Point Arena, California is situated on the California Coast in
Mendocino County north of San Francisco. It features stunning rocky
cliffs that drift into the Pacific Ocean. Perched atop a plateau is
one of Point Arena's landmarks, a California light station. The
small, scenic town with green hills and meadows includes a fishing
pier, restaurants, shops and fantastic wildlife to observe such as
the raccoons and deer that wander and feed in the open spaces
prevalent in the region.
Located 32 miles south of
Mendocino, the approximate drive time along this rugged coastline is
50 minutes. You can pass through Mendocino to Fort Bragg with the
entire trip taking just over an hour and a total distance from Point
Arena of 45 miles. 30 miles to the east is Boonvile (45 minute
drive). Access to major airports requires driving to any of these
locations: San Francisco - 140 miles (3 hours by car); Sacramento -
179 miles (3.5 hours by car); Oakland - 133 miles (3 hours by car).
See map below for a visual display of the Point Arena, California
Point Arena, a town with a population of around 440 people, has
acquired many names throughout its existence. Once called Cabo
de Fortunas in 1543 by the Spaniard navigator, Bartolome Ferrelo,
over 200 years later in 1775 Bodega y Cuadro of Mexico renamed it
Punta Delgado. Later it became Barra de Arena, which means 'sand
bar' in Spanish.
While sand bars are less visible than rock formations, the erosion
process can be seen in rock formations at its beaches. At the Point
Arena Fishing Pier, the water and wind-worn cliffs practically
surround you as you walk to the end of the small wooden pier which
is the launch point for small and commercial boats.
the winter, the Laysan Albatross comes from its breeding grounds on
the Hawaiian Islands to Point Arena coast. It is here that the bird
finds the strong winds needed to fly. The Laysan Albatross can even
sleep while gliding through the air! Sadly, it often gets
caught in fish hooks and on squid nets. In one year alone, 1% of the
population of these birds was lost in this manner.
Arena Cove Pier features a floating dock for launch and retrieval of
vessels, plus a dinghy and skiff hoist area.
Point Arena Lighthouse features tours, a gift store, museum, tide
pool aquarium, nature trail and vacation rentals. A fee of around $5
(subject to change) is charged with admission. The historic
lighthouse is open daily.
Mendocino County was one of California’s original 27 counties,
created in 1850 by the State Legislature.
Because of its small population, Mendocino County was
administered by the government of Sonoma County until 1859, when the
government was established in a small building on Main Street in
Ukiah. County officials
moved into the first courthouse at the site bounded by Standley,
Perkins, State and Schools streets on January 24, 1860.
County encompasses an area of over 2 million acres or approximately
3500 square miles.