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Liquid Mindset

It’s time to chill, Mendo-style.  In the land of idyllic waterfall romps with an authentic twist, Mendocino sets the stage for stepping into liquid, be it a kayak tour or serene soak tucked in an ancient redwood grove.  With 90-miles of prime Pacific coastline along legendary Highway 1, the options for you and your crew to cool down this season couldn’t be more magical.

Waterfall Wanderlust

Who doesn’t love the rush of a waterfall?  Just north of the village of Mendocino lies one of nature’s true wonders – Russian Gulch State Park. From the Devil’s Punchbowl to the 36-foot waterfall and tapestry of eye-blowing vistas, explore the forested rocky shoreline, hiking and biking trails, an easily accessible beach for swimming and tide pooling plus a requisite blow hole.  

Take the Plunge

The Eel River offers a variety of plunge points for day trippers as it meanders south from Leggett to Willits.  Receiving both state and national “Wild and Scenic” designation, the river offers a variety of swim spots including lazy bends and rushing currents.  Pack your picnic and head north from Willits via Highway 101 to Highway 162 toward Covelo.  

two women in kayaks in ocean

Adventures in Kayaking

Push your adrenalin button with a kayak tour of Mendocino’s local sea caves and arches.  Take to the high seas at Van Damme State Park with Kayak Mendocino for an exploration of narrow sea caves and coves, sporting marine life in coastal nooks with a pro leading the way.  For proficient kayakers, sharpen your ocean kayak acumen with Liquid Fusion Kayaking. Start with a skills tune-up at Noyo Beach then move into guided maneuvers including capsizing, recovery and reading the waves. 

Vintage Vacation

Situated in the heart of a forest with 4,000 private acres and the largest natural lake in Mendocino County, Leonard Lake steps up with the old-school family vacation experience complete with rare, first- growth redwood forests, miles of hiking trails a friendly lake for a kayaking or bass fishing.  The 18-acre lake and surrounding lodgings are the perfect perch for a sizzling summer escape.  Grab the gang and go! 

Photo Courtesy of @oliveebomb

Tiny Bubbles

Sometimes all you need is a good long soak.  Enter California Landmark No. 980 – better known as the champagne mineral baths – Vichy Springs Resort and Spa.   A favorite of Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain and Jack London, the 700-acre playground offers America’s only warm and naturally carbonated Vichy mineral baths.  For a throwback to old Mendocino, Orr Hot Springs is worth the trek. Delve into a secluded mineral bath, opt for two communal tubs or snag one of two stargazing tubs located atop the bathhouse building in this clothing optional retreat. 


Slumbering in a narrow canyon at the foot of Cow Mountain, Mill Creek is home to a mix of oak, madrone and bay forest, spectacular spring wildflowers and three sizable dams, the third being the largest and most sought out swimming hole.  Explore a network of trails in this 400-acre park replete with panoramic backdrops of Ukiah Valley.

Photo Courtesy of @allisoncarols

Drift, Paddle or Plunge

Oh, for the love of Big River, the second longest estuary in California with miles of scenic splendor.  On tap at Catch-a-Canoe & Bicycles Too! are a variety of toys for a trek upriver including a 9-person Solar Wind Tribird, locally crafted redwood outriggers, sporty kayaks and SUP boards.  Take a private tour aboard the Mendoléa Voyaging Canoe or climb aboard a Canine Cruiser with a raised padded floor for dogs.

Keep Exploring the Magic!

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