Mendocino County, in the northwestern corner of Northern California and the ancient homelands of the Pomo Indians, is known today for its vast redwood forests, premium vineyards and wineries, organic farms, and large plots of cannabis.
The town of Mendocino, perched on rugged cliffs, with the Pacific Ocean as its backdrop, anchors the county. It was a prosperous logging community in the 1850s—and this era of its history is on prominent display, mostly in the Victorian-era redwood buildings that line the town streets. The quaint buildings house boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and cafés, all with an artsy vibe largely due to the creative leanings of many residents, artists and poets, who draw their muse from the stunning landscapes.
Mendocino is a sanctuary of pristine natural grandeur. Its dramatic coastline is a mesmerizing spectacle, matched by the mystical charm of the towering redwood forests that surround the area. A drive along the coast south of the town of Mendocino delivers stunning scenes of serene beaches, and brings you to the small, charming towns of Little River, Albion, Elk, Point Arena, and Gualala. Drive east through the redwood forests to experience inland towns of Hopland, Ukiah, Willits, Boonville and Philo. Drive north to visit the former logging town of Fort Bragg. Stop and check them out – each community has a distinct character, well worth exploring. — Cheryl Crabtree