Schooner Gulch State Beach in Mendocino County is a perfect spot for watching a sunset or enjoying a beach picnic. Its iconic sandstone "bowling balls" attract thousands of visitors every year. It's located 5 km (3 mi) south of Point Arena on California Highway 1.
According to a local legend, Schooner Gulch is named after a schooner that was stranded on this beach in the mouth of the gulch. Perfectly round sand stones about two to three feet in diameter cause rumours about their alien or dinosaur origin, but in reality, they were formed due to a geological phenomenon called “concretion” and erosion. Bowling Ball Beach was created by sand, water, and wind over million years to become one California's most frequently photographed beaches. The stones can be observed at their best during low tide as at high tide the beach is not accessible and the sand stones are covered by water.