The Bizarre and Beautiful, Mendocino County

Located 163 miles north of San Francisco is Mendocino County, a picturesque rarity that showcases some of the most stunning natural landscapes that California has to offer. For an unforgettable road trip, grab your best friends (one of which should be a great driver given that a lot of the drive is on windy terrain), and head up the Mendocino coastline, which in and of itself is beautiful. Think: cliffs, crashing waves and adjacent green wilderness for hours.


Sure California has plenty of pretty oceanside getaways, but none compare to the quirky, thoroughly charming town of Mendocino. For one, it’s a part of the Emerald Triangle—the largest cannabis-producing region in the country. Not your thing? Totally fine. It’s also home to 90 miles of Pacific coastline, 24 state and national parklands, historic villages and outdoor adventure sites and countless redwood trees making it ideal for nature lovers.

Not to mention Mendocino is filled with strange oddities that need to be seen and experienced to be fully appreciated. It’s a magical place where you can spend an afternoon doing anything from walking through enormous, ancient redwoods and experiencing a safari (and feeding giraffes out of your mouth!) to watching adorable seals sunbath on a secluded beach and finding enlightenment at a Buddist Monastery.


While exploring Mendocino, book your stay at the phenomenal Inn at Newport Ranch which is set on 2,000-acre coastal cattle ranch. It boasts epic ocean views, redwood forests, and over 20 miles of private trails perfect for hiking, horseback riding or whatever your heart desires. Not to mention you’ll find the most chill cows and calves roaming the grounds at any given time.

Looking for something a bit more out-of-the-ordinary? Check in to The Andiron. Built in 1959, this eccentric property is spread out over five acres of woods. Each of the 12 cabins are completely refurbished and redesigned, featuring a strange theme that sets it apart from the other. Funky, retro, and unlike any other lodging in the area, you’ll spot antique items, décor and salvaged furniture throughout The Andiron.

Be sure to make stops at:

For a complete rundown of Mendocino’s most distinctive places to visit, check out my Thrillist article.

Point Arena Lighthouse

B. Bryan Preserve


The World’s Largest Redwood Tree Service Station
fullsizeoutput_51a3IMG_7057Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree

The Solar Living InstituteIMG_6968IMG_6965IMG_6958fullsizeoutput_51a1IMG_6991IMG_6985IMG_6939The Inn at Newport Ranchfullsizeoutput_51a4IMG_7244IMG_7266IMG_7274IMG_7252IMG_7286IMG_7226IMG_7168IMG_7205IMG_7144IMG_7137fullsizeoutput_66f8fullsizeoutput_66f7The AndironIMG_7484IMG_7489IMG_7473Cowlick’s Ice Cream

The Bluebird CafeIMG_7012



Chelsea is a San Francisco-based journalist whose passion revolves around exploring the world, immersing herself in foreign cultures, and of course, eating and drinking everything delicious.

Her work can be found in TravelPulse, Forbes, INSIDER, SF Gate and more. She covers all things food, drink and travel and is always up for an adventure, whether that means an adrenaline-pumping excursion or trying a new cuisine.


Leave a Reply

Looking for Something?