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Sea Ranch, California: Conquistador Helmet Church

AKA the Mushroom Chapel, is actually named the Sea Ranch Chapel. It's eye-catching design has attracted interest and distorted perceptions of its purpose since the 1980s.

Sea Ranch Chapel

Coast Highway 1, Sea Ranch, CA
Sea Ranch Chapel. On Hwy 1 at milepost 55.66, on the northbound side, across from a street named Bosun's Reach.
8 AM - Sundown Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Conquistador Helmet Church

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Sea Ranch Chapel - Conquistador Helmet Church

The chapel is quirky and yet very restful, matching the zen that is Sea Ranch. Weddings (small with no more than 50 people) may be held here. A lovely structure to visit while cruising the Mendonoma Coastal area on the curly ribbon of Highway 1. It has recently been refurbished in time for the celebration of Sea Ranch's 50th birthday (1964-2014).

[Donna M, 08/29/2014]
Sea Ranch Chapel - Not a Mushroom

This is for those who were asking about the "mushroom chapel" in Sea Ranch, between Sebastapol and Mendocino, CA. This is actually the Sea Ranch Chapel, a fantastic, nondenominational chapel designed around 1985. It holds about 30 people max. It's actually made to resemble a whale in the sea, not a mushroom!

[Mary T., 08/08/2001]

Conquistador cap church.

Conquistador Helmet Church

On a trip to California approximately 1989 we were driving up to Northern California from San Francisco. We are unable to remember if we were on highway 1,101, or 36 from Arcada inland to Redding. We happened on a strange looking structure that you can see from the road. We turned off and followed the road to a parking area and discovered from plaques posted that it was a nondenominational chapel built by a man in honor of his wife. It was a round structure and the roof resembled a conquistadors cap. We have been trying to locate this place for several years and would like any help we might be able to obtain.

[Linda Colley, 02/20/2000]
Conquistador Helmet Church

The photo sent in by Linda Colley of the small chapel which resembles a conquistador's helmet is located on Highway 1 in Northern California near a town called Sea Ranch. The chapel is on the east side of the highway opposite a development of homes also called Sea Ranch. Sea Ranch is about 3 hours north of San Francisco on a very scenic but long stretch of this famous coastal highway.

[Jane Wallace, 02/20/2000]
Mushroom Chapel

This is along Hwy 1 within the Sea Ranch property. It is just south of Gualala. Sea Ranch is a rich person's vacation community (2 golf courses) where the owners felt they needed a fancy non-denominational church. It is not meant to be mushroom-shaped, it is more freeformed. We refer to it as the Keebler Elf church.

The house has a sharply sloped conical roof with shingles and a jaunty weird sculptural bronzey bit that sticks out of one side of the top like a decorative melon twistie. Maybe it's shaped like a hat. There is a large squat, roughly football-shaped stained glass window along one of the 6 or 8 sides of the building. The building is available for weddings and you can drive up and go in for free.

[Betty Cunningham, 05/20/1998]

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