Manchester State Beach
Anyone who thinks that the San Andreas Fault brings nothing but devastation to California should come here. (Watch for the signposts as you pass through the Hwy-1 hamlet of Manchester.) California’s rift of geological instability, in moving from the mainland out beneath the ocean, has created a broad and windswept beach of wild beauty. Walk among the dunes and driftwood with the breeze in your hair and you’ll experience California’s northern coast in its rawest and most invigorating form.
Detour – Point Area Lighthouse
The heaving ocean and the rocky, foggy northern California coast have given mariners more than a few nightmares over the years. Pay a call on the museum of the 1908 Point Arena Lighthouse – at the southern end of Manchester State Beach and reached by Lighthouse Road off Hwy-1 – and you’ll discover the sad stories of a few of the many ships and crews which have perished off local shores.