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Overview

The Mendocino coast offers a scenic spectacle of pounding surf, rugged, windswept cliffs, beaches littered with driftwood, and gulches choked with redwoods. Highway 1 dips and twists atop the cliffs, with a breathtaking vista around every bend. Founded by lumbermen from Maine in 1852, the charming village of Mendocino is known as the "New England of the West Coast." Poised idyllically atop a craggy headland, the tranquil village is chock-full of clapboard gingerbread mansions with steep gabled roofs, inspiring images of Cape Cod or Maine. Many of them are now boutique hotels, such as the MacCallum House Inn. The former lumber village is now ...

The Mendocino coast offers a scenic spectacle of pounding surf, rugged, windswept cliffs, beaches littered with driftwood, and gulches choked with redwoods. Highway 1 dips and twists atop the cliffs, with a breathtaking vista around every bend. Founded by lumbermen from Maine in 1852, the charming village of Mendocino is known as the "New England of the West Coast." Poised idyllically atop a craggy headland, the tranquil village is chock-full of clapboard gingerbread mansions with steep gabled roofs, inspiring images of Cape Cod or Maine. Many of them are now boutique hotels, such as the MacCallum House Inn. The former lumber village is now an enclave of artists and artisans. Guided tours leave from the Kelly House Historical Museum. Mendocino Headlands State Park, enveloping the town, preserves the setting, while the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is a must visit, with its formal gardens, fern-covered canyons, and coastal bluffs ablaze with orange California poppies. Away from the coast, the Anderson Valley is known for its apples and hops - the Anderson Valley Brewing Company is a great place to quench a thirst. Local residents even speak their own dialect - bootling.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time of year. Winter days are usually clear and mild; summer is cool and foggy.