Mendocino is an adorable coastal town in northern California, about 4 hours north of San Francisco. It is a perfect weekend (or long weekend) trip from the Bay Area to enjoy the cozy vibes, beautiful hikes, coastal views, and more!
Getting to Mendocino:
We drove from South Bay up to Mendocino, through Santa Rosa/Healdsburg. You can really only get here driving, so that’s what I recommend. If you’re flying in, Sacramento would be your closest airport.
Road Trip Stops:
It’s a long drive up, so you might want to break it up! Healdsburg is a great stop. We first enjoyed bakery items from Quail & Condor, then headed over to Flying Goat Coffee. We walked around the Saturday morning farmers market with our coffee and picked up some produce for a picnic. Then we completed our picnic set up with sandwiches from Oakville Grocery.
Take all your delicious picnic supplies up to Handley Cellars. You can do a wine tasting for $15, and charge your car for free! After the wine tasting, enjoy your picnic at the picnic tables on their property. You can also do a wine and cheese tasting at Pennyroyal Farm which is an equally lovely experience!
Bu First, Coffee:
Start your day off with a coffee and pastry from the Waiting Room or Cafe Beaujolais. This is a super cute little cafe in downtown Mendocino.
Take a Hike:
Head to Russian Gulch State Park and enjoy the many hikes to explore. You can go coastal or head inland. I loved the Fern Canyon! There is even free car charging in the parking lot!
Sunset in the Headlands:
Right around sunset is a great time to go wander the Mendocino Headlands State Park. There was no entrance fee and tons of parking. There aren’t really defined hikes, but it is the perfect place to just meander around the coastline. This is a truly stunning park so save time to soak it all up.
Point Cabrillo Lighthouse:
Start your day with the short hike out to the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse! The lighthouse museum is open 11am – 4pm if you’re interested in learning more about the history. We went when the museum was closed and just enjoyed the views.
Lunch with a View:
Drive up to Noyo Fish Company and grab some fried fish tacos with a view of the harbor! This was a great find and the food was phenomenal.
Head up the coast and enjoy Fort Bragg Glass Beach! There’s not much to do here, but worth checking out. You will find beautiful pieces of sea glass as part of the normal sand all over the beach. This is a great place to explore and hang out for a bit.
Pacific Star Winery:
Definitely a highlight of our trip, swing up to Pacific Star Winery. It’s a bit of a drive but totally worth it. This is a winery that is right on the coast and the views are stunning. The wine is alright, but the tasting is only $15 and it is totally worth it for the experience.
End with Dinner in Mendocino:
Head back to Mendocino to enjoy dinner at Mendocino Cafe