Mendocino, California is a charming, New England style village perched on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean. Favored by artists, you'll find numerous Bed and Breakfast inns, good restaurants, and art galleries ready to welcome you as you explore the natural beauty of the winding trails along the bluffs, or river walks into coastal valleys.
Its remote location 3 to 5 hours north of San Francisco makes getting there part of the experience. The quicker route is up Highway 101 to Cloverdale then through the wine country of the Anderson Valley. (Husch winery is a favorite of ours, and their dry Gewurztraminer is reminiscent of a Czech wine I once enjoyed on a trip to Prague.)
Visitors with more time might opt for the incredibly scenic coastal route up Route 1, where the road has more twists and turns than any other section I know. Stop along the way to enjoy oysters and clams at Tomales Bay, and a walk on the wind-swept bluffs of Bodega Head or a visit to Point Arena lighthouse.
If the weather is clear, you might be rewarded with a sunset where you can watch the sun sink into the Pacific Ocean before night descends.
No matter how you spend your time in Mendocino, the power of the water is always present and awe inspiring.
Mendocino -- the perfect antidote to overly-busy days and a trip every Bay Area resident should take.