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Enjoy art, food, kayaking, canoeing, camping, and the relaxing pastime of beachcombing in the peaceful village of Gualala (pop. 2,093), perched on the northern-most edge of the Sonoma County coast and southern border of Menodcino County. Nestled into craggy bluffs at the mouth of the Gualala River, the town is part of what locals have nicknamed the coast's "banana belt" because of its uniquely mild micro-climate. Ocean winds tend to keep the fog offshore, so on days when other coastal areas might be foggy, Gualala often offers sunny skies.
Outdoor pursuits include sport fishing, golf, horseback riding, flying a kite, camping, and whale, bird, and wildlife watching. Enjoy spectacular vistas while strolling on the half-mile-long Gualala Bluff Trail. Walk along the river as it travels toward the sea on the white sandy beach and dunes at Gualala Point Regional Park. Or explore the river in a kayak or canoe from Adventure Rents in downtown Gualala.
Dining and lodging are available in town, and the Gualala Arts Center supports year-round programs of art, music, theater, and arts education. Don't miss the annual Art in the Redwoods Festival each August. Just south of Gualala, Salt Point State Park offers camping, hiking and horseback riding opportunities. Next to Salt Point, don't miss the 317-acre Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve, which from mid-April to mid-June offers spectacular displays of rhododendrons in bloom.