Shoreline Highway One, headed North into the Village of Gualala at the southern edge of Mendocino County

Gualala Arts Center Foyer Exterior

Some scenery

The village of Gualala lies at the southernmost edge of Mendocino County along Shoreline Highway One and perches on the bluffs overlooking the Gualala River and the Pacific Ocean beyond. The beautiful Gualala River runs to the sea right in front of the village, and is home to river otter, osprey, egret, heron and numerous species of fauna and flora. Gualala serves as the commercial center of the region, providing many of the goods and services to northern Sonoma and southern Mendocino counties, and is the home of the Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce Office and Visitor's Center.

Once a bustling logging town, Gualala now mainly has a tourism-driven economy, with most of the Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce businesses located here. While Gualala is an unincorporated community, the local Chamber of Commerce and the Gualala Municipal Advisory Council serve to influence Gualala’s growth and development.

Gualala offers a wealth of goods and services to its residents and coastal visitors along with a variety of lodging establishments, restaurants and cafes, supermarkets, bakeries, and numerous shops and galleries. Medical services, pharmacy, real estate services, full-service bank with ATM, Post Office (95445), and bus service south and north through Mendocino Transit (MTA) are all available here. There are even “mini-malls” for the convenience of walk-around shopping...Sundstrom Center & Mall, Seacliff Center, Cypress Village, Sea-Watch Village, and Bakertown...which house many of the downtown businesses. Gualala has wireless internet access throughout most of the downtown area, has a weekly newspaper, and is served by The Tide radio station, KTDE 100.5 FM.

Just ¼ mile east of Highway One is the magnificent Gualala Arts Center, which hosts ongoing art openings and exhibits, concerts and live theatrical productions, lectures, classes and both arts-related and community events. Annual events…the Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival (April), the celebrated Art in the Redwoods Festival (August), and the Studio Discovery Tour (September) are all held here.

There are two campgrounds on either side of the Gualala River, the privately-owned Gualala River Redwood Park on the Mendocino Co. side and the Gualala Point Regional Park Campground on the Sonoma Co. side, which is adjacent to an 195-acre park of meadows mixed with coastal forest open for day use. The park also incorporates a docent-staffed Visitor’s Center, restrooms and picnic areas and miles of hiking trails and beach access.

Gualala lies within the “Banana Belt”, a nearly fogless micro-climate involving about five miles of coastline from Gualala through Anchor Bay. While the wind blows onshore for the rest of the coast it is practically offshore here, keeping the fog from drifting in. When the marine layer of fog blankets the coastline, to the north and south, motorists wind along Highway One through the dripping gray, trying to pierce the fog with their headlights, while Gualala often basks under clear blue skies watching the huge bank of fog offshore.