We have been up to Mendocino a couple times since moving to the Bay Area and it quickly became our place for respite, for grounding, and re-balancing when day to day life feels hectic. The peace, the beauty of the redwoods, the sound of the sound of ocean and wind rustling the trees, dark starry night skies – what could be better? We are extremely fortunate to have good friends that recently moved up there and allow us to stay in their granny flat when we need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Here are some our favorite places we return to over and over again:
Big River Beach and Trail – We call this Henri’s beach because he loves this place! He gets so excited when we go there, running up and down the beach like it’s Disneyland. And on the opposite side of the beach, alongside Big River, there is an excellent walking/running/cycling trail that goes on for over 8 miles.
Walking the Streets of Mendocino – we like supporting local shops when we explore new places, here are some of our favorites:
- Compass Rose – Our friends turned us onto this spot, a local leather shop. We both have our belts and I have a little purse from there. The owner is very knowledgeable and is a now retired local volunteer fire fighter.
- Cafe Beaujolais – Our introduction was a fantastic dinner the first time we went. Since then we have enjoyed dinner several times and the delicious pizzas they serve on weekend mornings only.
- Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkles – great bookstore with unique and fun finds in the heart of town.
- Mendocino Jams and Preserves – delicious homemade jams and preserves. My personal favorite is the Sour Cherry Jam and the Sweet Lemon Cream.
- Harvest Market at Mendosa’s – great supermarket where you can buy organic and local produce and goods. You can also find Roundman’s smoked meats here! (Get the bacon)
- Roundman’s Smoke House – So this is not in Mendocino exactly, it’s in Fort Bragg, but totally worth the trip up there. This is hands down the best bacon we have ever had! Every time we make a trip up here, we stock up on their bacon and sausages for a couple months. When we start running low, we plan a trip up again.
Mendocino Headlands State Park – Beautiful views and sunsets within walking distance of “downtown” Mendocino.
Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park – Awesome lighthouse north of Mendocino.
Mendocino Coast – Between Big River and Little River there is a path that leads straight to the beautiful and very windy coast. This is also a great place to go for an easy trail run or walk.
If you get a chance to make the trip up the Mendocino Coast, we promise you wont be disappointed. And if you have been up there, what are your favorite must-not-miss things to see, do, or eat? Let us know by commenting below!