Northern California attractions features pristine as well as spectacular vistas, shimmering waterfalls, soaring mountains, chilling glaciers, active volcanoes, dense lush forests, secluded beaches, and national forests. As compared to southern California that is sunny, Northern California is actually breezy. In this article, I will share with you the Northern California attractions in Mendocino County that is very spectacular, windy, and foggy. Most of the tourist attractions in the Mendocino County focus on as well as around the coast featuring crashing surf and striking cliffs. The enjoyment in this region is just affordable by anyone – a rejuvenating spa trip or a stroll on the beach.
Before I go ahead, I want to share with you that summer is not the proper time to come here. You will be amidst fog in the morning as well as evenings and that some days in June will be gloomy. Rather, come in Spring or Fall when the coastal rhododendrons decorate the area in March and April. Thinking of winter? Well, expect storms and rains, but with the reward uncrowded popular sights, good winter sports, as well low rates.
One of the Mendocino’s dramatic draws is the Point Arena Lighthouse offering amazing vistas, whale-watching, and lodging options. The top activity here is photography against great backdrops. Beware of the foghorns! Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens are surely among the most adorable Northern California attractions featuring mind-blowing gardens as well as coastal views. This site is at the famous Fort Bragg’s shore and is open on all days with a fee of $10. To its south is one more delight – Point Cabrillo Light Station that is a lighthouse as well as nature preserve. It is a venue of the Whale festival. One of the beloved pastimes is whale-watching from February to April when these creatures migrate to/from their Mexican home in winter.
If you are enjoying with your family here, you must not miss the trip of the Skunk Train, one of the most exciting Northern California attractions in Mendocino. Ride on this legendary train running on steam and diesel and taking you via the famous redwood forests, tunnels, and rivers between Northspur and Fort Bragg.
Ricochet Ridge Ranch is known for its horseback riding along the MecKerricher State Park’s beach or via the redwoods. One more famous as well as guided horseback ride is offered by Ross Ranch at the Manchester Beach or via the forest of redwood. If you are looking for water adventure, then go for Lost Coast Kayaking offering Sea Cave tours starting at the Van Damme State Park.
Van Damme State Park
Do explore the Mendocino Headlands State Park flanking the town with trails edged by blackberries, grottos, and scenic panoramic vistas of sea arches. It is the home of several bird species, especially spot the black oystercatchers. At the rear of the Main Street’s Presbyterian Church, following a trail is worthy as it takes you to the scenic beach.
Revive yourself at the Sweetwater Spa & Inn on the Main Street, which features saunas for an individual or a group as well as and hot-tub soaks along with the deep-tissue massages. You need to reserve yourself here and prices range from $15 per 30 minutes per person to $18. I recommend you to come here on Wednesdays to get special discounts. The spa opens only after noon.
One of the ideal beaches is on the south side. This is called the Big River Beach reachable via the drive on Highway 1. It is famous for walking, sunbathing, and picnicking. For some great food, I would suggest three restaurants here – Ravens, Moosse Café offering tempting soups & salads along with dinner, and Restaurant at the Stevenswood Lodge known for its awesome cuisine.
For accommodation, I would suggest to choose from any of the Fort Bragg hotels. Beach House Inn Motel starts from $100 or less, while Surf and Sand Lodge will range from $101 to $150. For a luxurious stay, head to the Ocean View Lodge ($151 to $199).