Yesterday I returned from an overnight road trip with my daughter, we drove up the Northern California coastline to neighboring Mendocino County and spent the night at a little B&B. I wanted to squeeze in a little getaway to a place I’ve never been, and spend some one-on-one time with my teenager. A little coastal road trip was the perfect medicine for our cabin fever!
We got very lucky with the weather. As we pulled into town the sun was shining and when we left the next afternoon, fog had already settled over the county. Unlike Southern California beaches where you can pretty much guarantee sunshine most of the year, Northern California’s coastal weather is unpredictable, it changes from hour to hour, day to day, but that’s what makes our coastline mysterious and alluring! Some of our vistas look like they’re straight out of a “Best of California” travel guide.
I’ve lived my entire life in Northern California. I’ve traveled east to Sacramento and Tahoe and I’ve been to most of the southern parts of our state, but this was the first time I’ve been this far north along the coast. What took me so long?!
The drive is a winding one, so if you ever make the Highway 1 road trip, be prepared to go slow around all the bends as you make your way north, but on arrival in Mendocino, you’ll enjoy one of the most charming towns in California! The town is easy to explore within a 24 hour period.
The architecture is a mixture of clapboard sided homes and Victorians with white picket fences. The town feels like a throwback to a bygone era, no wonder it’s a destination for so many travelers to the region! The residences have my favorite kind of gardens: wild yet manicured. There must be something in the soil because the lavender and hydrangea are some of the most intense shades of purple I’ve ever seen.
A few of the shops were open so we stopped in to browse the locally made goods and enjoy the sunny weather and coastal views before heading back home to Sonoma County.
The entire town is being very conscientious because of Covid-19. There weren’t many people there mid week so it was sleepy, but thankfully everyone was wearing masks and social distancing and using hand sanitizer. The local merchants were grateful we stopped in for the day in support of the community.
Add Mendocino County to your travel list if you’re ever in California, the hiking paths and views of the ocean are some of the most scenic in the USA!
** 7/4 update. Friends, it’s been brought to my attention that Mendocino lacks the hospital care to deal with a large number of coronavirus patients at this time. My plans to travel were made in mid June when the virus was under greater control. With surging cases in the state right now, I agree with the few locals who wrote to me it’s best to postpone any traveling to Mendocino until the virus is not as dangerous to their community. Stay well my friends to the north!