Wandering Mendocino: A New England Village on the California Coast

Day 62 (September 30)
Mendocino, California

Mendocino Headlands on California's Pacific Coast

After our morning hike in Big Hendy Grove, we take advantage of the break in the rain and head back to the coast to see Mendocino.

Walking the Headlands

At the first public lot we reach (south of town along Highway 1), we park the car and walk the headlands’ paths through golden grasses and spent wildflowers to reach the sea. The rocky cliffs drop steeply to the water’s edge. The surf is violent and crashing. Sea stacks dot the bluer than blue Pacific coastline.

Mendocino Headlands on California's Pacific Coast

Pacific Ocean, Mendocino Headlands, California

Mendocino Headlands on California's Pacific Coast

Mendocino Headlands on California's Pacific Coast

Mendocino Headlands on California's Pacific Coast

Mendocino Headlands on California's Pacific Coast

Mendocino Headlands on California's Pacific Coast

Mendocino Headlands on California's Pacific Coast

Mendocino Headlands on California's Pacific Coast

Village of Mendocino

Part of what makes the town of Mendocino so special is its promontory location, and that all of the coastline to the north, west, and south of the town were protected from development.

Village of Mendocino viewed from Mendocino Headlands on California's Pacific Coast

When walking through downtown Mendocino, it is easy to forget that one is in California because of the the town’s resemblance to a New-England village. Charming pocket gardens are abundant. Towers are a repeated architectural theme, although each tower is different in style and the function of some of them (or the reason for their existence) is a bit of a mystery to me.

Village of Mendocino, California

Pocket garden and water tower in Mendocino, California

Agapanthus and driftwood in Pocket garden in Mendocino, California

Three story tower home in Mendocino, California

Village of Mendocino viewed from Mendocino Headlands on California's Pacific Coast

Mendocino headlands on California's Pacific Coast

Gardens in Mendocino, California

Gardens and New England village architecture in Mendocino, California

Corners of the Mouth organic co-op grocery store housed in and old church in Mendocino, California

Tree in Mendocino, California

Water tower in Mendocino, California

Time and the Maiden Statue freemason sculpture atop the Savings Bank of Mendocino County, the building once a masonic lodge

Volunteer Fire Department and Husky dog in the back of a truck in Mendocino, California

Mendocino Headlands State Park

As skies return to gray, we leave the sweet little village but venture only a few blocks northwest to reach Mendocino Headlands State Park. We eat a picnic lunch out of the cooler and do a bit more wandering along the shoreline. Unlike other state parks along this stretch of coast, there is no day use fee to visit Mendocino Headlands State Park or the headland paths we hiked earlier south of town.

Mendocino Headlands State Park on California's Pacific Coast Highway 1

Mendocino Headlands State Park on California's Pacific Coast Highway 1

Mendocino Headlands State Park on California's Pacific Coast Highway 1

Mendocino Headlands State Park on California's Pacific Coast Highway 1

Mendocino Headlands State Park on California's Pacific Coast Highway 1

Mendocino Headlands State Park on California's Pacific Coast Highway 1

Mendocino Headlands State Park on California's Pacific Coast Highway 1

Plants growing at Mendocino Headlands State Park on California's Pacific Coast

Daylight is fading and the rain returns, so we head back to Hendy Woods State Park, once again enjoying the idyllic scenery along Highway 1.

Tall trees and farm along Pacific Coast Highway 1 near Mendocino, California

Despite the short amount of time that we spent in Mendocino, when I look back on last year’s 18,000 mile western road trip, Mendocino stands out as one of my favorite spots. Although Mendocino County is over 2,500 miles from my current home in Tennessee, I anticipate we will find a way to visit again. And again. And hopefully again.

Panorama of Mendocino Headlands on the Pacific Coast, California

Read about our other Mendocino County wandering here:

Wandering South on the Pacific Coast Highway: Humboldt Redwoods to Hendy Woods State Park

Bahl Hornin’ (Good drinking) in Anderson Valley, California

 

9 Replies to “Wandering Mendocino: A New England Village on the California Coast”

    1. Tennessee is very pretty, though I often feel more kinship with my native state of California (even though my family moved east when I was only six). I’m in Chattanooga, kind of a darling river city perfect for outdoor-lovers looking for a reasonably priced mid-sized city with a lot to do. But having been here for so long I often take that for granted and get bored with this kind of beautiful. There are great people here though, and I often say that Chattanooga is the kind of city I’d dream of moving to if I hadn’t grown up here. And being within a couple hours of the Smokies and Cumberland Plateau is pretty great.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: