Mendocino County: The Traveler’s Getaway Guide

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  • by WC STAFF
  • on OCTOBER 30, 2015
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If you want a wine weekend getaway that also includes picturesque landscapes, unparalleled fine dining, and the timeless charm of Victorian architecture, look no further than Mendocino County. This quaint yet lively coastal county blends oceanside living and vineyard scenery flawlessly, providing you with the perfect taste of the California lifestyle. Read our complete guide to visiting Mendocino and start planning your next vacation to this secluded oceanfront gem today.

Where to Stay

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Image Source: Mendocino Hotel
Mendocino Hotel
45080 Main St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-0511
TripAdvisor: 3.5 stars, 423 Reviews
Check Availability

The Mendocino Hotel is known for its eclectic decor and interesting history. Looking like a saloon out of a classic Western film, the hotel has three fine dining options, including a brunch at the Garden Room that you won’t want to miss. Plus, the hotel has a fully stocked bar, allowing you to experience Mendocino’s entertaining nightlife without ever leaving the property. Insider tip: Like a bit of mystery? Although the hotel does not confirm or deny any claims, the Mendocino Hotel is reportedly haunted.

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Image Source: Yelp
Heritage House Resort
5200 North Highway One
Little River, CA 95456
(707) 202-9010
TripAdvisor: 4.5 Stars, 332 Reviews
Check availability

Panoramic ocean views surround the gorgeous Heritage House Resort, located right off the historic Highway 1. The hotel provides guests with the perfect sightseeing vantage for whale or sea lion watching. Built during the Gold Rush, the hotel has been updated with every modern luxury you could need, including hand-crafted Duxiana beds and rainfall showers. Each room has a spacious private deck and a fireplace to keep you warm on those cool West coast evenings. Walking trails span the 37-acre seaside retreat, offering plenty of space for a quiet scenic that showcases local wildlife. Insider tip: Rent the movie Same Time, Next Year before visiting the hotel. The movie was actually filmed at the Heritage House Resort in 1978!

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Image Source: Yelp
Brewery Gulch Inn
9401 North Highway One
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-4752
TripAdvisor: 5 Stars, 949 Reviews
Check Availability

Designed by architect Carolina La Pere, the historic Brewery Gulch Inn pays tribute to the California redwoods by featuring ecologically harvested redwood shingles. When staying at the Brewery Gulch Inn, make sure you take time to walk the alluring grounds, filled with gardens and ponds. You can often spot wildlife, including rabbits and quail. Enjoy a gourmet meal on-site prepared by Executive Chef Peg Davis, who uses locally sourced ingredients to create the inn’s seasonal menu. Insider tip: Looking for exciting things to do around the Brewery Gulch Inn? Follow their three-day guide for a list of unique local activities.

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Image Source: Yelp
Sea Rock Inn
11101 Lansing St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-0926
TripAdvisor: 5 Stars, 519 Reviews

This Mendocino bed and breakfast is the perfect place for a romantic weekend getaway. Take in the sweeping ocean views from the Sea Rock Inn—you may even spot a few whales! The on-site spa and sauna helps you leave your stress behind and focus purely on relaxing during your stay. Insider tip: Savor a bottle of complimentary California wine upon arrival, provided by the upscale inn.

Where to Eat

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Image Source: Yelp
Raven’s Restaurant
44850 Comptche Ukiah Rd.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707)937-5615
TripAdvisor: 4.5 Stars, 183 Reviews

Featured in Oprah Magazine, Raven’s Restaurant focuses on ethical sustainability. They use only the finest local and organic ingredients in their recipes, creating unique and delicious breakfast dishes, like the Stanford Inn Florentine or the Savory Breakfast Crepe. Insider tip: Don’t feel guilty if you can’t clear your plate completely. Not even scraps are wasted at the ethically sustainable Raven’s Restaurant. Your leftovers are placed in the restaurant’s compost pile that eventually gets turned into fertilizer.

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Image Source: Yelp
The Ledford House
3000 N. Hwy 1
Albion, CA 95410
(707) 937-0282
TripAdvisor: 4.5 Stars, 123 Reviews

The dinner menu at Ledford House changes monthly to highlight local flavors and herbs that have been picked straight from the establishment’s garden. Come early in the evening for the sunset experience at the Ledford House. Insider tip: The restaurant hosts live jazz music every night starting at 7 p.m.

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Image Source: Yelp
Cafe Beaujolais
961 Ukiah St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-5614

The owner and executive chef of Cafe Beaujolais, David LaMonica, crafts exemplary dishes out of locally sourced seafood and organic produce, some of it pulled from the restaurant’s on-site garden. For dinner, try the Broiled Hawaiian Swordfish or the Pan Roasted California Sturgeon. Insider tip: If you can’t make it for dinner, visit for lunch. Foregoing the basics, the lunch menu at Cafe Beaujolais includes a Crab Cake Benedict made with Chef LaMonica’s prize winning crab cakes.

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Image Source: Yelp
MacCallum House Restaurant
45020 Albion St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-0289
TripAdvisor: 4 Stars, 536 Reviews

MacCallum House Restaurant’s menu focused wholly on food and wine sourced from the North Coast. Beautiful scenic landscapes surround the restaurant, adding to the already elegant ambiance. Don’t miss out on the infamous Eggs Mac Benedict. Insider tip: Come back in the evenings for drinks at the restaurant’s popular bar, where bartenders whip up a bevy of seasonal cocktails.

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Image Source: Yelp
Goodlife Cafe & Bakery
10483 Lansing St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-0836
TripAdvisor: 4.5 Stars, 146 Reviews

Goodlife Cafe & Bakery creates all their bakery items from scratch (locally sourced scratch!) daily. This Mendocino cafe has lots of personality and serves up an unbelievable cappuccino. Insider tip: Get there early. The cafe sometimes gets busy and the pastries are best when eaten fresh out of the oven.

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Image Source: Yelp
Patterson’s Pub
10485 Lansing St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-4782
TripAdvisor: 4.5 Stars, 603 Reviews

If you ask a local for a lunch recommendation, there is a good chance they will name Patterson’s Pub. The restaurant serves bar food with a healthy twist. Insider tip: Get a bit of history with your lunch. The pub building dates back to 1866, when it existed as the Rectory for Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church.

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Image Source: Yelp
Mendocino Cafe
10451 Lansing St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-6141
TripAdvisor: 4 Stars, 523 Reviews

Have lunch at the Mendocino Cafe to sample organic fusion meals with Pacific scenery. The restaurant’s outdoor patio is the perfect place to savor your meal. Insider tip: A marriage of two delicious cultures, order the Thai Burrito if you want something a little out of the ordinary,

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Image Source: Yelp
Flow
45040 Main St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-3569
TripAdvisor: 4 Stars, 186 Reviews

Like many of the restaurants in Mendocino, the deck seating at Flow gives you an unforgettable view of the coast. Try a fresh salad with the restaurant’s signature pizzas and treat yourself to a craft cocktail or a glass of wine from one of the local vineyards. Insider tip: If you are a seafood fan, the fish tacos can’t be beat.

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Image Source: Yelp
Wild Fish
7750 Hwy 1
Little River, CA 95456
(707) 937-3055
TripAdvisor: 4.5 Stars, 295 Reviews

Wild Fish restaurant boasts a menu created with 100% local, organic ingredients. Many of their provisions include seasonal items harvested right outside their doors. The menu lists where seafood and meats are sourced so you know exactly from where your meal came. Insider tip: Consider carbs your new best friend at Wild Fish. Their mouthwatering breads are made daily.

Wineries to Visit

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Image Source: Yelp
Navarro Vineyards
5601 Highway 128
Philo, CA 95466
(800)537-9463
Yelp: 4.5 Stars, 190 Reviews
Reservations: Not required

Ask for seating in the beautiful gardens for your wine tasting at Navarro Vineyards. The grounds are stunning and offer picturesque views of the surrounding California countryside. Twice-daily tours of the vineyards gives you insight into the full winemaking process. Insider tip: Keep an eye out for the adorable babydoll sheep that roam the vineyards.

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Image Source: Yelp
Lazy Creek Vineyards
4741 Highway 128
Philo, CA 95466
(707)895-3623
TripAdvisor: 4.5 Stars, 4 Reviews
Reservations: Not required

Lazy Creek Vineyards is not only a winery, it is a charming 95 acre ranch with chickens, cats, and a variety of other farm animals. The vineyard holds wine tasting in the farmhouse, which is over 100 years old. Insider tip: The 2012 Pinot Noir is the showstopper at Lazy Creek Vineyards.

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Image Source: Yelp
Goldeneye Winery
9200 Highway 128
Philo, CA 95466
(707) 895-3202
TripAdvisor: 4.5 Stars, 29 Reviews
Reservations: Not required for groups under six

In the heart of Anderson Valley, Goldeneye Winery’s main focus is crafting bold Pinot Noirs. Their Migration label wines are also a popular choice for those seeking something different. Insider tip: Upgrade your wine tasting to include a luxurious picnic lunch and tour of the grounds.

Things to Do

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Image Source: TripAdvisor
Mendocino Headlands State Park
1000 Brewery Gulch Rd.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-5804
TripAdvisor: 4.5 Stars, 245 Reviews

Walk the winding trails of Mendocino Headlands State Park and take in both the famous California forests and the Pacific coastline. Beautiful spring flowers bloom along the trails and in the fall, you can witness the Grey Whale Migration on the secluded beaches. Insider tip: Come to the park in July for the Mendocino Music Festival, which features jazz, blues, folk, and dance music.

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Image Source: Yelp
Glass Beach
Elm Street and Old Haul Rd.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
TripAdvisor: 4 Stars, 875 Reviews

Along the Mendocino Coast lies Glass Beach, a coastal stretch that holds three coves covered in multicolored sea glass. Insider tip: While you can’t take the glass with you, start a treasure hunt for rare pieces of sapphire or ruby-colored glass.

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Image Source: Yelp
Drive Thru Tree
67402 Drive Thru Tree Rd.
Leggett, CA 95585
(707)925-6446
TripAdvisor: 4 Stars, 252 Reviews

Take a ride through the famous California redwoods and arrive at this historic drive thru tree, also known as the Chandelier Tree. Check this one off your bucket list, and then grab a few souvenirs from the gift shop. Insider tip: Pack a lunch and eat at the shaded picnic area, an awe-inspiring lunch spot.

Plan your next vacation to Mendocino County and get the full California experience without the crowds or tourist traps. Looking for more pastimes to fill your schedule during your stay? Check out our list of activities in the Mendocino area to get plenty of ideas for your upcoming vacation to the California coast.