One Fine Weekend in Mendocino
Immerse yourself in coastal beauty, unique accommodations, and unexpected treats in this enchanting Northern California town.
Beyond Sonoma County, along Highway 1, lies the seaside village of Mendocino. While getting there can feel like a trek—following the back roads of Wine Country through the picturesque towns of the Anderson Valley and the magnificent trees of Navarro River Redwoods State Park—that first sight of sunny skies stretching over the teal ocean makes the winding drive all worthwhile.
Tucked away among the pines you’ll find the delightful “glampsite” Mendocino Grove, where owners Chris Hougie and Teresa Raffo offer visitors a hassle-free camping experience with a touch of luxury. From the contemporary furnishings in the tents, to the marble countertops and organic toiletries in the bathrooms, to the heated mattress pads that ward off the evening chill, Mendocino Grove creates a comfortable and relaxing respite for couples and families. The campgrounds, which boast Wi-Fi, are open May through October. mendocinogrove.com.
Just around the bend from the “glampsite” are the charming town of Mendocino and the stunning Mendocino Headlands State Park. The small downtown area is home to a handful of art galleries, eateries, and boutiques. After browsing the eclectic offerings, stroll through the headlands and soak up the view. Whether shrouded in a misty fog or illuminated by the blazing sun, the coastal bluffs—blooming with poppies—are spectacular.
If you’re looking to add some cardio to your visit, check out the numerous hiking routes in the region. Russian Gulch State Park makes a good starting point, with its 15 miles of trails that weave their way through a variety of wildlife habitats, including forests and headlands. For more adventure, paddle your way along the coast on one of Kayak Mendocino’s guided sea cave tours. mendocinovisitors.com, parks.ca.gov, kayakmendocino.com.
While Mendocino Grove invites guests to bring their own food, the town features some tasty dining options. Visit local favorite Frankie’s for pizza and ice cream. Indulge in a scoop of its kulfi flavor—made with cardamom, pistachios, and almonds—or the candy cap mushroom ice cream (don’t knock it till you try it). For a more upscale experience, head to Trillium Café and Inn and sit on the patio to catch a glimpse of the ocean while eating grilled wild gulf prawns with bacon-infused lentils and grilled Meyer lemons. The restaurant’s wine list highlights bottles from the nearby Anderson Valley, allowing guests to savor the flavors of this gorgeous region. frankiesmendocino.com, trilliummendocino.com.