Its main street comprises part of State Route 1, California's coastal artery. Along with a number of other Mendocino County coastal communities, Point Arena is associated with the hippy and subsequent counterculture groups. Its reported economy is largely geared toward servicing the summertime tourist industry. The town is headquarters of the Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria.
The San Andreas Fault runs out to sea at Point Arena. The 1906 earthquake was strongly felt at Point Arena and caused moderate damage.
The Point Arena area is home to an endangered species of rodent known as the Point Arena Mountain Beaver (Aplodontia rufa nigra). According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the habitat for this sub-species of Mountain Beaver lies only within a 24 sq mi (62 km2) area around Point Arena. The biggest threat to the PAMB is loss of habitat, and it was officially listed as an endangered species on December 12, 1991. Much local folklore revolves around this mysterious creature