Sea Ranch special events and those in neighboring communities occur throughout the year. Many are annual events. Therefore, we’ve gathered a list of them to help make planning for your next vacation at Sea Ranch while staying at Abalone Bay a snap.
We’re Here to Help Your Vacation Planning
As we become aware of new events scheduled for the 2021-22 calendar we’ll add them here.
Note that some of these traditional events may be postponed or canceled depending upon the current COVID-19 restrictions. For that reason, we strongly recommend you please make sure you purchase travel insurance that would cover a canceled trip, your personal need, or emergency cancelation.
Stay in the Know
Whether you’re planning a getaway just for you or a family reunion, knowing what’s on the Sea Ranch special events calendar helps make it a memorable stay for all. Therefore, we’ve included signature events to complement holidays and seasonal events to help you plan ahead for your next vacation. For those who already have their stay at Abalone Bay confirmed, check here to see if there is an added bonus to the time you’ve selected.
Sea Ranch Special Events and Nearby Venues Throughout the Year
Below you’ll find annual Sea Ranch special events that range from holiday celebrations to seasonal events. Not every month has a special or seasonal event listed.
Christmas Bird Count
The Christmas Bird Count is an unofficial, low-key, and fun effort by bird lovers to count the species and individual birds present on The Sea Ranch on a particular day or weekend. An orientation meeting is held a week or so before the scheduled count.
Gualala Arts Center has been the home of the annual Chamber Music Series. In a typical season, Coleman Hall would be filled with the sounds of great music performed by world-class musicians. Beginning in March 2020 with the spread of Covid-19, Gualala Arts was forced to postpone and then cancel all of their live, in-person events, including the balance of the 2019-2020 Chamber Music Series, and the 2020-2021 season in its entirety. They have, however, carefully re-opened our galleries for viewing and retail sales and hope to return live music and other events to Gualala Arts in the near future. Thank you for your support. YOU make a difference.
Each of our program committees is working to create safe events for a device near you. Check their website for updates, or better yet, sign up for our weekly newsletter, eSketches.
Harbor Seal Pupping Season
Beginning in late March and continuing through early May Harbor Seals mothers that make The Sea Ranch home begin their birthing season. The mother Harbor Seals can be observed “hauling out” of the water to the shore or rocky outcroppings along our coast to give birth to their pups.
Docents monitor the two areas used most frequently for this event, Walk on Beach and the Green Cove Rookeries. They monitor guests and residents alike to assure the skittish and shy seals are not disturbed during this critical period. Dogs are required to be kept away from the viewing areas as they will disturb the new mothers. Read more about our Harbor Seals in this blog post.
The Sea Ranch Thespian Performances
Typically in April and September, The Sea Ranch Thespian Performances are held in the Knipp-Stengel Barn. Our own players performing popular repertory – over 100 volunteers make the plays come to life. Admission is free but reservations are necessary. Learn more about their shows by click here.
Annual Native Plant Fair
April and again in October Sea Ranch highlights its native blooms and native gardening information. Tours of the garden zones and lots of information about landscaping at Sea Ranch is presented at the Ohlson Recreation Center’s Demonstration Garden, 10:00 am-12:00 noon;
The best thing about the plant fair is everyone goes home with a native plant!
Sponsored by the Native Plant Committee the event includes tours, demonstrations, and landscaping advice.
Sea Ranch special events in May are favorites of many. We advise you to plan well in advance if you hope to attend.
Annual Architectural Tour
Saturday of Mother’s Day Weekend
Soroptimist International of Mendocino-Sonoma Coast, Inc. Annual Architectural Tour is held the Saturday before Mother’s Day. This is a very popular event. Therefore if you plan to attend be sure you have booked your vacation rental stay well in advance. Even many hotels are sold out fast.
What to Expect
During the self-guided tour, you’ll view the Iconic designs of The Sea Ranch, Gualala, and Southern Mendocino Coast. An extraordinary and diverse offering of homes that trace the evolution of the North Coast Style from the creations of the original architects to the current modern ‘green’ representations of “living lightly on the land.”
Follow the tour with a California Wine Tasting in the ambiance of the Gualala Arts Center. Winemakers and wineries from Northern California’s varied viticulture regions act as your personal wine stewards, pouring their favorite vintages and varietals. There will also be a Silent Auction featuring a full array of local wines and related auction items.
Memorial Day BBQ & Picnic
Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, 12:00 – 3:00 pm; One-Eyed Jack’s picnic area.
A favorite tradition at The Sea Ranch is the annual VFD BBQ picnic, held on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend at One-Eyed Jack’s. Picnic on traditional hamburgers, hot dogs, and veggie burgers, baked beans and fruit, and homemade desserts to raise money for The Sea Ranch Volunteer Fire Department. There are games for the kids, and a visit from Smokey The Bear!
Hundreds of Sea Ranchers and guests turn out for this vitally important fundraiser. Over the years, these BBQs have helped pay for many things not covered by your property tax revenues: construction and maintenance of the North Fire Station, equipment upgrades, specialized training for our volunteers, and scholarships for local students. TSRVFD needs to raise money separate from county tax dollars in order to maintain the North Fire Station and to pay for equipment, training, and other expenses. If you would like to join the Picnic Team, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will add you to the list!
Fine Arts Fair
- Admission: none
- Days/Hours Open: All Days 10 am‑5 pm
- Address: 46501 Gualala Road, Gualala, CA 95445
Independence Day Events
Note that all fireworks are forbidden in The Sea Ranch. Our local fireworks display is held at the Point Arena Pier. Be sure you check their calendar as it does not always occur on the actual date of July 4.
Fourth of July Under the Redwoods –12:00 Noon Hot Spot
Celebrate the 4th Under the Redwoods at the Hot Spot. This event may no longer occur every year. We will confirm if it does.
Fourth of July at One-Eyed Jack’s 5:00 pm
An informal picnic gathering to celebrate Independence Day together. Someone usually reads the Declaration of Independence; sometimes we sing. Bring your own food, drinks, and supplies. Bring a flag! Everyone welcome.
In a typical year, the annual August weekend event would engulf the grounds of the Gualala Arts Center, a 15,000-square-foot performing arts architectural gem nestled in the coastal redwoods, and home to the festival since its opening in 1998. The festival features a host of events and activities, attracting vendors and artists from throughout Northern California along with hundreds of visitors, both local and from afar. At the heart of the festival is the Fine Arts Exhibit, with more than 300 art entries. It takes two weeks of preparation to hang and place all the items, which are judged the night of the Champagne Preview on Thursday evening. More information on our past Art in the Redwoods festivals can be found here.
For Sea Ranch and Mendonoma region, September means the end of “Fogust.” All summer long nature’s air conditioning fog has drifted into cool our coast and veil our redwoods. Now as fall begins, temperatures even out, the vistas are clear and the fog bank sits off on the horizon ready for the occasional Indian Summer.
Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day weekend is another extremely popular time at The Sea Ranch. Traditionally, Labor Day Weekend heralds the change of seasons. We strongly advise if you wish to make The Sea Ranch your venue for summer’s last hoorah you plan and book well in advance.
Annual Studio Discovery Tour On the Sonoma and Mendocino CoastMeet
Two Consecutive Weekends: August 27-28 & September 5-7, 2022
Meet local artists in their studios located along the southern Mendocino and northern Sonoma coastline, many in The Sea Ranch. From the Studio Discovery Tour website you can browse the artists’ works and plan your visit. You can also contact artists directly for information about visitations, purchases, pickup, and shipping. Put some of the most stunning coastal scenery in California on your bucket list.
*times may vary depending on studio.
Annual Equestrian Center Open House: The Sea Ranch Stables, 10:00 am-12:00 noon;
You are cordially invited to attend our Equestrian Center Open House on Labor Day weekend. Snacks for visitors and carrots for horses will be provided (the horses love all the attention!). Bobbing for apples, horseshoes, and roping a “steer” is fun for adults and children alike. Stop by for riding demonstrations, equipment displays; learn about horse breeds and their care. The Sea Ranch horse owners, look forward each year to this event. Please join us! We guarantee you’ll have a good time.
Annual Sea Ranch Circumambulation: Saturday of Labor Day weekend, 8:00 am; start at Moonraker Center.
If it’s Labor Day be certain to pack your hiking boots! Then early in the morning cinch up your hiking boots and get ready for a full day of hiking the trails of The Sea Ranch. The annual “Great Sea Ranch Circumambulation” is a celebration of The Sea Ranch Trails system. The hike is approximately 21 miles. Hike any part of it or the whole thing. Dogs walk too! Cookies, drinks, and dog biscuits are provided at the rest stops. The committee will transport your lunch.
Registration takes place at one of the Moonraker Recreation Center at 7:45 a.m.; the hike begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. Explore and celebrate the varied environments on The Sea Ranch, meet old friends and make new ones.
In order to offer multiple hiking options, the Circumambulation is divided into four segments, with three rest-stops where water, juice, homemade cookies, and restroom facilities will be available. You can choose to ambulate any of the segments. A guide will lead out from Moonraker, the red directional arrows and mileage markers will be in place along the route. Although water and juice will be provided at rest-stops, it’s a good idea to carry some water. Please wear hiking shoes, adequate sunscreen.
Pot-Luck Celebration Dinner
All ambulators are invited to join the Trails Committee at our annual post-ambulation celebration potluck dinner.
The Trails Committee Goal
Naturally given the many who visit, the goal for the Trails Committee is to provide The Sea Ranch members and guests with a unique experience and chance to explore and celebrate the varied environments on TSR. It’s an opportunity to become better acquainted with the trails system, meet old friends, and make new ones.
The Sea Ranch Thespian Performances
The Sea Ranch Thespian Performances for the fall may be found on their website.
Our own players performing popular repertory – over 100 volunteers make the plays come to life. Free admission but reservations are necessary.
Native Plant Fair & Workshop
Enjoy the Native Plant Fair and Workshop presented in October. Be sure to check our Sea Ranch Events page to learn specific dates. The event repeats in April, offering you double the enjoyment.
There are no specific Sea Ranch special events for the month of November. However, if you wish to celebrate Thanksgiving at The Sea Ranch, you should plan well in advance. The four-day holiday is one of the first to book.
Special Holiday Local Events Spanning November-December
A Free Holiday Event for the Entire Family
Tuesday, November 23 through Thursday, December 30, 2021
Certainly, this tradition of the community will be a fun activity for you, your friends and family. Gualala Arts Center is at 46501 Old State Highway, Gualala. Regular hours are Monday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Information is at 707.884.1138 and at GualalaArts.org.
Dolphin Gallery and Gift Shop, November 26, 2021, through January 2, 2022
Undoubtedly, a favorite of ours, The Dolphin Gallery and Gift Shop is at 39114 Ocean Drive, Cypress Village, in Gualala’s Uptown Gallery District. Regular hours are Thursday through Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Information is at 707.884.3896 and at GualalaArts.org/Dolphin-Gallery.
December Sea Ranch Special Events
Christmas Tree Sales
Each year the Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) sells fresh, beautiful Christmas trees. The funds raised by the tree sales are used to support scholarships for local youths. The VFD sponsors the sale as well as for maintenance of the North Station.
Some of the VFD trees are also available at Sea Ranch Supply during the week.
The trees are fresh and green!
If you wish for a fresh tree for your stay be sure to contact us and we will help coordinate the sale for you. Otherwise, you’ll find a pre-decorated and lit artificial tree available for your use.
Carols at the Barn
Held at Knipp-Stengel Barn, 4:00-5:00pm;
This well-organized sing-along is awesome in an evocative setting, the Knipp-Stengel Barn. Refreshments include hot cider, popcorn, pretzels, and loads of Holiday Good Cheer. Sea Ranchers, their families, and area guests gather to sing carols the Saturday before Christmas. To be sure, colorful banners hanging from the rustic white barn’s rafters will get you into the holiday spirit. Carolers seated in a semi-circle await the maestro’s cues. Songs of joy, carols of old, and just plain good fellowship are the order of the event. Sheet music handed to you upon entry assures everyone knows the words.
Other Local Calendar Events
As we noted above, the pandemic has caused many long-held traditions to be altered or even canceled. As of this writing, we are not certain how things will change. We continue to keep our fingers crossed that these locations with their traditional activities will resume. We recommend you bookmark the sites and check back when you are about to stay at Sea Ranch Abalone Bay.
Bring your friends and family to the Point Arena Lighthouse for the unique experience of climbing the 145 steps to the top of the Lighthouse Tower at night and enjoying an unparalleled view of the full moon – weather permitting, of course! Night Tours are held almost every full moon year-round.
Arena Theater is a 1928-vintage vaudeville theater and film palace, restored in 1996 to an Art Deco style, state-of-the-art entertainment venue with generous support from local artisans and financial donations. Now it is the venue for feature films, music, and special events. Check their schedule for events that may coincide with your holiday.
- December 11th, 2021: Fort Ross Conservancy Holiday Party
- May 2022: Reef Campground slated to reopen
- July 30, 2022: Fort Ross Festival (long overdue, so next year’s event will be a big one!)
Other Holidays we Love
There are plenty of other holidays we love to celebrate at Abalone Bay. Here is a listing of just a few:
What Holiday Will You Choose for Your Vacation at Sea Ranch?
We hope our list of dates will help in your vacation planning. We look forward to your staying at Abalone Bay whether during the annual Sea Ranch special events or any other time. Take a look now to see what holiday is open for you. Or better yet, pick a date that’s special just for you. We guarantee you’ll have a wonderful celebration no matter the dates.