Three hours north of San Francisco lies the charming little town Mendocino on a barren promontory in the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by steep cliffs, chilly winds and clear blue sea, the pastel colored small wooden houses are lined up. If I didn't know better, I probably would have thought I was in New England. White wooden fences, pink hydrangeas and roses, ornate white carpentry and lots of charming Bed & Breakfasts meet you in every block and the door signs gossip that a large number of artists and sculptors live here in the idyll.
Sit down in one of the many cafes and restaurants, hear the big waves crashing against the rocks and order a locally produced drink from one of the area's many microbreweries, wineries or cider makers. People go here to eat well and enjoy the peace.
See and do around Mendocino
When you are fully rested in body and soul after a day of good food, visits to galleries and lots of fresh sea air, it may be time for an excursion.
Around Mendocino there are numerous nature experiences to discover for the whole family within a maximum of one hour's drive. Glass beach outside Fort Bragg (covered in soft glass rocks), pygmy forest Van Damme (forest with miniature trees), Bowling Ball Beach (globular large stones on the beach), the beautiful the lighthouse at Point Arena, Montgomery Woods State Park (large Redwood trees) or why not visit one of the many wineries nearby? Unlike Napa, visiting the wineries outside of Mendocino is still both enjoyable and affordable. Some of the wine producers with tasting rooms are Phillips Hill, Maple creek or a little more glamorous Roederer Estate.
How do I find accommodation?
Mendocino is (not unexpectedly) a popular destination for San Francisco residents looking for a romantic and quiet weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Although for a town of about 1000 people there are an unusually large number of B&Bs in Mendocino, it is not at all easy to find accommodation unless you are out very early. It can also be quite difficult to find accommodation that takes more than two adults, as the small hotels usually have very small rooms.
An alternative location for family accommodation is Fort Bragg, 15 minutes north of Mendocino, where all the major motel chains are represented. Not as romantic, but a motel room with two king-size beds is convenient and economical accommodation for a family with two children. Before you decide on accommodation, however, I think you should check out these lovely boutique B&Bs in Mendocino: Agate Cove B&B, MacCallum House and Blue Door Inn. Here you can really say that the accommodation is as interesting as the destination.
Have you been here? What did you think of the destination?
Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 55 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel blog Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.