15 Best Things to Do in Mendocino

15 Best Things to Do in Mendocino

A historical landmark in itself, Mendocino is a sight to behold. The town is an apt portrayal of Victorian architecture that dates back to the 1850's.

To enhance the beauty of the place, it is adorned with a gorgeous coastline. The old-world town appeals a lot to everyone.

It is a tiny place with great spots to visit. The traveler in you will probably want to wear that hippie t-shirt and cargo pants by looking at the town's atmosphere.

We can assure you that this experience will be a lot different than any states you would’ve visited in California.

So, let’s indulge in the magnificent yet simple lifestyle of Mendocino!

Night Over at The Glendeven Inn and Lodge

Recognized as the coolest and comfortable lodge in Mendocino, Glendeven exceeds our expectations.

The credibility of the Inn can be verified through testimonials presented by Vogue and USA Today Travel. They provide comforting and warm lounges, an incredible bar, and a lush green garden.

The rooms are spacious and accommodating. Each room is well equipped with a view of either garden or the patio. It is a stylish lodge to stay at. You can show off your lavish room on your social media.

Furthermore, you can relish a lip-smacking la carte breakfast the next day. The humble atmosphere and hospitality will make you want to stay a little more.

Dip a Leg at The Mendocino Coast

Mendocino coast
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Mendocino has got a spectacular coastline. The town itself is known for its coast and beach only. It is said that this is one of the most majestic beaches in the world. And looking at the scene of it, this sure appears true.

It will feel surreal to take some time off and sit at the coast with azure waters stroking your feet. Do not ramble aimlessly on a busy street, rather relax and spread out on the beach.

From the beach, you can watch the undulating mountains and cliffs at a distance. If you are planning to visit it in the evening, do not leave the spot until sunset. Because that’s when the magic happens.

The moment when the orangish hues merge into each other and create a euphoric atmosphere. It will be a pleasant experience, for sure.

Nature’s Retreat at The Russian Gulch

Russian Gulch State Park
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Nature has its ways to attract mankind. It creates its aura to amaze us, like humans, every single time. Russian Gulch State Park is one such creation that would entice you to spend a day.

Loaded with pristine beaches, brimming waterfalls, and headlands it is the best place to spend some time in nature’s lap.

There are different trails you can take up, according to the time you have in hand. You can take a headlands trail that will offer an alluring view of the ocean.

Or you can take a Fern Canyon Trail that will hike you up to the waterfall. And if at all you are spending a whole day there, hike till the Russian Gulch’s creek.

The view from up there is splendid and breathtaking. This place is a hidden treasure that needs more attention.

Pay a Visit to The Mendocino Art Centre

Mendocino art center
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

North California is utterly beautiful and if you want to experience its beauty holistically, then this is the place for you.

You have two options here, either admire the art pieces presented here or engage in one of the workshops offered by them. Both of these options are equally intriguing.

First things first, the center houses some of the remarkable works of various artists. Be it a sculpture, or a painting, everything is beautifully crafted.

The selection is marvelous. You will get to see pieces from various genres and eras. Now, if you choose the workshop. You get a lot of mediums to try your hands on.

Some of them are ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, fiber arts, and fine arts. They have a lot more apart from this, so it depends on your choices and preferences.

Discover the Headlands State Park

Headlands State Park
Aubrey Laughlin / Shutterstock.com

A perfect blend of steep trails and pristine beaches, Headlands State Park is worth discovering. The park offers a spectacular view of the sea and coastline. There are a plethora of activities you can take up here to spend your time.

You may walk the trails and snap pictures of some exotic flowers. If you are visiting the place in winters, you may have a look at the whales from a distance.

You can go hiking or surfing in the ocean. You may also go fishing if you are skilled enough. It is a photographer's favorite spot as it offers elegant frames to capture.

It will be interesting to map your way out in between the rock formations and wild bushes.

Bird’s Eye View from The Point Arena Lighthouse

Point Arena Lighthouse
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Looking for a picturesque location to view Mendocino? This is your stop. Point Arena Lighthouse provides an awe-inspiring top view of the town.

The appropriate time to visit is September and October. The view from the top is unforgettable and almost magical. Your eyes are in for a treat. As you will look at the state from the top, you’d realize how tiny it is.

But still holds an eminent position in California’s tourism. If you want you can catch a sunset too from atop. All in all, it will be delightful.

Go Canoeing on The Big River

Canoeing in Big River
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Canoeing is a fun task to perform. The Big River is stable and comfortable to canoe. As the river is gentle, you can canoe steadily and enjoy the atmosphere simultaneously.

The Big river flows in multiple directions giving you a big opportunity to paddle seamlessly. Many local companies lease canoes for tourists at an hourly pay rate.

You can choose any of them and go for the ride. If you are new, they will also teach you the basics of it and you will be good to go.

Explore the Jughandle State Reserve

Mendocino is full of natural reserves and parks. The community has fostered and preserved the environment and natural elements. They promote harmony and conservation of our flora and fauna.

Talking about the Jughandle State Reserve, it is located on Highway 1. The park is known for its adjoined beaches, daunting trails, and peaceful environment it offers.

It is perhaps the most beautiful place in Mendocino. The forest is easy to walk through but is equally amazing. You can pack your picnic essentials and visit this place. Even if you spend a whole day here, it will be worth it.

Who doesn’t like relaxing in mother nature’s arms? The trail might happen to be a little trippy but is worth exploring. You’ll truly enjoy your day here.

Tour the Kelley House Museum

Kelley House in Mendocino
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

There is no doubt in the fact that Mendocino is a diverse town. It has everything; ranging from environmental preserves to historical museums. One such museum is Kelley House.

It is situated right in the heart of the town. The museum portrays the rich and cultural history of the Mendocino coast. The house is beautifully restored and showcases the heritage and ethos of the state.

Taking a guide with you will be a good option because they will be well equipped with the history and will show you a whole different perspective. The tour will take around 2 hours combined with real-life stories and anecdotes.

You will start appreciating the history and culture of Mendocino as you’ll learn the stories. The house is also composed of historical artifacts and information that acts as an extra aid.

It will be an interesting time and you will gain a lot of insights about the place you have traveled to.

Hail the Skunk Train

Skunk Train
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The world already knows about the renowned train ride that takes you into the woods. The train is vintage-looking and historic. 5 different trains take you on the ride.

The round trip is 2 hours long. It will take you to some exotic locations and many tunnels. The scenery en route is worth gawking at. It is so beautiful and picturesque.

One reminder, do not forget to get off at the Crowley. We won’t tell you why. Get off and see for yourself. The train is not fast-paced, making it easy for passengers to admire the view. It is one of the iconic activities to do while in Mendocino.

Play Golf at Little River Inn

Golf is said to the game of royals. It is associated with aristocrats and higher-class people. Do you want to feel the royalty and try your hands on this game? Here’s your chance to fulfill your wish in Mendocino.

Little River Inn Golf Course presents the game to you. Situated between the hills and meadows, it is the oldest golf course in the region. It is a fun place to test your skills and abilities.

You can take a single round to see if it works for you. You will indeed enjoy the round and will want to play more and more. Trying new things always turns into a pleasurable experience.

Tinge of History at Ford House Museum

Ford House Museum
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

Mendocino is a brimming historical town. Ford House is another member that is getting added to the historical spot list. First things first, the edifice is a historic figurine in itself.

The house is the representation of the architecture that was built in those years. As you will venture in, you will witness some marvelous artifacts and pictures.

This museum tells stories of everything that Mendocino has ever experienced.

The exhibit is well segregated and in a particular order. The pictures convey a lot more than you would ever read in books or manuscripts. The place is intriguing and awe-inspiring.

Learning about a city’s history is always fascinating. You will thoroughly enjoy the tour and will surely re-tell the stories you heard here.

Head Over to The Van Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park
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Probably the best campsite in California, Van Damme State Park is significantly important and beautiful. It is a little park with clean picnic areas. The park leads to the equally stunning redwood forest.

The authorities do not charge anything but make sure you do not litter the place. As this might cost you some hefty fine. It is an alluring sight.

The park is well maintained and clean. You can relax here for a bit and experience serenity. Van Damme offers nothing but peace and good vibes.

Horseback Ride at Ross Ranch

Riding a horse is a trivial experience. At Ross Ranch, you can go for a horseback ride around the coastline. Riding a horse may appear easy but it isn’t.

You need to stay cautious while riding it. The instructor will teach you the basics and you would be good to go. The horses are well trained and they make your ride smoother. It will be a gentle ride for sure.

It will surely be a breathtaking experience. As you will ride around the coast, you will also be able to have a view of the majestic ocean. The best time to go for a ride is in the evening.

The temperature drops and the atmosphere is pleasant too. The scenery is spectacular. It will be a different kind of experience, we can assure you that.

Worship at The Temple of Kwan Tai

Temple of Kwan Tai in Mendocino
Tony Eppstein, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is said that this temple offers a fortune to all its visitors. Deriving its tradition from Chinese roots, Kwan Tai is the oldest temple in Mendocino. The temple is open for visitors from 12-3 PM. The structure of the shrine is unique and Asian.

It is a spiritually charged location. You must pray for the betterment and happiness of your loved ones and for yourself too. We wish that your prayers get heard here and may you achieve the unattainable.

So, Mendocino was surely delightful. We are still not over it. And we are sure that even you aren’t. Let us know how you like the place once you visit it!