- Great for relaxing, but not a whole lot to do. It’s a very sleepy town, but so beautiful.
- Weather in Feb. is cold (mid to low 40s, 50s during the day) and rainy.
Mendocino is one of my favorite places in Northern Cali. I absolutely adore the scenic, quaint, beachy town that’s only 3.5 hours from the Bay Area.
My first visit with Mendocino was in 2008, when I attended a wedding there. I had gone back a few times and spent one Thanksgiving there, and it forever captured my heart.
I decided to go to Mendocino to mostly relax, read, eat and do some quiet activities, like going to a museum, yoga or watching a movie.
I stayed at Trillium Cafe & Inn. There aren’t a ton of options to say in the downtown area in Mendocino, unfortunately, so Trillium Cafe & Inn had the best bang for my buck because they also included breakfast.
A real, hot breakfast that consisted of waffles, eggs, toast and coffee. Also, my room had a view of the ocean, can’t go wrong with that!
My go-to resource for researching travel is TripAdvisor. Here’s what the TripAdvisor community had to say about Mendocino.
Kelley House Museum
Make sure to have some dollar bills with you when you enter, as the entrance fee is based on donations. I particularly liked this house because it was super creepy. It was the original house that belonged to a family (the Kelleys, or Kellys?).
The house was old, crooked and every flat surface area was covered with a doily of some kind. I thoroughly enjoy looking through old photos — studying their often unsmiling faces, examining what they wore and the imagining the year in which the photo was taken. All fascinating and plenty to see at the Kelley House.
The house is small, so you’ll be there for about a half hour, max.
Another option is the Ford House Museum, which I didn’t get to do.
Horseback Riding on the beach or forest
- The Ross Ranch
- Beach rides: $60 for 2 hours (1 1/2 hours in the saddle) per person
- Alternative option (if it hasn’t rained) is the forest ride
Horseback riding on a gloomy beach in the freezing cold weather? Yes, please! (I’m being sarcastic.) I didn’t realize it was going to be as cold as it was (probably low 40s) and my hands and face were frozen during the ride.
I just wasn’t fully prepared, so I suffered a little through the ride. OK, I suffered a lot, but it was an incredible ride. It was like strolling through an apocalyptic beach.
Also, because it had just rained, it was a muddy mess walking over to the beach, so inevitably the bottom of your pants and lower part of your back might get splattering of mud.
I wanted to do the forest ride, but the guide said it was too muddy because it had just rained. The ride lasted for a little over 1.5 hours. We crossed a small river on the beach, and I prayed my horse wouldn’t trip and topple into the freezing cold water. Horses tend to trip a lot.
I also went to Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, and despite the fact that there was a mini-hurricane, I still managed to get there and look out to the ocean for 10 seconds, before running back into the car.
Choices for grabbing a drink, or five
I’m definitely not the type of person to rave about a dive bar. Mostly because dive bars are old, rustic, cheesy and always have that stale stench of old cigarettes baked into the walls.
Dick’s was special in that it was the only bar in town that catered to people under the age of 40. A handful of buzzed, rowdy people floated around the bar.
Other notable places to Google, while you’re in Mendocino
- Carol Halls Hot Pepper in Fort Bragg
- Good Life Cafe
- Yoga Shine
- Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park
- Mendocino Pub
Here’s a map of where I went: