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Best of Mendocino Guide

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Mendocino
Shop, eat, and enjoy the feeling of going back in time to a simpler era as you groove to the vibes of downtown Mendocino’s hippy past and quaint New England style architecture. Find a secluded bluff, and listen to seals splashing and barking. Visit the Mendocino Art Center, started by San Francisco artists in the 1950s. Enjoy a Mendocino Theater Company performance. Stop in historic Ford House, which doubles as city museum and Mendocino Headlands State Park visitors center. Mendocino Headlands State Park winds around Mendocino Bay, and is a wildlife corridor linking coast and inland areas. Savor the spring wildflowers. In July the Headlands and city are home to the Mendocino Music Festival. Groove to the ocean... more Shop, eat, and enjoy the feeling of going back in time to a simpler era as you groove to the vibes of downtown Mendocino’s hippy past and quaint New England style architecture. Find a secluded bluff, and listen to seals splashing and barking. Visit the Mendocino Art Center, started by San Francisco artists in the 1950s. Enjoy a Mendocino Theater Company performance. Stop in historic Ford House, which doubles as city museum and Mendocino Headlands State Park visitors center. Mendocino Headlands State Park winds around Mendocino Bay, and is a wildlife corridor linking coast and inland areas. Savor the spring wildflowers. In July the Headlands and city are home to the Mendocino Music Festival. Groove to the ocean views, blowholes, wave tunnels, sea arches, grottos, and tide pools as you hike the beaches and cliff trails. Along the Mendocino Headlands Trail, watch for old cross-ties from the oxen-powered railway that dumped lumber to ships below the bluff. Drive 2 miles north of Mendocino to Russian Gulch State Park for rock fishing, swimming, skin diving, tide pools, bicycling, a 36-foot high waterfall, and a Devil's Punch Bowl of churning water. Savor spring rhododendron blooms at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Take the family on the half-day Skunk Train roundtrip from Fort Bragg to inland Northspur. Bird watch at Cleone Lake, a tidal lagoon in MacKerricher State Park, 3 miles north of Fort Bragg. Enjoy MacKerricher’s wheelchair accessible nature trail, Ten Mile beach, fishing, hiking, jogging, horseback riding, and bicycling. Take the kids to Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park. Tee off at the 5,458-yard, 9-hole coastal golf course at Little River Inn, which also offers llama treks. Take the family to Little River State Park and Van Damme Beach State Park, which are near Little River Airport (KLLR). Kids love the recently renovated Point Arena Lighthouse, because they can climb to the top. less

All things to do » Things to do

Mendocino Coast
Mendocino Coast
A scenic drive along California's Pacific coastline offering beaches, historic lighthouses and old-time fishing villages.
Attraction type: Scenic Drives; Bodies of Water
Mendocino Headlands State Park
Mendocino Headlands State Park
A scenic and appealing rugged promontory along the California coast.
Attraction type: State Parks; Geologic Formations
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Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park
Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park
Owner description: OPEN 365 DAYS a YEAR -- THERE IS NO FEE -- Built between 1908 and 1909, and extensively restored, it is one of the most complete Lightstations in the U.S. and hosts visitors... more Owner description: OPEN 365 DAYS a YEAR -- THERE IS NO FEE -- Built between 1908 and 1909, and extensively restored, it is one of the most complete Lightstations in the U.S. and hosts visitors, vacation rentals, receptions and weddings, plus education programs for classes of local students. There is a parking area inside the gate off Point Cabrillo Drive, adjacent to the restored Kearn farmhouse with its public restroom. Enjoy the half mile downhill walk to the Light Station buildings. There is parking for vehicles with Disabled placards at the bottom of the hill. There are two paths to the Station. The dirt path begins at the north end of the parking lot and takes you through the introduced grassland and coastal prairie. The paved access road to the south is an easier walk. The Light Station includes the Lighthouse, which is an active duty Aid to Navigation, containing the original Chance Brothers classic 3rd order Fresnel lens. -- Three restored Lightkeeper homes; the first is a period museum of a lightkeeper's house in the 1930s; the other two houses are comfortable vacation rental homes, -- The restored Blacksmith & Carpentry Shop houses the Marine Science Exhibit with its 240 gallon saltwater aquarium, -- Two lovely vacation rental cottages, and public restrooms, one by the lightkeepers houses and another in the Kearn farmhouse. THERE IS NO FEE to tour the Lighthouse museum/giftshop or the period museum lightkeeper's house, although your donations are welcome. The Lighthouse, 1st Assistant Lightkeeper's House and Marine Science Exhibit are open to the public from 11am to 4pm year-round, including holidays. The State Historic Park grounds are open from sunrise to sunset daily. less
Attraction type: Lighthouses
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Russian Gulch State Park
Russian Gulch State Park
This park's view of the Mendocino headlands is enhanced by a spectacular array of wildflowers.
Attraction type: State Parks; Beaches
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Van Damme State Park
Van Damme State Park
Picturesque spot known for its Pygmy Forest of small trees and Fern Canyon.
Attraction type: State Parks; Beaches
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All places to eat » Places to eat

Cafe Beaujolais
Cafe Beaujolais
Ranked #1 of 23 Restaurants in Mendocino
Price:
Cuisines: French, International
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Patterson's Pub
Patterson's Pub
Ranked #2 of 23 Restaurants in Mendocino
Cuisines: American, Bar, Pub, Irish
Good for: Cheap Eats, Local cuisine, Bar Scene
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Goodlife Cafe and Bakery
Goodlife Cafe and Bakery
Ranked #3 of 23 Restaurants in Mendocino
Price: US$ 2 - US$ 15
Cuisines: American, Cafe, Gluten Free
Good for: Cheap Eats, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Trillium Cafe
Trillium Cafe
Ranked #4 of 23 Restaurants in Mendocino
Cuisines: American, Gluten Free
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Mendocino Cafe
Mendocino Cafe
Ranked #5 of 23 Restaurants in Mendocino
Cuisines: American, Soups, Gluten Free
Good for: Child-friendly, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible

All accommodation » Where to stay - Budget

Didjeridoo Dreamtime Inn
3.0 of 5
Didjeridoo Dreamtime Inn
US$ 116 - US$ 218
Ranked #13 of 24 Mendocino B&B and Inns
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Blue Heron Inn
Blue Heron Inn
US$ 90 - US$ 110
Ranked #23 of 24 Mendocino B&B and Inns

Additional nearby recommended accommodations:

Super 8 Fort Bragg
2.0 of 5
Super 8 Fort Bragg
US$ 86 - US$ 142
Ranked #6 of 22 Hotels in Fort Bragg
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All accommodation » Where to stay - Midrange

Headlands Inn Bed & Breakfast
3.0 of 5
Headlands Inn Bed & Breakfast
US$ 153 - US$ 287
Ranked #1 of 24 Mendocino B&B and Inns
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Sea Rock Inn
3.0 of 5
Sea Rock Inn
US$ 179 - US$ 385
Ranked #3 of 24 Mendocino B&B and Inns
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Agate Cove Inn Hotel
3.0 of 5
Agate Cove Inn Hotel
US$ 204 - US$ 225
Ranked #4 of 24 Mendocino B&B and Inns

All accommodation » Where to stay - Luxury

Stanford Inn by the Sea
4.0 of 5
Stanford Inn by the Sea
US$ 343 - US$ 380
Ranked #6 of 24 Mendocino B&B and Inns
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Additional nearby recommended accommodations:

Heritage House Resort
4.0 of 5
Heritage House Resort
US$ 173 - US$ 415
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Little River
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.