With wide eyes and a soft breeze flowing through the car, we drove through some of the most beautiful redwood forests on our way up the North Coast with the sunbeams casting a golden glow all around us. In high hopes of warm weather and continued sunshine when the redwood forest opened up onto the coast, we were suddenly reaching for an additional layer of clothing. It really is quite amazing how the weather can switch so quickly in California, but I didn’t mind. Despite the desired fog-less sunset we were hoping for as the day came to an end, the hazy horizon and white skies added a little Mendocino magic to our first time this far north of the Bay Area.
Where To Stay: Little River Inn
Perched above the Pacific with out of this world views, a home away from home feel and a restaurant sure to satisfy was just what the doctor ordered. I have long admired Little River Inn and have only dreamed about staying there one day. After a quick drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and through Marin County, we suddenly found ourselves on the grape lined hills along Highway 128 with tasting rooms and run down barns in the middle of golden fields. After the quick stop in Boonville at Anderson Valley Brewery , we headed further and eventually the 128 turned into redwoods galore. With the windows down, sunroof open and the music a little louder then usual, my eyes were wide with wonder and fulfillment.
Out of the redwoods and onto the coast, we caught the most amazing views the first day we drove in. The weather was stunning and the usual fog filled skies were absent and the Pacific Ocean was shimmering with different shades of blues and greens. Once we spotted the bright white main house standing tall surrounded by accompanied smaller cottages, we knew we had arrived at Little River Inn. We made it to our destination earlier than expected and got lucky that our Ocean View Jacuzzi Deluxe room was all ready for us. The staff at the front desk were so friendly, I knew at that moment we had picked the most perfect inn for our North Coast getaway. Once we entered our upstairs room equip with high vaulted ceilings, a soaking tub for two, king size bed, a fireplace and more than enough space, we quickly settled right into the side by side rocking chairs on our private balcony.
Strolling Along Main Street | Mendocino
The following morning after waking up to ocean views from our room at Little River Inn, we hit the road to explore more of Mendocino. The area is one of those quaint environments you easily forget exist after years of living in a urban city where there are new restaurants and shops popping up weekly. The buildings are old and most of the shops are filled with vintage finds, good eats and cracked paint in result of salty air and consistent whipping winds. Through the trees and along the bluffs, it’s nearly impossible to make a “wrong turn” in this neck of this woods. A spontaneous adventure down a small road may just lead you to a new found hidden gem such as our picnic location at Caspar Beach. If you’re looking to explore the shops and eateries of Mendocino, most can be found along Main Street with views of the Pacific ocean in the distance.
Point Cabrillo Light Station | Mendocino
If you don’t mind the half mile walk to and from the Point Cabrillo Light Station, I recommend stopping to check it out. The lighthouse is similar to the other light stations dotted along Highway One but the wildflowers and views complete with ocean inlets are even more of a reason to venture down the path towards the sea. We brought along lunch and enjoyed our mid-day eats and hot tea on the picnic table adjacent to the lighthouse with a view of an intimate wedding taking place on the cliffs made for an excellent time at the Lighthouse. And the peaceful, technology free stroll was even better!
Have you ever been to Mendocino County? Where are your favorite spots to grab a bite to eat? Do you prefer staying at inns rather than large hotels? What kind of trips or adventures have you been on recently?
This post was made possible in partnership with Little River Inn. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that make the blog a little more dreamy!