Posted October 28, 2009 by Kate Hamman
Located just an hour-and-a-half north of San Francisco, Mendocino offers affordable culture and natural beauty in a small town setting. During the day, you can hike along rugged cliffs before browsing an art gallery that features affordable prices. Then treat yourself to a gourmet meal without spending a fortune.
Mendocino Headlands State Park: Just outside downtown Mendocino, you'll find a natural playground in Mendocino Headlands State Park. Here, you can hike three miles of trails running along oceanside cliffs, surf in the open waters, or enjoy a picnic on a secluded beach. During the winter, the park makes for an ideal location to spot whales. Entrance is free.
Mendocino Art Center: With more artists per capita than any other U.S. county, Mendocino is the place to go for art. And the Mendocino Art Center gives you the opportunity to watch artists at work or take a class. You can also browse the gallery gift shop, which sells a wide range of creative items, including digital and fine art prints, ceramics, jewelry, wood pieces, and books. Since all the artists are also members of the Mendocino Art Center, they can sell their art at more affordable prices than other galleries.
Grey Whale Bar & Café: Pull up a seat in the Grey Whale's glassed-in porch area, and enjoy the views of the water while you sample some of Northern California's finest fare and creative cocktails. This bar and cafe serves smaller versions of the MacCallum House Inn & Restaurant's local and inspired dishes at a fraction of the cost. Sip on a blood-orange margarita or a wild huckleberry daiquiri before digging into a cornmeal-encrusted rock cod sandwich. The menu changes with the seasons, so you never know what you might encounter. Small plates start at $8.
To search for flights and compare prices to Santa Rosa, which is home to Mendocino’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.(Photo: Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce)
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