View Holiday Hours for Restaurants in Mendocino County

Photo Courtesy of Danza Davis

Al Fresco Arts Scene

In a region where redwoods outnumber residents, Mendocino County’s cache of artisans play a pivotal role in shaping this secluded enclave.  Known internationally as a top stop for art enthusiasts, this Northern California destination boasts 56 galleries and museums showcasing all genres of creative expression from murals to fine art, glass blowing, sculpture and mixed media.   Check out some of the interesting al fresco art scenes all around Mendocino County.

Stone Ranch

Tucked away in the tiny artist enclave of Gualala, Stone Ranch stands apart from other art installations given its massive footprint and impressive lineup of stone works.  The 50-acre property features 30 captivating stone installations from the floating boulder wall to an array of large-scale pieces created by masons from around the world.  Visionary Peter Mullins was the mind behind this impressive sanctuary, which can be toured by appointment.  Guided tours on the first Sunday of each month, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Rebecca Johnson Art

Anderson Valley is home to renowned artist Rebecca Johnson’s Art Studio Gallery, and you can find her large, renovated barn studio with a rural walkabout sporting 30+ sculptures.  Johnson’s work has a contemporary point of view yet conveys the unique feel of rural open space.  Creating art with varying mediums including bronze, basalt, granite, limestone, driftwood and salvaged barn wood, this master artist’s sanctuary is a find for anyone seeking art straight from the source. Visits by appointment.

Bowling Ball Beach

As the tide pulls out, a surreal setting unfolds just south of Point Arena on scenic Highway 1.   Rare and wonderful, Bowling Ball Beach has caused speculation for centuries given the mass of almost perfectly spherical stones. These surreal stones, paired with a sizzling Mendocino sunset, finish the frame.  Located at Schooner Gulch State Beach, visitors can access the site via a short hike across the bluffs and moderate scramble down a dirt path.  Note:  Low tide access only.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Set on 47 expansive acres fronting the Pacific in Fort Bragg, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is the stop for a romp through a wonderland of flora including a stunning 124 species of rhododendrons and 150 varieties of seasonal dahlias.  Take to the well-worn paths for a stroll through a variety of ceramic, cement, concrete, steel and Douglas Fir sculptures and art gracing the grounds, primarily created by California artists. 

The Alleyway Art Project

From Protean to Queen Bee and a Redwood Frolic, this art installation of 14 eclectic murals makes a trek through downtown Fort Bragg a fun pursuit.  Founded by artist Lia Morsell and sponsored by the Arts Council of Mendocino County, the project was developed to bring public art to the forefront, matching artists and businesses to create show-stopping murals inspired by local life, landscape, culture and history.  Best of all it’s free and open 24/7. 

Alleyway Art Project


Glass Beach

An anomaly that is truly eye-popping, Glass Beach is a statement to the ultimate trash-to-treasure tale with a nice walkabout along the coast of Fort Bragg.  Photographers love this beach not only for the vibrant shades of rocks but also the countless coves and tidepools. A flat paved path called Noyo Headlands Trail meanders south following the rugged shoreline to other beaches, and at the one-half mile mark, a side trail breaks off onto a point with a compass rose and wooden benches. Beyond that the path continues for 2.5 miles to Noyo Bay Beach. 

Glass Beach

Gualala Art Center

The sculpture in the gardens set in the tiny enclave of Gualala is the stop for a surreal walk in the woods at the Gualala Arts Center – multi-million-dollar cultural facility. Offering year-round programs in art, music, theater and education, plus ongoing exhibits including a focus on Contemporary Fusion, The Point Arena Pintos and works in watercolor and clay round out a day of play, Gualala Arts also features the Dolphin Gallery with hundreds of pieces by over 50 artists in the Seacliff Center in downtown Gualala

Ukiah Street Arts

It’s the ultimate art walk-about and a trash to treasures story for visitors to Ukiah. Start at the magnum opus, a 26-panel mural entitled Ukiah Valley – Past, Present & Future on West Church Street, created by Laura Sinnott. The mural stretches an impressive 180 feet offering an inside look at the evolution of this vibrant tourism destination. Nearby, it’s trash to treasures in Alex Thomas Plaza, where internationally-recognized mosaic artist Elizabeth Raybee designed 23 vibrant images gracing trash and recycling containers with a focus on celebrating the concept that emergency preparedness is possible for every walk of life. 

Mendocino Village Art Scene

From its prime pacific perch to the rustic century-old water towers and eclectic homes that make this historic village a sight to be seen, Mendocino offers a wealth of walking treasures for the artist’s tuned eye.  Art and architecture blend seamlessly with a serene walk along the headlands where residential yard art is a way of life.  Start at the Mendocino Art Center for an alfresco trek through the landscaped courtyard and the Zacha Sculpture Garden Commemorative Walkway.  The center has been a haven for artists of all levels since 1959. 

Keep Exploring the Magic!

Pin It on Pinterest

Add Your Heading Text Here

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.