Some of our favorite places on earth are probably the weirdest ones. Who doesn't enjoy finding unusual places you'd never expect to be in your state? When it comes to its Pacific shores, California is a treasure trove of oddities; Bowling Ball Beach is one of them.

The Mendocino coast's Schooner Gulch State Beach has an ocean phenomenon that honestly looks a little spooky. The entire strand is covered in perfectly-round stones that are up to three feet wide!

What are these big, smooth stones and how did they get there?

To find out, you'll first have to hike down a 0.75-mile dirt trail to the shores. Take Highway 1 three miles south of Point Arena to Schooner Gulch Beach. You can find full driving instructions here.

Since these rocks can only be seen during low tide, it is important to check the weather conditions before you go.

These boulders are made from an interesting geological formation called 'concretion.' Naturally occurring minerals bind sand and stone together. Over time, ocean erosion smooths it out into round boulders. 

As soon as your feet touch the sand, you'll see that the beach is scattered with these rocks.

It makes for a pretty amazing spot to take photos and cozy up to watch the sunset with your special someone. 

Since there are over 50 acres of cliffs and sandy shores to see, you can even take a long, romantic walk along the coast to explore tidepools or enjoy a picnic for two in a secluded cove.

Since dogs are allowed on leash, you can even bring your furry friend if you want.

While you're in the area, you should also check out this amazing black sand beach and purple sand beach that's only a day trip away. 

Schooner Gulch State Beach

Price: Free 

Location: Schooner Gulch State Beach, CA

Why You Should Go: You can explore a beach covered in giant 'bowling ball' stones.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.