A favorite weekend getaway for Northern California Bay Area residents, the town of Mendocino is located on the coast of Mendocino County. The town has long been a haven for artists, and is famous for its art galleries as well as its restaurants and trendy shops. It is smaller and more "refined" than its blue collar neighbor to the North, Fort Bragg.
The city is sometimes called Mendocino Village to differentiate it from Mendocino County.
The closest international airports are in San Francisco, Oakland, and now Santa Rosa. Little River Airport is a small county-owned public-use airport located three nautical miles southeast of the central business district of Little River, in Mendocino County.
From the Bay Area, the most scenic drive to Mendocino is on coastal Highway 1, winding through western Marin County and Sonoma County. A faster but less impressive alternative is to take highway 101 to the junction with tiny state Highway 128 just north of Cloverdale, then 128 to 1, about 2 miles south of the town proper. This route takes you through the Anderson Valley, which is one of Mendocino County's main wine-growing regions. Mendocino is about 165 miles north of San Francisco.
From the north, it's easiest to take Highway 1 south from highway 101 at near Garberville, through Fort Bragg. An alternate is taking state highway 20 west from Willits to Fort Bragg, then south to Mendocino.
The town is easily walkable, but you will want a car for visiting nearby beaches and sights. The Headlands, the bluffs on the west end of town, are only a half-mile from the eastern part of town, which is only several blocks from north to south. Mountain bikes are another fun option.
A favorite pastime from mid-December to early May is whale watching. Pods of Grey Whales are visible off the coast, migrating to and from their winter home in Mexico.
- 1 Catch a Canoe & Bicycles Too, 1 south Big River Road, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Located on 8-mile-long big river estuary, this outfitter specializes in redwood outrigger canoe rentals. The double outrigger design (one on each side) allows for a very stable, yet fast and efficient boating experience. Different variations are available which accommodate couples, families and pets. All are equipped with a foot controlled rudder for easy steering. Tandem and single kayaks are also available. Harbor seals, river otters and a beautiful undeveloped waterway await.
- 2 Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, 18220 North Highway One, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 9:00am to 5:00pm daily. A seaside garden on 47 acres. It is open daily and admission is $15.00. General admission is $15.
- Mendocino Film Festival, ☏ . The Mendocino Film Festival takes place every spring in the town of Mendocino and showcases independent films by the sea. Filmmakers often attend to talk about the journey of creating the idea for a film through to you, the viewer. There is so much variety in the choices of independent films that it won't be hard to find many that appeal to you. Newer venues have been added in addition to historic Crown Hall. Now film goers in Point Arena will see films at the also historic and very cool Arena Theater and the Fort Bragg community will view films at Coast Cinema.
- Mendocino Music Festival (Two weeks every July), Mendocino Headlands State Park, ☏ . Evenings 8PM, Days 3PM. In the iconic 16,000 square foot Performance Hall Tent overlooking the Pacific Ocean you'll enjoy classical music from The Festival Orchestra conducted by Maestro Allan Pollack - many of the professional musicians come from the San Francisco Bay Area. Also, every year music and dance offerings include Celtic music, Big Band music with a jazz flavor, Bluegrass, World music, Chamber music, jazz, and the Emerging Artists Concert. You'll also love The Piano Series, JazzSeries, and intimate village concerts at various venues in Mendocino and Fort Bragg. It's an eclectic festival that also offers picnic tables outside the tent for you to partake of delicious Mendocino County wines and dinner before your concert. Various Prices.
- Skunk Train. A train that goes into the redwood forest. It is a fun family trip.
- Gallery Bookshop (& Bookwinkle's Children's Books, added in 1988). Since 1962 has been one of the main attractions of this town for visitors and locals alike. The bookstore has earned its reputation for great service and selection- something for everyone. Under new ownership from September, 2006, the store continues to prosper and serve as a meeting place. There are children who found their first books here now bringing in their own children to enjoy the space. There is a fantastic view of Mendocino Bay from the front windows, and Mendocino Headlands State Park (complete with picnic benches for reading and eating) is only steps away.
- Albion River Inn, ☏ . Ocean views, piano music
- Café Beaujolais, ☏ . International reputation, Italian-leaning menu in an intimate setting
- Ledford House, ☏ . Sunset dining, mellow jazz
- Little River Inn Restaurant, ☏ . Ocean view bar, fine dining
- MacCallum House Restaurant, ☏ . Café, bar & fine dining set in an old in with lots of atmosphere
- Mendo Bistro, ☏ . Eclectic menu, reasonable $1
- Moosse Cafe, ☏ . Great soups & salads, with a full dinner menu
- Ravens, ☏ . Vegetarian
- Rendezvous Inn, ☏ . Intimate, attention to detail (www.rendezvousinn.com)
- Restaurant at Stevenswood Lodge, ☏ . Exceptional cuisine
- Sharon's by the Sea, ☏ . A harbor-side dining treat
- Victorian Gardens, ☏ . Worth the drive
- Mendocino Wine Co., 45070 Main St, ☏ . Pleasant tasting room right in town, featuring the various wines of the Parducci Winery.
There are several inns in the Mendocino Village. In addition to the many Bed and Breakfasts in town, there are a number of rental properties in the area. These tend to be booked on holiday and summer weekends, but many bargains are available off season.
- Glendeven Inn, 8205 N Highway 1, toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. An eight acre luxury farmstead with ocean views, wood-burning fireplaces, forest, headland, and beach trails with 10 rooms and 2 vacation rental homes. Three-course breakfast brought to your room. Llamas, fresh chicken eggs, free WiFi, and a wine bar serving and selling local Anderson Valley wines on-site. $150-575/night.
- Sweetwater Spa and Inn, 44840 Main St, toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Ocean view rooms and suites with full spa amenities. Onsite spa offers various massage packages. Little River Lodging, under same owners but 3-4 miles south, has 7 rooms, some pet-friendly. $110-295/night.
- Auberge Mendocino, 8200 North Highway One, toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. Seaside inn and four private cottages. Located 1.7 miles south of Mendocino village. Formerly "Rachel's Inn". Free wireless internet access. Check web site for last-minute specials and internet deals. $179-355/night.
- Coast Getaways, 10501 Ford St, toll-free: , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Offers some 25 oceanfront and oceanview vacation homes, each with 1-5 bedrooms. $445-1380/2-night stay.
- The Headlands Inn, Corner of Howard and Albion Streets, toll-free: , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Free wireless internet. Breakfast is very nicely presented and served in the room. Some of the rooms have a fireplace and ocean view. $129-229/night, most about $179. Ask about last-minute specials as low as $99/night.
- Joshua Grindle Inn, 44800 Little Lake Rd. Bed and breakfast with American Automobile Association (AAA) 4 diamond rating.
- Mendocino Hotel and Garden Suites, ☏ , toll-free: . Overlooks the Mendocino Headlands and the Pacific Ocean beyond.
- Whitegate Inn Bed and Breakfast, 499 Howard St, toll-free: , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Small, six-room oceanview bed and breakfast with gourmet breakfasts and wine & cheese hour. Sister to Abigail's Bed and Breakfast, nearby, but Whitegate Inn is more luxurious and romantic. Wireless internet access. $179-289/night.
- Point Cabrillo Light Station, 45300 Litehouse Rd, toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. Oceanfront and cliff-view bed and breakfast on the headlands at Point Cabrillo State Park. Accommodations available at the main house or the more private guest cottages. $177-275/night.
- 1 Sea Rock Inn, 11101 Lansing St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A coastal bed and breakfast, Sea Rock Inn located along Agate Cove offers cottages and suites with ocean views and luxurious amenities.
|Routes through Mendocino|
|Eureka ← Fort Bragg ←||N S||→ Albion → San Francisco|