Mendocino County borders the Pacific Ocean on California's North Coast. The county is located halfway between San Francisco and the Oregon border, and boasts redwood forests, wineries, breweries, and remote, untouched coastline.
In addition to redwood trees, the following attractions exist outside of the towns within Mendocino County:
- Ridgewood Ranch (The Golden Rule Ranch), 16,200 N. Highway 101 (7 miles south of Willits). The home to the late legendary racehorse Seabiscuit and hosts a herd of white deer.
- Black Bart Historical Marker, Highway 101 (5.6 miles south of Willits). Black Bart, the poetic stage robber, is remembered on a historical marker on a boulder.
Mendocino County has many wineries and several breweries as well.
Do not venture off hiking trails or roads. Clandestine Marijuana grows are in the drier warmer areas of the county due to the relaxed marijuana laws.
- 1 Humboldt County - Located to the north of Mendocino County, rural Humboldt County is a land of giant trees, seaside mountains, and quirky towns. Redwood National Park lies in the county's northern region and is home to the world's tallest trees; a walk among the redwoods is an experience that won't soon be forgotten. Backpackers will delight in hiking the remote 25 mile Lost Coast Trail in the county's southwestern corner, a three-day trek through the Kings Range along a roadless and undeveloped section of rugged coastline. For those looking for more urban activities, the towns of Arcata and Eureka feature an impressive number of Victorian homes that date back to the late 1800s.
- 2 Trinity County - One of only three California counties with no incorporated cities, rugged Trinity County lies among the Salmon and Klamath Mountains along the Trinity River. The county seat of Weaverville is home to some of California's oldest buildings, with the state's second oldest courthouse (built in 1856), a drugstore that has filled prescriptions since 1852, and California's oldest Taoist Temple (operating since 1873). Those looking for outdoor adventure will find numerous opportunities for camping, backpacking, rock climbing, boating, rafting/kayaking, hunting, and fishing, with Trinity Lake in particular a favorite spot for houseboat rentals.
- 3 Tehama County - Mendocino County's northeastern neighbor, Tehama County has a quintessentially "western" feel, with most county residents employed in ranching, timber or farming, and most tourists drawn to the region for fishing, boating, hiking, and other outdoor activities. The county's largest town, Red Bluff, has a population of only about 15,000 inhabitants, but hosts the Red Bluff Round-Up, one of the west's largest annual rodeos, each spring. While there are numerous streams and rivers, the Sacramento River is the largest, intersecting the county and offering excellent fishing for rainbow trout, king salmon, chinook salmon, steelhead, smallmouth bass, sturgeon, and striped bass.
- 4 Glenn County - Bordering Mendocino County to the east, Glenn County is an agricultural region that is most likely to be experienced by travelers passing through on Interstate 5. While it lacks significant amenities, there are a few options for travelers to experience small-town America at events such as the Glenn County Fair, held in mid-May in the town of Orland, or at the Thunderhill Raceway Park outside of Willows, home to the longest automobile race in the United States: the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
- 5 Lake County - Rural Lake County lies southeast of Mendocino County and is named after Clear Lake, a body of water that is believed to be 2.5 million years old and thus the oldest lake in North America. The lake is sometimes called the "Bass Capital of the West", and its 100 miles of shoreline offer ample opportunity for fishing, boating, swimming and birdwatching. The county is also home to the Clear Lake Volcanic Field, a region that includes lava domes, cinder cones, the 4,305 foot tall volcano Mount Konocti, and the world's largest geothermal field with more than twenty geothermal power plants.
- 6 Sonoma County - Although its wineries may not be as famous as those in the Napa Valley, Mendocino County's southern neighbor is actually the largest wine producer in California Wine Country and home to over 250 wineries. More than seven million visitors each year explore the county's open spaces and beautiful coastline, including the big trees at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve and the seaside town of Bodega Bay where Alfred Hitchcock's thriller The Birds was filmed. For those interested in early California history, Fort Ross is a state historic site that preserves a fur trading outpost that was operated by Russia from 1812-1841.