Scenes from a Long Weekend in Mendocino County

weekend in Mendocino

Just when I think I’ve seen much of Northern California, I’m surprised yet again by the beauty and uniqueness of a new region. A recent trip took us to Mendocino County, where we played on the beaches, hiked the state parks, oohed and aahed at the dramatic views, tasted wine and walked through 1000-year-old redwood groves. Like the Sea Ranch and Point Arena, where we visited late last summer, the Mendocino area is uncrowded and unspoiled. I’ll write about these places in detail soon, but for now, here are some scenes from a weekend in Mendocino County. (We loved it so much that we’re planning a return trip, so if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!).

Russian Gulch State Park:

weekend in Mendocino weekend in Mendocino Which state park to visit Mendocino

Big River Beach at the Mendocino Headlands State Park:

weekend in Mendocinoweekend in Mendocino weekend in Mendocinoweekend in Mendocinobest beach in MendocinoBest beach in Mendocino for kids

Mendocino Botanical Garden:

Mendocino Botanical GardenMendocino Botanical Garden

Evenings at the two outstanding inns we stayed at, Brewery Gulch Inn and Little River Inn:

nicest hotel Mendocinodsc_0305

Anderson Valley: Tasting wine and enjoying the peaceful property and fall colors at Lula Cellars:

wineries in Mendocino County kid friendly winery Mendocino

Walking among the redwoods along Highway 128:


Countless farms in the countryside:



  • Cindy says:

    Another fabulous post that has me dreaming of new places to explore in California. Thank you, Jenna!

  • Natalie says:

    I can vaguely remember seeing redwoods on our trip to California when I was 5, and I was mesmerized by them! My husband and I were talking about doing a NorCal trip next year, and your gorgeous pictures have made me excited to put those plans in motion. 🙂

    • Jenna says:

      Let me know if you do come! There’s so much to do and see here with kids (or as a couple, too!).

  • I’ve been to Mendocino once, and my in-laws have been going to Sea Ranch every year for decades. Maybe I need to tag along at some point! I imagine the views are pretty similar to these, huh? Great shots!

    • Jenna says:

      Yes, I would tag along if I were you! We went to Sea Ranch for the first time this summer and discovered that it’s a favorite annual getaway for many in Nor Cal (like your in-laws). Yes, the views at Sea Ranch are pretty similar, but it’s even quieter there. Lots of wildlife and, on a clear night, the sky is amazing to see. Hiking at Point Arena north of Sea Ranch is worth a day.

  • Great images! I just got back from a few days in Mendocino myself. Love wine tasting in Anderson Valley (free tastings still, what!?) and I also visited the botanical garden for the first time, it was really nice. I haven’t stayed at Brewery Gulch yet, I hear it’s amazing. I generally stay at the Little River Inn. Thanks for sharing your family experience!

    • Jenna says:

      I know, the wine tasting in that area is amazing–such good wines plus value and friendliness! We loved both places we stayed, and I can understand why you usually stay at Little River Inn. It’s a beautiful property.

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