The Iconic Sea Ranch Lodge Is Reborn

Northern California’s clifftop utopia gets a revamp from a collection of leading designers



Almost 50 years after the coastal Sea Ranch community was first conceptualized along Sonoma’s rugged cliffs, its iconic Lodge reopens this October after an extensive revitalization by a collection of designers including Mithun, Terremoto and The Office of Charles de Lisle, with a standing invitation for visitors to stop by and experience this jaw-dropping setting firsthand.


A walking trail within The Sea Ranch community.


Public spaces within the 10,000-square-foot structure have been restored and reconfigured in keeping with the original developer and architects’ vision of living lightly on the land, stewarding it for future generations. Architectural design firm Mithun took visual cues from the wind-sculpted coastline and traditional barns, emphasizing rough, natural materials inside and out and reorienting venues to focus on the Lodge’s main amenities: bluff-top Pacific Ocean vistas, the sound of crashing waves and views of native wildlife wandering across the property’s rambling meadows.


The Sea Ranch Lodge deck.


“The Sea Ranch community [was] envisioned in 1964 … to embody Californian ideals of optimism, creativity and a desire to live in harmony with nature and the surrounding landscape.


The Lodge’s oceanfront dining room, overseen by executive chef Eric Piacentine (previously of Big Sur Bakery), specializes in elevated comfort food such as homemade pappardelle with foraged mushrooms and Sonoma duck with wild rice, beets and huckleberries. A cozy fireside bar and lounge with a solarium, a new artisanal cafe and mercantile general store and 500,000 square feet of oceanfront land for events round out the facilities and will host cultural programming.


The Lodge building houses the general store, post office, cafe and more.


The Lodge, set on 53 acres of coastal landscaping, has long been a hub for the wider 7,000-acre Sea Ranch community, envisioned in 1964 by its developer and a group of architects including Al Boeke, Lawrence Halprin and MLTW to embody Californian ideals of optimism, creativity and a desire to live in harmony with nature and the surrounding landscape. The Ranch stretches 10 miles along the Pacific’s coastal shelf to incorporate 2,224 private homes framed by cypress hedgerows, rolling hills and meadows, and forests of redwood and Douglas fir connected by hiking trails to Gualala Point Regional Park. 60 Sea Walk Drive, The Sea Ranch; thesearanchlodge.com.


Serene Pacific views from a meadow.


Feature image: A portal at The Sea Ranch Lodge leads guests from the boardwalk to the west side of the property.


This story originally appeared in the Fashionable Living 2021 issue of C Magazine.

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