A favorite weekend getaway for Northern California Bay Area residents, the village of Mendocino is older than both the county and state to which it belongs, having leant its name to the former (320 km) and further still to the combined coastal watersheds that occupy the nearly 200 miles between the mouths of the Eel and Russian Rivers, known far and wide as the Mendocino Coast. 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 more clearly differentiate it from Mendocino County.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
The closest international airport is San Francisco (SFO), though when accounting for traffic the smaller hubs in Oakland (OAK) and Sacramento (SMF) can often be reached more quickly and offer slightly cheaper fares. The greatest convenience is found in Santa Rosa at the Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS), though it, too, is still a nearly two hour drive away. Little River Airport (KLLR) is a small, county-owned public-use airport located just four miles southeast of the village and charter flights are available from Surf Air, among others, however the costs are prohibitive, averaging over $4,000 round trip for a three-seat craft to any of the smaller airports on the periphery of the Bay Area or Sacramento.
- 1 Surf Air, 43001 Little River-Airport Rd, Little River, CA 95456 (flies to and from Little River Airport), toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. A fast, professional charter flight service for when money's no object.
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.
- MTA Route 60: The Coaster: Coastal bus service by the Mendocino Transit Authority, ☏ . Runs twice daily up and down the coast from Fort Bragg to Albion through Mendocino and Little River, costing $3-$4 per ride.
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.
The historic downtown area, where most of the interesting shops and restaurants are, can be a bit challenging to negotiate for people with mobility limitations. Some places have steep curbs or a couple of steps, and the sidewalks can be steeper than expected. However, alternate routes will almost always get you to your destination.
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 calving grounds off the coast of Baja California.
- 1 Catch a Canoe & Bicycles, Too!, 1 S Big River Rd (on the grounds of the Stanford Inn), ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 9AM–5PM. Located on the 8-mile long Big River estuary, this outfitter specializes in redwood outrigger canoe rentals. The double outrigger design (one outboard stabilizing pontoon 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 foot-controlled rudder pedals for easy steering. Tandem and single kayaks are also available. Harbor seals, river otters and a beautiful, undeveloped waterway await. Adult $55, youth (6–17 y/o) $30, children (< 6 y/o) free. Rentals are for three hours..
- 2 Mendocino Film Festival, 10701 Palette Dr (Main venue is the tent on the opposite side of Palette Drive as the Hill House), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. F Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 10AM-7PM. The Mendocino Film Festival takes place every year during the first weekend in June and showcases independent films. Filmmakers often attend to talk about the journey of creating a film to viewers. A special focus on providing a wide variety in the selection of each year's films generally ensures that almost everyone will find at least one showing that appeals to them. Newer venues have been added in addition to historic Crown Hall and the tent across from the Hill House, now filmgoers can see films at the renovated but still historic Arena Theater (35 miles south in Point Arena), or 8 miles north at Fort Bragg's quaint but modern Coast Cinemas. Adult $10-25, youth (⩽ 12 y/o) $5..
- 3 Mendocino Music Festival, 45035 Main St (on the ocean side of Main Street, just west of the Ford House), ☏ , email@example.com. Daily, Afternoon performances 1PM, Evenings 7:30PM. In the iconic 16,000 sq ft (1,500 m2) performance tent overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you'll enjoy classical music from The Festival Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Allan Pollack - whose players include many professional musicians from the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, music and dance offerings vary annually and have included world-class artists performing Celtic, big band, jazz, bluegrass, chamber music and still others, plus the regular Emerging Artists concert. Select your performances to attend from the Piano Series, Jazz Series, or one-off 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 meals and wine before your concert. $15-80 according to seating area.
- 1 Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books, 319 Kasten St (on the corner of Main and Kasten Streets), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 10:30AM-6PM. Since 1962, the Gallery has been one of the main attractions in town for visitors and locals alike. The bookstore has earned its reputation for great service and selection, seemingly always having something for everyone. Thanks to the 1988 addition of the Bookwinkle's section of the store dedicated to children's literature, it's now a weekly occurrence to encounter a patron who found their own first books there now bringing in their own children to enjoy the space. There is a fantastic view of Mendocino Bay from the front windows, and Headlands State Park (complete with picnic benches for reading and eating) is just on the other side of Main Street.
|This page uses the following price ranges for indicate the cost of an average meal for one, including a non-alcoholic beverage:|
|Budget||$15 – $30|
|Mid-range||$30 – $45|
|Splurge||$45 and up|
- 1 Café Beaujolais, 961 Ukiah St, ☏ , email@example.com. W-Sa 11:30AM-9PM, Su 9:30AM-5PM. International reputation, Italian-leaning menu in an intimate setting.
- 2 MacCallum House Restaurant, 45020 Albion St, ☏ , toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Th-M 5PM-8PM. Café, bar & fine dining set in an old in with lots of atmosphere.
- 3 Trillium Café, 10390 Kasten St, ☏ , email@example.com. F-Tu 11:30AM-2:15PM lunch, 5-8:30PM dinner. Great soups & salads, with a full dinner menu.
- 4 Frankie's, 44951 Ukiah St, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su noon-9PM. Wood-fired pizza and salads made with local greens that you can enjoy in a sunny garden. Pizzas $11-31, 12"-16".
- 5 Ravens Restaurant, 44850 Comptche Ukiah Rd, 2nd Floor (inside the Stanford Inn by the Sea), ☏ , toll-free: , email@example.com. Daily 7:30AM-10:30AM breakfast, 5:30-8PM dinner. Vegetarian fare.
- Mendocino Wine Co., 45070 Main St, toll-free: . 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: , firstname.lastname@example.org. An 8-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: , email@example.com. 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: , firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: , email@example.com. 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: , firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: , email@example.com. 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: , firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, ☏ , email@example.com. 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|