We’re fans of the less-trodden areas of California: the Mojave Desert; the Esalen Institue at Big Sur and, recently, The Sea Ranch. First settled by hardy Germans in the mid 19th century, Sea Ranch was home to livestock ranchers and farmers for more than a century, with alternating owners from different families. That all changed in the late 1960s with the purchase of a 10-mile stretch by a group of architects, landscapers and planners. Led by Al Boeke, they transformed the acreage into a planned community that preserved the look and feel of the landscape. A design code demanded timber frames with wood shingles or siding. The census puts the population at around 1,500, they are all individually owned but some can be short term rented. And that’s great news. To get to Sea Ranch you need to navigate the winding asphalt of Highway 1, there is no town center to speak of – the entire experience is designed to grant you those increasingly elusive moments of peace and reflection. Nestled into the California coastal redwoods, we’re getting in line to book an original design by Sea Ranch founding father Joseph Esherick. The intimate cabin (above) has been updated by Frame Studio and won accolades in publications ranging from Architectural Digest to Dwell.
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