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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: Geologic Formations; State Parks
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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: Beaches; State Parks
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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: Beaches; State Parks
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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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All places to eat » Places to eat

Harvest at Mendosa's
Harvest at Mendosa's
Ranked #1 of 22 Restaurants in Mendocino
Cuisines: Indian, Delicatessen
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch
Goodlife Cafe and Bakery
Goodlife Cafe and Bakery
Ranked #2 of 22 Restaurants in Mendocino
Price: $2 - $15
Cuisines: Mexican, American, Cafe
Dining options: Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch
Cafe Beaujolais
Cafe Beaujolais
Ranked #3 of 22 Restaurants in Mendocino
Price:
Cuisines: French, American, International
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Raven's Restaurant
Raven's Restaurant
Ranked #4 of 22 Restaurants in Mendocino
Price: $20 - $30
Cuisines: Vegetarian, Vegan
Good for: Romantic, Families with children, Doing business, Special occasions, Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Trillium Cafe
Trillium Cafe
Ranked #5 of 22 Restaurants in Mendocino
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations

All accommodations » Where to stay - Budget

Mendocino Farmhouse
Mendocino Farmhouse
$120 - $155
Ranked #15 of 23 Mendocino B&B and Inns
Mendocino Hotel and Garden Suites
3.0 of 5
Mendocino Hotel and Garden Suites
$109 - $300
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Mendocino
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Blue Heron Inn
Blue Heron Inn
$90 - $110
Ranked #20 of 23 Mendocino B&B and Inns

All accommodations » Where to stay - Midrange

Headlands Inn Bed & Breakfast
Headlands Inn Bed & Breakfast
$139 - $264
Ranked #2 of 23 Mendocino B&B and Inns
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Sea Rock Inn
3.0 of 5
Sea Rock Inn
$179 - $385
Ranked #3 of 23 Mendocino B&B and Inns
Agate Cove Inn
Agate Cove Inn
$179 - $329
Ranked #4 of 23 Mendocino B&B and Inns

All accommodations » Where to stay - Luxury

Stanford Inn by the Sea
4.0 of 5
Stanford Inn by the Sea
$337 - $358
Ranked #6 of 23 Mendocino B&B and Inns
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Additional nearby recommended accommodations:

Heritage House Resort
4.0 of 5
Heritage House Resort
$183 - $429
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.