I recently spent a week in Mendocino, several hours north of San Francisco. We camped with friends at Russian Gulch State Park, a few miles north of the town, and spent a final night at Glendeven Inn, a lovely farmstead B&B on the coast, amongst llamas and chickens.

I hadn’t been this far north in years, when a college friend and I passed through in 2007. Looking at California as a whole, it’s not that far north, as you’d still have to drive four more hours to reach Eureka (which is 100 miles south of the Oregon border). I’d like to spend more free, uninterrupted time exploring the state, but with my job, and now my weekends reserved for tiny house building, it’s hard to find this kind of time.

I love this part of Northern California, from the Mendocino coast to Anderson Valley: a more remote, untamed version of Sonoma County. We’re now considering the area for our future tiny house location.

View from the coastal trail at Mendocino Headlands State Park.

Kayaking through sea caves with Kayak Mendocino at Van Damme State Park, three miles south of the town of Mendocino, on Highway 1. This sheltered area was full of jellyfish, kelp, and seafoam — it felt like I was stirring soup with my paddle.

The waterfall at the end of the Fern Canyon Trail (a six-mile loop) at Russian Gulch State Park.

Balcony of the Briar Rose suite at Glendeven Inn, Mendocino

Our balcony at the Briar Rose suite at Glendeven Inn, a farmstead B&B on Highway 1.

Published by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Senior editor at Longreads / Automattic

15 thoughts on “Mendocino

  1. Happy Anniversary, Cheri. Wishes to share with your husband of course. I’ve been several times to this part of CA, but being with young children then, B&B weren’t the best places to stay. The Inn sounds a perfect place for couples without kids or empty nesters (soon my case…) Love the champagne glasses and the lovely card…
    Being currently in Maine I cannot avoid the comparison between my two favorite states in the US. Kayaking there can be wild when the water abounds but there are also marshy areas where paddling feels like stirring a pot of clam chowder.
    For anyone who knows this part of Northern California your photos are exquisite. This would be a great spot for your new home. Far enough from the crowds, close to anture and yet within reasonable distance from the city. A dream maybe coming true?

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