Pat Neth


Just a very scenic, two and a half hour drive north of the San Francisco Bay Area, Gualala on the Mendocino County side of the Gualala River offers the coastal visitor some of the most pleasant experiences on the West Coast.

Up until the 1960's a bustling logging town, Gualala has broadened it's focus and has grown into a thriving commercial and business center for the North Coast. Gualala now boasts of two large supermarkets, two hardware and building supply stores, a pharmacy, a well-staffed, medical clinic/health care complex and all the other small businesses that go into making up a complete, well-functioning small town, including a small airport ( Photo: Ocean Ridge airport)

There are numerous art galleries and restaurants and many types of outdoor activities available. The new Gualala Arts Center is located on forested acreage that adjoins the Gualala River. The land was donated by Gualala Redwoods and the center has been built by the community.

Gualala is noted nationwide for its steelhead fishery.

When the word goes out that fish are running, the fisherman come from great distances to try their luck. The name Gualala, pronounced "Wallala,"is the Spanish version of the Pomo Indian word, "Walali," which means "where the waters meet," or "water coming down place". The name refers to where the river meets the Pacific Ocean.

The climate of the Gualala area, termed "banana Belt," by local residents, is free from much of the coastal fog normally expected close to the ocean. Winter temperatures are quite moderate, while summers are mild with cooling breezes and plenty of sunshine. The population of the Gualala area is estimated to be approximately 4000, randomly distributed from the Gualala River Northward, about ten miles, to Iversen Road and approximately two miles inland to Old Stage Road. It is culturally a very diverse group and covers a wide socioeconomic spectrum. Complementing the more traditional businesses downtown, the rural area hosts a multitude of cottage industries that are able to function quite nicely with the help of United Parcel and modern electronics.

Miles of rocky shoreline and beaches allow for hours of tide pooling, fishing, surfing, sea kayaking and more. Abalone diving, salmon and trout fishing attract fishermen countywide. Take a peaceful kayak or canoe trip down the Gualala River that meanders through the redwood forests.

Boat rentals are available year round. Local recreation and camping opportunities abound. The area offer a world-class 18-hole Scottish-style golf links, kayaking, sports fishing, basketball and tennis courts, hiking, bird and wildlife watching with abundant subjects for photography, sketching and painting, or just relaxing. Bower's Park in Gualala has a full playground for the "young-at' heart", duck pond, baseball diamond, picnic areas, basketball courts, horse shoe pits, tennis courts and miles of walking trails.

The beauty and quality of life has long enticed a wide spectrum of residents, creating an interesting cross-section of loggers, trades-people, writers, artists, and professionals. From this blend of personalities, a cultural scene rich in high quality theater, music and art emerges to fill the evenings. There are a number of exceptional arts and crafts galleries and shops, local artists present
a Studio Discovery Tour in September. Arena Renaissance Company presents live performers and theatrical events through the year in the magnificent Art Deco-style Arena Theater lovingly restored by donations and volunteers.

Office: 707/884-9000

Fax: 707/884-9003

Copyright by Patricia Neth © 2000–2005. All Rights Reserved