Road Trip

Mendocino County Has ‘Room to Roam'

Pondering a warm-weather exploration? The coastal wonderland has top-notch ideas for making the most of your "MENDOMOMENTS."


What to Know

  • Visit Mendocino County has several sweet adventures for small parties
  • Micro-trips include the beautiful route from Gualala to Elk
  • The county is known for dramatic coastlines, stunning landscapes, the Skunk Train, fab art, fine food and wine, and lots of whale wonder, too

FOG, TREES, QUIET, THE SUNSET? You can find all four of those things in a number of spectacular spots around California, but Mendocino County seems to have extra space for all of the good "intangibles" of life. Of course, those things are oh-so-tangible to the road-tripper looking for some roominess to relax, and "Room to Roam," making the mysterious and marvelous Mendo region a prime place to call upon over the summer of 2021. To help adventurers eager to both stretch-a-leg and connect with some spacious serenity, the team at Visit Mendocino has created a number of "micro-trips" around the postcard-worthy county, the sort of pleasurable outings that don't take too much time or effort once you've arrived in the area. The micro-trips will give first-timers a good look at the lovely towns that dot the area near the coast (and a little inland, too), while providing longtime fans the chance to return to old favorites.

GUALALA TO ELK... is one of the suggested micro-trips, and if you have two nights to spare, you can easily cover the 31 miles of coast-close exploration. Bowling Ball Beach, "a lunar landscape with a mass of almost perfectly shaped spherical stones," is one suggested stop, as is the giraffe-tastic B. Bryan Preserve. The mythical Point Arena Lighthouse, a photographer's must-snap, is also on the list, as are a number of potential stayovers, including Wildflower Boutique Motel, a charming newcomer. Other micro-trips created by the Visit Mendocino team include memorable traipses into Hopland, Willits, Boonville, Little River, and, the Lost Coast, one of the state's getaway-iest getaways.

MENDO, WE'VE MISSED YOU: Your mushroom-y ways in the winter, and your big whale parties in March, are woven through the minds and hearts of so many coast-obsessed Californians, as are the millions of other MENDOMOMENTS to be found around the county. Hope to see you soon, in that famous fog and among your dramatic trees, for some sunsets, some space, and some definite roaming among and through your quirkily quaint villages, attractions, and pretty places to snooze.

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