Note To Self # 1 | Staycation Idea - Point Arena

Saturday, March 16, 2019



This small town on the rugged Mendocino Coast is a three-hour drive from San Francisco and offers dazzling scenery, an opportunity to cavort with African wildlife and a chance to climb 144 steps to the top of a 1908 lighthouse. 

Point Arena was little-known until 2014 when President Obama designated 1,600 acres along a two-mile stretch of pristine coastline a national monument. The Point Arena Stornetta Unit is the only land-based section of the California Coast National Monument and and a hike takes you through clifftop meadows of grasses and wildflowers and views of sea stacks, arches and bays. Don't miss Bowling Ball Beach with unusual balls of mudstone piled up.  

Things to do: To the north of the Stornetta Unit, you can climb to the top of the 1908 Point Arena Lighthouse, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Manchester Beach and the stunning Mendocino Coast. At the top, a tour guide talks about the history The original lighthouse was constructed in 1870 and destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. The one that stands today was built in 1908. It stands 115 feet tall, and features a First Order Fresnel Lens, over six feet in diameter and weighing more than six tons, now housed in the station's fog signal building, which also contains a museum and gift shop.
 Things to do: At B Bryan Preserve, you can mingle with rare and exotic African animals, including zebra, antelope and the rare Rothschild's giraffes the tallest of the giraffe species. One-hour tours are held at 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. and cost $35 for adults and $25 for children. The preserve also has cottages where you can stay overnight with a two-night minimum; prices range from $185 to $235.
 Where to eat: In Point Arena's small but sweet commercial strip you'll find Franny's Cup & Saucer with baked goods so delicious, some would say it's worth coming to Point Arena just for the huckleberry Danish, or the gingersnap cookie, or the butterscotch pudding. For a hearty meal, try the Bird Cafe & Supper Club where a $42 four-course dinner might include a choice of grilled flat-iron steak served with local greens or a steelhead trout with salsa verde. 

Where to stay: At Mar Vista Cottages at Anchor Bay in nearby Gualala, stay in one of the 12 renovated cabins, where just-laid eggs are delivered to your door each morning, courtesy of the chickens roaming the grounds. You're also free to help yourself to anything growing in the organic gardens and orchards. Cottages from $195 a night.
Full credit of above texts and information goes to Amy Graff,  San Francisco Chronicle. This post is for my personal reference only. 
*Note To Self series is my way of keeping notes of places I want to see,  food I want to cook and words of wisdom that I want to remember.

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