Beyond the bustle of the big city, past the traffic and noise, far from the polish of wine country and the pretense of the peninsula, there’s a place that is truly unlike any other. Mendocino, where towering redwood groves sit in cathedral-like silence, where you can walk the strand of a mile long sandy beach alone with your thoughts, where winemakers will gladly pull up a seat next to you in their garage and chat about the latest vintage, and where time moves at a pace all its own.
You can visit for a day or two – many do, and they find plenty to love and rave to their friends about. But to really discover the heart of Mendocino – this stretch of coastline that locals refer to as an island – you’ll want to take a bit longer. Here we lay out a five day itinerary that will act as an introduction to the many facets of this profoundly unique wonderland. From breweries and redwood groves to a beach made of glass and hole-in-the-wall gourmet eateries, there’s something here for everyone with a bit of adventure in their heart.
At its best, of course, Mendocino defies itineraries. It is a place where time should slip away, where you should get so caught up in the beauty of your present excursion that everything else has to wait. So take these suggestions to heart, find inspiration for your visit, but in the end, your most beautiful Mendocino memories will be the ones not on this list – the ones you stumbled upon by accident on your way to your next agenda item.