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Point Arena Pier at Arena Cove

Point Arena Pier at Arena Cove
Point Arena

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Point Arena Cove is a popular destination for fishermen, surfers, whalewatchers, beachcombers and sightseers. Including the 330-foot Point Arena Pier, it offers something for just about everyone. The cove itself has a rocky bottom that varies from about 20 to 100 feet in depth. Point Arena Creek runs into it a little south of the pier. Offshore lies the Mendocino Trench, with some of the deepest waters in the world. The cove is partially protected from wind and storms by Point Arena to the northwest. The pier has extraordinary fishing, considered by some the best pier fishing in California. Striped sea perch, kelp greenling, rock greenling, cabezon, lingcod and salmon are just some of the species frequently caught there. The pier includes cleaning tables, restrooms and a boat launch.

Whales pass close by Point Arena, and sometimes are seen playing right in the cove. Bring your binoculars for a closer look at them and at many different species of birds, including the famed Laysan albatross, better known as the goonie bird, which has been clocked flying at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.

The beaches of the cove offer excellent areas for beachcombing, shell collecting and tide-pooling. Surfing and diving are also very popular. The area is home to occasionally spectacular waves, but out-of-area surfers beware: conditions there are often treacherous, and you need to know where the hidden rocks and rusty ship’s boiler are located before setting out.

Lodging and dining can be found in Arena Cove and Point Arena. No license is necessary when fishing off the pier; however, dogs are not permitted.

WHERE: In the heart of Point Arena. From the south, turn left from Hwy 1 onto Iverson Avenue. This will turn into Port Road. Follow the road to the pier. From the north, turn right onto Port Road and follow it to the pier, mile marker MEN 14.85.

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