The Sea Ranch
The Sea Ranch is an exquisite primary residence and second-home community along a 10-mile stretch of the California coast, some 110 miles north of San Francisco. Subject to strict architectural design requirements, The Sea Ranch has become world renowned for blending development with the incredible beauty of the natural environment. Consequently, the outside appearance of the homes may be modest or unassuming, but inside they are everything but that.
We recommend the following publications about The Sea Ranch:
A Coastline Worth Celebrating (on the political history of Sea Ranch and its beautiful trail system, 2014)
The Sea Ranch Coastal Legacy (feature article on the 50th anniversary of The Sea Ranch, 2014)
Utopia by the Sea, Part 1; Part 2 ; Part 3 (feature article about The Sea Ranch, New York Times, 2008)
The Sea Ranch Association website.
Our homes are west of Highway One. Casa Pacis is at the end of an ocean-directed cul-de-sac, in the desirable "Unit 28," which has wonderful sand dunes -- the largest dunes in all of The Sea Ranch -- and a long, wide sandy beach with lots of driftwood. One can see and hear the waves crashing into the "Walk-On-Beach" from every room of Casa Pacis. The soothing sights of the ocean meadow meadows, and the endless horizon and marine layer cloud formations over the ocean complement the Sea Ranch experience from our "Casa Pacis" (Lat. for "House of Peace").
Bella Vista is located just a few hundred feet further than Casa Pacis from the rugged coast of The Sea Ranch. Its unique situation on a knoll give it amazing views up and down the coast, looking over a beautiful ocean meadow and over the rooftops of a few other homes, all of which -- due to the design restrictions of The Sea Ranch -- blend so well into the environment that they become entirely unobtrusive and complement, rather than disrupt, the ocean views from the dining table, living room, bedrooms, and porches of our Bella Vista retreat home.
High season never ends at Sea Ranch. The sensation of beauty in the Spring at The Sea Ranch is augmented by a wealth of wildflowers, as well as the famous Monarch butterflies, with one of their nesting destinations in a grove of trees just a 10-minute walk from Casa Pacis. Summer sees much more sunshine at The Sea Ranch than in most other locations along the California Coast -- due to the inwardly curved coastal formation along Sea Ranch, the "California fog bank" most of the time hovers a few miles away from the coast over the ocean, transforming the coastal bluffs and meadows, from The Sea Ranch to approximately Point Arena into what the locals call a "banana belt." Fall is arguably the most beautiful Season at The Sea Ranch, with prevalent warm -- but never hot -- mostly sunny weather; and Winter, with its comparatively mild temperatures and occasional heavy coastal rain storms, has become a favorite season for many visitors to The Sea Ranch. Temperatures are usually in the 40s and 50s at night and 60s during daytime, occasionally stretching into the seventies in late summer and fall. So bring your jackets and forget worries about air conditioning -- the ocean takes care of that!
There are many commonalities between The Sea Ranch and Tahoe Donner, such as large common areas interspersed with developed lots, expansive hiking/biking trail systems, several recreational facilities, a golf course, and a lodge with a fine, reasonably priced restaurant. The Sea Ranch has about 2200 lots, 1800 of which are developed with single-family homes. Tahoe Donner is about three times that size of The Sea Ranch but undiminished in the character of a nature-oriented vacation paradise.
First and most importantly for both The Sea Ranch and Tahoe Donner, strict architectural standards provide for a pleasant blend of natural beauty and developed environment. Fencing is restricted to provide view protection of parked cars from streets and neighboring properties, but not to mark property boundaries. The pleasant, apparent absence of vehicles is, in fact, one of the marked first impressions new visitors to The Sea Ranch often comment on. There are no power lines disturbing vistas at The Sea Ranch -- they are all underground. Plants on private properties must be approved and are restricted to indigenous varieties. Bright building colors are not permitted. There are no street lights, and external house lighting is required to be subdued.
Another feature, more related to health, of The Sea Ranch is the minimization of electromagnetic stray fields and "electro-noise" in the general Sea Ranch area, far away from "suburbia." Antennas on rooftops would do no good, because there are no TV signals to catch. All you see are occasional satellite dishes -- we cannot escape those minute signals coming from satellites. There is one cell phone tower, pretty far away from Casa Pacis and Bella Vista, and what's left is the "radiation by choice" caused by the Wi-Fi/Welan routers installed in the individual homes. (We have located ours at Bella Vista and Casa Pacis as far away as possible from where people usually are, while still providing reasonable signal strength -- but still accessible to our renters so they can unplug them altogether if they so desire). This makes The Sea Ranch essentially an electro-noise free environment.
The Sea Ranch Lodge has an excellent restaurant with reasonably priced menu. There are three recreational centers with swimming pools, saunas and tennis courts at The Sea Ranch -- they are all open to renters at no charge. The Sea Ranch has an 18-hole golf course with breathtaking ocean and coastal vistas. The trail system of The Sea Ranch consists of about 10 miles of amazing blufftop trails, about 15 miles of ocean meadow trails, and about 20 miles of hillside trails. Some of these trails are also open to, and quite favorite for, mountain biking. Less experienced bikers love the 40 miles of The Sea Ranch internal paved roads that have essentially no traffic to cope with.
The nearby town of Gualala, just 2 miles north of Bella Vista, has two supermarkets, two gas stations, and numerous boutiques, restaurants, and even two bookstores and video rental stores. Whether spring, summer, fall, or winter, The Sea Ranch is an ideal place for vacationing away from it all.
From the Bluff Trail near Casa Pacis
Tahoe Donner is a renowned planned community in California's beautiful High Sierra mountains near Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake. While Tahoe Donner has golf, tennis, swimming, and other recreation facilities, it also has its own down-hill and cross-country ski areas, to which our renters get discounted tickets. It is only a short drive from Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sugar Bowel, North Star, Boreal Ridge, and other great downhill ski areas, and the fantastic Royal Gorge cross-country ski area. Our Alta Vista Chalet is located in a quiet and beautiful panoramic vista location, near endless hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing trails.
For more information about Tahoe Donner see the website of the Tahoe Donner Association.
Similar to The Sea Ranch, which was actually a model for the development idea that lead to Tahoe Donner, the Tahoe Donner resort has strict architectural standards that provide for a pleasant blend of natural beauty and developed environment. Fencing is restricted to provide view protection of parked cars, but not to mark property boundaries. Plants on private properties must be approved by the Tahoe-Donner Architectural Standards Committee and are restricted to indigenous varieties. Bright building colors are not permitted. There is no street lighting, and external house lighting is required to be subdued.
The Lodge at Tahoe Donner is associated with the Golf Course and has an excellent restaurant with a reasonably priced menu. There are two large recreational centers with swimming pools and tennis courts, and a large, well-equipped gym. In addition, Tahoe Donner has a deeded Marina at nearby Donner Lake with a boat ramp, boat rentals, a sandy beach and a cafeteria. The Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Area is among the largest and most renowned in the country, second perhaps only to aforementioned nearby Royal Gorge. The Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area is ideal for beginners and quite enjoyable for intermediates, while it is very reasonably priced and just downhill from the Alta Vista Chalet. The trail system of Tahoe Donner has a major trail head near just a 5-minute walk from the Alta Vista Chalet. From there one has the choice of several loops of hiking trails of one to three-hour and longer hikes, leading along majestic vista sites, at an altitude of 7000 to 8000 feet elevation. These trails are also open and quite ideal for mountain biking. These amenities make Tahoe Donner a favorite destination for vacation renters in Winter and in Summer.
Abadiania, Brazil is where the Casa de Dom Inacio is located, where the renowned Medium Joao Teixeira de Faria ("Joao de Deus") performs his famous work at a beautiful, large complex of modest buildings and lush green gardens.
Abadiania is geographically located on a plateau at an altitude of 3500 ft (1050 m) above sea level, and there is almost always a slight breeze. Accordingly, even though Abadiania is located in the tropics (15 deg southern latitude), its climate is pleasant. The winter months (May - September) are sunny and dry (low humidity), temperatures ranging in the high 50s F (15 C) at night and mid to high 70s F (23-26 C) in the afternoon. Temperatures during the summer months (Nov - March) are on average only about 5 degrees F (3 deg C) warmer, thus still quite moderate, Typical summer days are interspersed with cloud bursts in the afternoon/evening that can be quite spectacular and easily produce an inch of rain in less than an hour.
The plateau location of Abadiania makes for amazing top-down views from the the edges of town into the surrounding landscape. This includes the "Casa de Dom Inacio," which has amazing north-westerly vistas, our Casa de Luz, which has the same general view directions, and the Alegria Apartment, which enjoys expansive, unobstructed north-easterly views.
The town of Abadiania has about 20,000 inhabitants, 5000 of whom live on the northerly side of the 4-lane highway between Brasilia and Goiania, where the Casa de Dom Inacio is located. Essentially this entire section of Abadiania is, in one way or another, connected to the activities around the Casa de Dom Inacio: small hotels ("pousadas"), restaurants and cafes, boutiques, and miscellaneous tourism-oriented businesses. This entire section of town, while still very modest in overall appearance, has an unparalleled energetically charged mystique, which is sensed even by people who would normally be quite immune to such "esoteric" sensations.
The Alegria Apartment and Casa de Luz house combine the desirability of very close vicinity to the Casa de Dom Inacio (just across the street from Alegria), fantastic soothing views, utmost privacy, and just the perfect distance -- just a few minutes on foot -- to the commotion and noises of the typical Brazilian town of Northern Abadiania. It also offers amenities that are commonly expected by foreign travelers but exceed what is offered in the typical Brazilian accommodations in town.
Press here for a 4-minute slide presentation of Abadiania and surroundings.