Cook’s Beach is the closest walk-on beach. Parking is minimal but it’s worth the effort to park on the highway and walk down. It has caves, tide pools, and a flat sandy beach that is perfect for an afternoon picnic.
Anchor Bay campground leads to a wonderful beach. Here you’ll see dogs romping in the sand, sea lions rolling in the waves, fishermen bringing in their boats,and sunbathers relaxing.
A visit to Gualala is not complete without playing in the river. The local favorite spot is at the confluence of the north and south forks near the green bridge, on the road past the Art’s Center and Gualala River Redwood Park.
The Gualala River is perfect for kayaking or paddleboarding. Adventure Rents offers kayaks and Arff (a petshop) rents paddleboards.
Gualala has all kinds of fishing–pond, river, and ocean. You can go ‘catch-and-release’ fishing in the duck pond at Bower Park and in the Gualala River. If you want to catch fish for dinner, you’ll have to do some ocean fishing from any of the beaches. You will need a fishing license in all cases and must follow California regulations for harvestable size and species. If you need a license or supplies you can visit Gualala Sport & Tackle.
The Sea Ranch Golf Links offers prime golfing along the ocean just south of Gualala.
If you’re bringing your children with you, they might like to play at Bower Park across from the airport. There are plenty of fun things: a duck pond, playgrounds, and tennis and basketball courts.
From May through October there is a Saturday market at the Community Center in Gualala and a Sunday market in Anchor Bay.
There is a large artist community on the coast. You can visit the Gualala Arts Center for theater, studio classes, and other events. It is also a lovely place for a walk to see the outdoor art installations and majestic redwoods.
Downtown hosts a few small galleries, including the Alinder Gallery, Henley’s Art and Interiors, Dolphin Gallery, and Studio 391.