Point Arena Day 4: Bowling Ball Beach, Point Arena Lighthouse and B. Bryan Preserve

Tuesday, July 4th

10am – I left the last day to visit the local Point Arena stuff before our reservation at B. Bryan Preserve. I also made sure nothing was closed since it was July 4th. Since it’s such a tourist town, most everything is open as usual in Point Arena including the Lighthouse

10:30am – We’re trying to visit Bowling Ball Beach but can’t seem to find it once we get down to the beach. Turns out, we went on the wrong trail. There’s no official parking lot for this tourist attraction, just a larger turnout than usual that has a sign that says “Park facing South”.

Luckily, we find some reception and read the TripAdvisor comments. We’re supposed to go on the north trail a little ways up rather than the trail right by where we parked. Two mini-hikes later, we can see the bowling ball rocks! It has to be low tide in order to see anything at all so make sure you check before you go.


11:30amRollerville Cafe was so good that I want to bring my parents to it. Also according to my internet research, it’s one of the better spots in town. I order fish & chips for the 2nd day in a row – the cod is so flaky and delicious.

1pm – It’s a 2 mile drive from our resort to Point Arena Lighthouse. Admission is $7.50 to climb to the top of the lighthouse and $5 if you just want the tour in the museum. The museum displays the fresnel lens that used to flash twice every 6 seconds so sea captains could identify where they were.


Once you climb to the top of the lighthouse, you see the 1 foot tall LED light that now replaces the fresnel lens that was 6 feet in diameter. The views are gorgeous from the top of the lighthouse and you also get a calf workout.


3:45pm – My parents are aging so it’s considerate to schedule in nap time into their itinerary. After a little snooze, we make our way to B. Bryan Preserve which is right in Point Arena and only a 5 minute drive from our resort. I booked one of the last spots for this tour on Saturday so it’s best to book a couple days in advance.

I wasn’t sure what my parents would think about the Preserve tour since we’ve been on actual safaris in Tanzania. However, this experience did not disappoint. The main difference was that we got to see the animals up super close, way closer than you would on an African safari. We saw 3 species of zebra, 2 species of antelope, and 1 species of giraffe!

We rode in very beat up Land Rovers around the preserve to see the animals get fed by the employees. There were visitors of all ages, not just kids. At the end, they passed out apple slices for us to feed the giraffes and this itself was worth the $35 admission. If you couldn’t guess, giraffes are my favorite animal so it was amazing to see the giraffes so close and get to touch their tongues (they are super rough).

I hope you get a chance to visit some day! I can’t believe there are giraffes living so close to the Bay Area. I had never even heard of this preserve either, just something I came across after we picked Point Arena as our destination.

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