There is nothing like experiencing a Pacific Coast sunset from a cliffside bench sipping a glass of local wine. Many Bed and Breakfasts offer complimentary wine for their guests, either a bottle in-room upon their arrival or a little afternoon wine and cheese snack. The Sea Rock Inn, with it’s cliffside bench, offers complimentary Husch Chenin Blanc in room and is very popular. Husch Winery is located in the Anderson valley 20 minutes from Mendocino along with a multitude of California Wineries to explore. Our Pacific Coast sunsets rival any all around the world. Local galleries such as the Prentice Gallery, The Mendocino Art Center, and the Artist Co-op present breathtaking photos and paintings of our own natural beauty.
One of the most unusual things to do in the Mendocino area is to go horseback riding on the beach and in the redwoods. Not many people think to add this fun and relaxing activity to their Pacific Coast vacation or week end get-away. Ricochet Ridge Ranch provides English or Western Horses for all experience levels. Half day or all day rides can be enjoyed on the beach, in the redwoods or both. Riding brings us back to the past when horses were our main mode of transportation. This noble animal still grants us a chance to go back in time and feel the air in our faces and the wind in our hair. I read a quote from a brochure once that said, “What unites us all is love of the out-of-doors, a sense of adventure, and a passion for horses!”.
Snowsuits to swimsuits? Maybe not to those extremes but be prepared for significant changes in temperatures during all times of the year. The coast is very unpredictable weatherwise and it behooves you to be aware of perhaps a 40 degree drop in temperature from the inland valleys to the coast. Summer can be foggy and cool, winter can be clear and crisp, spring and fall, temperate. The best way to be prepared is layer, layer, layer. ALWAYS bring a sweatshirt, t-shirt, long pants, tennis shoes and flip flops. Fill in between these items and you will do just fine. Oh, and also dress your eyes with sunglasses. The glare off the water can be blinding.
Some of California’s best wines are produced right here in Mendocino County! The Sea Rock Inn Bed and Breakfast graciously provides a complimentary bottle of Husch Chenin Blanc for their quests’ pleasure. Wine tours to the Anderson Valley are available while visiting the area. These tours are a full days’ adventure into the world of wine and champagne with knowledgable and fun drivers of limos for groups or town cars for private parties. Mendo Wine Tours provides lunch served at one of the scenic winery locations, sparkling wine in the limo, barrel and reserve tastings at most wineries with artisanal breads and local hand-crafted cheeses at the tasting rooms to go with your wine.
We are blessed here at the Sea Rock Inn to have such a front row seat to watch all the magnificent birds that live in and frequent the area. Depending on the season of course. we see a multitude of different species of sea and land birds. Their screeches and tweets and trills can be heard before seen sometimes and makes us look for them as they circle above us or over the cliffs. The headlands and beaches are homes for the gulls, cormorants and puffers. The gulls are graceful as they ride the air currants, the cormorants swim and dive for the feast under the water and the puffers are the gentle little puff balls on the sand. Osprey screech and dive for fish that they catch in their talons to bring to their young nesting in coastal trees. We even often see eagles along with the hawks that fly along the sheer cliffs. Pelicans migrate in large flocks as do the Canada geese and provide a beautiful swath of motion across the sky. And of course, we cannot leave out the ever present ravens that caw, cackle and rattle, jump around and play to our laughter and delight. This is a Birder’s paradice
Continue the fun on the coast with the Fort Bragg Whale Festival, Friday and Saturday, March 15-16. Participate in the 30th annual Whale Run and Walk starting at 8:00am at the train depot. Saturday only. Chowder tastings at the Town Hall is $10 but awesome as many great chefs of the area share their recipes for this competition. Wash it all down at the Microbrew Beer Tasting at Eagles Hall from 12-4 Saturday. Further north at MacKerricher State Park the kids would love participating in the Scavenger Hunt and paint the Whale Skeleton. Point Cabrillo Light House Station will have Decent-led tours for those interested in the lens and history of the immediate area. Look to the Fort Bragg web site on the festival for detailed information.
Star studded events await you at the Little River Whale Festival! Chat with local photographer John Birchard at the Artist’s Reception at the Spa at Little River Inn on Friday, March 8, 5-7pm. FREE. On Saturday and Sunday, March 9-10, 10-2pm, and Friday and Saturday evenings 7-8pm, FREE. Artist in residence at Little River Inn. See Tod in action as he works on his Passport Prize whale wood carving. The weekend offers Docent-led Whale Watch Walks, Docent-led Barn Tours (tours of Spring Ranch Barns), Kayak Mendocino Sea Cave Tours and a Sunset Beach Campfire at Van Damme State Park, FREE. Enjoy a Marine Mammal Rescue campfire presentation and roasted marshmallows. Dress warmly. Sounds like fun to me! See you there!
I see a whale! I see one! There! I see a spout!!! Come to the Mendocino Coast any time during the first three weeks in March and watch the whale migration from anywhere, on any cliff, on any ocean view deck, the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse or any lodging that affords the location and binoculars to enjoy this annual event. The mamas and their calves are swimming north and can be viewed from anywhere along the California Coast, bringing the babies to the surface and lolling around showing off their newborns. Enjoy three Whale Festivals, one each weekend in Mendocino, Fort Bragg and Little River respectively. These gentle giants are awesome to see!
27th Annual Mendocino Music Festival! Established in 1986, the Mendocino Music Festival is a magical blend of fine music by outstanding performers in one of the most enchanting sites in Northern California. Evenings include orchestra concerts, Big Band, chamber music … Continue reading
Mendocino in the mist.