, comfort and fun. Our journey began at scenic Goat Rock State Beach. This beach is both sandy and rocky, with lots of large unusual rock formations. The Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean along this awesome stretch of beach. We snapped a few pictures then set out in search of food. We did not have to look far. While driving out of the beach parking lot, we noticed a small wooden sign on the highway that read, “Restaurant ½ mile”. We were headed in the right direction and hoped for the best.
The restaurant was named the ‘Russian House #1’, and boasted a supreme view of the Russian River. This was truly a pleasant find, and a Russian infused “cultural dialog experience”, as described on the place-mat.
Upon entering the restaurant we were greeted by our host for the day, a very nice restaurant neighbor named Bruce. He politely explained the restaurant’s unique dining concept and vision:
No set dining prices
Buffet Style Family Dining
Healthy entrees from locally procured produce
A daily changing menu
Entertainment, puzzles and events
Russian recipes have been recreated the way the three owners remembered from their youth.
Bowling Ball Beach
This beach has an amazing phenomenon that has only been reported in a few locations worldwide. Dozens of round boulders line the beach shore. These boulders appear to have rolled off nearby cliffs. The round stones are called concretions (1) that resulted from weathered cliffs and the precipitation of minerals. What a sight to see! That’s if you can find the location. Getting to the beach is an adventure because there are no signs to point you in the right direction. If you manage to find the right path, you will have a steep descent down a set of somewhat unfriendly stairs, and a trek across several large rocks,
While combing the beach I collected several holey stones (2) (aka hag stones).
I found a stone that slightly resembled a petoskey stone (3) which contained a pattern that was only evident while wet.
We like to lodge at Ocean Cove Lodge where we always feel comfy, cozy and well fed. The Lodge has a spectacular ocean view. Continental breakfast is provided in the morning and the onsite restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. We have even spotted whales from the motel observation deck and restaurant bar. The establishment owner, Tim, always manages to impress us with his hospitality. He remembers our names, and accurately recounts the number of our previous visits without referencing any material.
I wanted to see someplace that we had never visited before. Bubby researched the area and found something majestic. ‘The Sea Ranch Chapel,’ Non-Denominational Chapel. We had driven by the Sea Ranch Chapel multiple times on previous trips and assumed that it was private. We always thought that it was a unique structure which literally looked as if it belonged in a fairy tale. All of the building materials were from local sources), including the sea shells.
Point Arena Lighthouse is a fully functioning lighthouse and it’s complete with an interactive museum. The sunsets are very romantic, and the night sky is always picturesque. There are also lodging options available onsite. In the event we are unable to secure reservations at Ocean Cove we will give one of their cottages a try.
The next time you plan a visit to the west coast, be sure to visit these locations. If your timing is right, you may even catch a glimpse of the Gray Whales during their annual migration from November through May.