The Town of Mendocino – Want to really get away?


Written by:

Joe Becerra

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Our first trip to the town of Mendocino was way back in 1969. Since then we’ve traveled to this town perhaps as many as 30 times. Each time we arrive in the town, we marvel at the sameness of the place, just as it was on our first trip there. Time seems to have ceased moving in Mendocino. We even sit on the same bench, overlooking the Mendocino bluffs, that we did with our friends on our first trip. We love this place for the solitude, the quietness, and spirit of a lifestyle that once was the norm before computers, flat screen TVs, cell phones, texting and Facebook. Want to really get away? Put the town of Mendocino at the top of your list of places to visit.

Our gang on the bluff bench in 1969
Our gang on the bluff bench in 1969

Our last three trips to the town of Mendocino have been booked using a Travelzoo offer at the old Mendocino Hotel. The hotel has been there since 1878, and the dining room and bistro bar are historic. Don’t expect anything luxurious in the Mendocino Hotel. It’s rather rustic overall, but lots of fun.

Mendocino Hotel 1878

The boutique shops come and go, but the store fronts and buildings are very much the same as they were many years ago. The city ordinance prevents new buildings, unless one has been damaged by fire. Remodeling can take place, but changing the exterior look of the buildings is not usually allowed. The town of Mendocino has been the backdrop for many Hollywood productions, beginning in the silent film era. Some of the more famous movies are “East of Eden” with James Dean, “Summer of 42” and “The Majestic.” Some of you may also remember the TV series “Murder She Wrote” with Angela Lansbury. Mendocino buildings and ocean shots were used in the series and the Blair House Inn was where Angela’s character was centered. The Blair House Inn on Little Lake Street operates today as a Bed & Breakfast.

There are many activities awaiting in Mendocino, but most folks just like to take it slow and relax. It only takes a couple of hours to stroll the streets and visit the art studios, boutique shops and coffee houses. It is foggy most mornings in Mendocino, but in the afternoon things warm up a bit, and a stroll along the Mendocino bluffs affords fantastic ocean views. The more adventurous can find several paths and stairs that lead to beaches, and maybe you’ll even find “our” bench!

Mendocino Bluffs
Mendocino Bluffs

Our favorite restaurant spots within the town are Café Beaujolais, MacCallum House, and the Moose Café. The best coffee and breakfast spot for sure is the Good Life Café and Bakery. You will have to fight the locals for a seat. Don’t miss shops like Sallie Mac, Out of This World and the Gallery Bookstore.

The only negative in Mendocino is that the town does have a small “hippie” element. We all know about the biggest cash crop in Mendocino County, which sometimes brings a few unsavory characters into town.

There are plenty of other activities for you to enjoy near the town of Mendocino, and here is link to some recommended activities.

Our gang on the bluff bench in 2000
Our gang on the bluff bench in 2000
  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.

2 thoughts on “The Town of Mendocino – Want to really get away?”

  1. Visited and LOVED Mendocino when I visited in summer 2012, my favourite things were the Sweetwater Spa B&B, the second hand bookshop (just up the street from the Spa), breakfast at Moodys café (and people-watching the characters who gravitated around there), dinner at Café Beaujolais, and a really good pizza and lovely staff at Frankie’s on Ukiah Street. Great memories, thanks for reminding me! Wrote about it here

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