When it’s time for a little one-on-one time, head to Mendocino County where there are plenty of options for exploring new adventures and rekindling romance. With beaches galore, hiking trails for miles, cozy inns, resorts and B&Bs, the county is just the place for a weekend (or weekday) break!
Invitation to Relaxation
You’ve made the decision to get away from the city crowds and urban sprawl to visit Mendocino County where three cars at a Stop sign is called a traffic jam. First things first, where to stay?
On the south coast, consider one of the charming cottages at Mar Vista. Tucked into the tiny town of Anchor Bay, the cottages are made for a great getaway with fresh eggs and produce from the organic gardens. Just a short walk from the beach, this is a great spot to explore the south coast from Gualala to Elk. Farther north, Dennen’s Victorian Farmhouse is a B&B with perfect credentials. In addition to cozy bed linens and breakfast in bed, some rooms offer a Jacuzzi or soaking tub — ideal after a day out exploring!
If you’re taking the Highway 128 Wine Road, consider a stop at the Boonville Hotel, the height of rustic elegance or at The Madrones, a slice of Mediterranean ambience bang in the middle of wine country. Head over the hill towards the Redwood Corridor and you could end up at Orr Hot Springs, just the place for a sauna or long soak in a star-gazers’ tub.
From Relaxation to Exhilaration
All that relaxing needs to have a counterpoint… and there’s plenty to choose from in Mendocino County. Never ridden a horse? Now’s your golden opportunity. Just east of the hamlet of Elk is Ross Ranch, a family-run outfit that’s just right for both beginning and experienced riders. Take a trot along spectacular Manchester Beach, where you can see for miles or hitch a ride through the redwoods.
The headlands and clifftop bluffs on the north coast are fantastic places to hike. Take a gentle stroll on Spring Ranch and watch for whales, seals, and oystercatchers. Feeling a little more vigorous? Head to Fort Bragg’s Noyo Harbor and seek out Liquid Fusion Kayaking for a ride up Noyo River, complete with sea lions, or a kayak surfing lesson out on the ocean waves!
Hike the haul road through MacKerricher State Park to Lake Cleone for some bird-watching and a round trip from Pudding Creek to Ten Mile Beach. For the more laid-back, try a Segway tour of historic Fort Bragg and the Mendocino Coast.
Ramble the redwoods at Montgomery Woods — the ultimate redwood grove – or Hendy Woods. There’s even a grove of trees in downtown Fort Bragg! Over on the Redwood Corridor, explore Cow Mountain Recreation Area, east of Ukiah or hike the Lake Mendocino trails for great mountain and valley views.
Food for the Soul
We all know love feeds the soul but it can also feed the appetite! Your sweet tooth can be satisfied by the scrumptious French pastry and dessert offerings at the charming Franny’s Cup & Saucer. We all needa eat and Uneda Eat can help — serving tempting morsels, local produce, meats and fish, Rob and Jill serve dinners to remember every Wednesday through Sunday.
Wild for fish? Then book a table at the petite Wild Fish restaurant tucked behind the Little River post office. Natives to the U.K., Liz and Kelvin bring the freshest fish and shellfish direct to your plates. Vegans will revel in the offerings at Ravens Restaurant at the Stanford Inn where even the most dedicated meat-eater will be delighted with their dish!
In Anderson Valley, Christina is the owner/chef at Aquarelle, inspired by her experience chefing and swimming on luxury ocean-going yachts. Across the highway, Table 128 at the Boonville Hotel continues to tickle the palate with freshly picked produce and the tantalizing taste of Piment D’Ville.
Chop Chop… it’s dinner for two at Ukiah’s newest restaurant with a full bar, an inventive menu of cocktails, and a taste of Asia on the menu. Just a few doors away, Patrona Restaurant offers booths where couples can while away the evening sampling homemade pastas, oysters on the half-shell, and steak frites.