If you’ve never heard of the Sea Ranch in California, you’re in for a treat. This is perhaps Sonoma County’s best kept secret. The small town – population just 1,305 – is perched on a beautiful stretch of rugged coastline overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The private, environmentally planned community sits along California’s famous highway, so getting there is definitely half the fun. Speaking of which, Sea Ranch is about a 2.5 hour drive from San Francisco, nestled among California’s legendary redwoods.
Sea Ranch is secluded, exclusive and offers an extremely relaxing getaway. It’s a perfect landing spot after a day of wine tasting in the lush vineyards of Northern California. If that’s not your speed, Sea Ranch is also home to great public access trails for hiking and biking and the 195-acre Gualala Point Regional Park.
It is estimated that up to half of Sea Ranch properties are actually vacation rentals. We have traveled Vrbo lists and cross-referenced them with customer reviews to find our favorites for you. But a word of warning: if you rent one of these vacation homes, you might want to stay there all day. And we wouldn’t blame you at all. Here are our top beach rentals in Sea Ranch, CA.
Standing Wave Cottage
$310.00/avg per night
The owners call this beautiful cozy chalet “Standing wave.” We can see why. Imagine waking up and enjoying a cup of coffee on this terrace – it’s as if you could reach out and touch the ocean!
Just FYI, this guest house is on the owners private property, but it is separated from the main house by a large meadow and hills. The cabin sits on one of Sea Ranch’s largest beachfront lots, so if picturesque views are your thing, you really can’t go wrong staying here.
Bathrooms : 1
Elegant house with ocean view
$395.00/avg per night
Enjoy the sun in this bright house, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This 1,700 square foot property features hardwood floors, sophisticated design, vaulted ceilings, huge windows and a fireplace. Fancy grilling your dinner or taking a dip in the hot tub? Good news – you can do both while you’re here.
With over 150 reviews and a rating of 4.9, we are clearly not the only ones dreaming of a visit. Guests have praised the “serene” nature of the property and its beautiful surroundings.
Bathrooms : 2
True ultra-romantic Ocean Bluff home
$498.00/avg per night
According to the listing, “WOW” is the first thing customers typically say when they enter. this house. And we believe it. Nestled in a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this place is definitely a must-see.
The main living area offers a magnificent panoramic view of the sea. Imagine having a glass of wine on the huge outdoor terrace – you can practically smell the sea salt in the air. The owners say this is the site for when “only the best will do”. They may be right.
Bathrooms : 2
Quintessential Sea Ranch Home, featured in Coastal Living
$495.00/avg per night
This house has already won numerous accolades – having been featured in coastal life, Californian home and design, and Beautiful residential construction magazines.
But seeing is believing, and this list has made us believers. The owners describe this home as “the perfect blend of serenity and adventure,” which sums up the Sea Ranch lifestyle to a T.
This open concept home is full of natural materials and thoughtful details. The owners really have thought of everything, including high-end furnishings like Tufenkian Tibetan rugs and original local artwork and photography.
And of course, there are those gorgeous ocean views. This one is definitely a stunner, and we can see why it’s already got so much love.
Bathrooms : 2
Japanese Inspired Redwood Retreat
$258.00/avg per night
How’s that for something off the beaten path? This cozy studio is nestled in the middle of a grove of coast redwoods. And when we say “cosy”, we mean it. This space is only 384 square feet, but its owners have made good use of it.
But what strikes the most is the Japanese-inspired decoration of the studio. And the “decor” is almost like an understatement here: you’ll feel like you’ve entered a whole other place – starting with the traditional tatami flooring as you enter and the delicate rice paper privacy screens at inside.
One can totally imagine enjoying a cup of green tea while savoring the lush landscape that surrounds the studio. This place is really something special. And although it is small in size, it makes a huge impression on the guests.
Bathrooms : 1
$648.00/avg per night
The owners of this property to call Moonlightlisten), French for “moonlight”. The name makes sense, because this place is very beautiful. According to the listing, on a cloudless night you can stretch out in the master suite and see the moon shine through a skylight – hence the name.
This house is a marvel. We particularly like the modern and contemporary design. If that’s your style, you’ll feel right at home here. Like so many Sea Ranch properties, this one offers gorgeous views perfect for a morning cup of coffee or an evening glass of wine. It is located in the Sculpture Point area of Sea Ranch, near the Ocean Bluff Trail, Smugglers Cove, and the Marine Preserve. The pebble beach is a 5 minute walk from the house.
And if you like music, there is even a small grand piano on site.
A word of warning: the property listing suggests this home is ideal for couples or families with older children, particularly over 12 years old. Children under 12 are not allowed.
Bathrooms : 2
Gualala Hilton House
$507.00/avg per night
Need a little extra space? This might be the place for youand maybe your whole family if you want to bring them too.
This home is perched on the North Shore of Sea Ranch in the Gualala area. Owners say this part of Sea Ranch tends to get the sunniest, while other parts of the coast are blanketed in fog.
Like all the properties we’ve rounded up, this one offers gorgeous ocean views – perfect for watching the sunset and listening to the sounds of the ocean, if that’s your thing.
Unlike most properties we found, this one seems to be a bit more family-friendly: there’s a games room in the garage equipped with table football, table tennis and even games. air hockey. Pets are also welcome, at an additional cost.
The house has recently undergone a complete renovation, so the furniture and decoration have a modern touch. And if you need a moment to relax and unwind, no worries – there are three TVs and a wood-burning stove on the property. Find your zen, indeed.
Bathrooms : 3
Canyon View Cabin in the Redwoods
$283.00/avg per night
The owners call it’s a cabin, but a guest review says “it was so much more”. And we can see why. You’ll find this rental on a secluded cul-de-sac less than a mile from Anchor Bay Beach.
You will enjoy indoor and outdoor living spaces with a beautiful canyon and ocean view. You could have a great vacation without ever leaving the property; it’s packed with amenities and a kitchen that gets top marks from guests. In fact, one reviewer said they had a great time sitting on the deck for hours, drinking tea and listening to the sound of the waves. It looks like a perfect day for us too.
Bathrooms : 1
For more things to do in Sonoma County, California: