Gualala River

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Rating: C

Located just north of Sea Ranch, a site used by nudists and non-nudists alike provides a great stopping point if you're looking for a quick day trip -- or a nearby campground -- next to Highway 1. But Gualala can also be windy or foggy, so be sure to bring a jacket and windbreak with you, just in case conditions change.

Unknown.

How to find it:

The beach is one mile south of the town of Gualala and 1.5 miles north of Gualala Point County Park. From Bodega Bay, drive north on Highway 1 past Fort Ross, Plantation, and Sea Ranch. Look for cars parked on Highway 1 just past the park boundary at Gualala River, the first landmark you'll see after the park. Access to the river mouth is by some dirt roads on the ocean side.

The beach:

Big and sandy, but sometimes buffeted by breezes.

The crowd:

Numbers depend on the weather and the time of year. On the sunniest summer days, no more than a few dozen visitors are usually present.

Problems:

Wind; fog; cool temperatures; lack of seclusion.

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