The Mendocino Coast is Haute Hippie Heaven

Join me on a journey to the California coast, and discover five great reasons to visit.


Tourist Spots Along the Coast

I’m not usually into going to the typical tourist stopovers, but this area has some unique oceanfront experiences that I simply didn’t want to miss. Like the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, for example.

The Mendocino Coast is Haute Hippie Heaven

A sculpture in the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

As you stroll through the perfect 70 degree weather with the wind gently blowing through your hair, you can wander through the cliffside gardens, where you’ll see dogface butterflies, beautiful succulents, and an assortment of plants and insects native to the area; go in a real-life bee preserve, where bees are being diligently protected; and be sung to by a tiny chorus of tweets during a regular organized bird walk. All while you are still on the ocean, in prime whale-watching territory.

The Mendocino Coast is Haute Hippie Heaven

Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, Mendocino

Still, though, Mendocino gets better. One of the most well-known stopovers in the area is Glass Beach–a beach whose “sand” is literally made of colorful glass rocks you can walk on and play with. It’s a long story about how this came about, but suffice it to say it’s a special treat you will not want to miss out on. Although it’s illegal to “take the glass,” the rocks sometimes end up being re-created as smart jewelry pieces for the organically inclined.

The Mendocino Coast is Haute Hippie Heaven

Take a sea cave kayaking tour on the Mendocino coast

You can also whale watch, play with the seals, go kayaking, and experience numerous other watersport adventures available on-demand in the area.

If you want to wander a bit farther south, you can also climb to the top of the Point Arena Lighthouse — a splendid throwback to a bygone era. You might be saying, “a lighthouse, Hilary?” Yes, a lighthouse! First, how many of us have ever been to the top of a lighthouse? Second, can you name anyone you know who has ever been to the top of a Lighthouse?

I rest my case.

The Mendocino Coast is Haute Hippie Heaven

The Lighthouse is gorgeous and romantic at sunset

Besides the sheer novelty and bragging rights, you will get to experience the ocean from 150 feet above sea level and learn how captains navigated around danger and shipwrecks for hundreds of years. The area is known for the gray whale migration and great white sharks, so keep an eye out. There are even seals and spotted black-tailed deer who feed on the seaweed scattered across the rocks below. You can also visit the museum there, go to the charming little gift shop, and even sleep overnight to get the fully immersive experience, with complimentary Chenin Blanc and chocolates provided in your suite.

And speaking of local and delicious…

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 52 Comments

  1. Well, staying at an inn, beside a cliff, with miles of forest at the back. Sure it looks good when you get there. BUT! Is it that safe? This is a perfect place for a serial murderer to just pop up and terrorize all clients and staff alike.

  2. Meghan Ryan

    Wow! It has It all. The sea, Forest, Mountains and great view. I wish I’ve seen this post earlier when I went to California. I badly needed a side track from work back then. oh well, I can always come back.

  3. Judy

    Let’s not forget Fort Bragg is home to the World Famous Skunk Train.

  4. Monika Smith

    Great! Amazing article and photos are just fantastic . After reading this article i can’t wait to visit this place

  5. Jennifer McSween

    Your photos blow me away. Great shots! And I’m trying not to be envious, but oh my god… You’re totally living my dream. I wish I could travel so often just like you.

  6. Sabrina Grattidge

    Articles likes this the reason why I keep coming back to your site.
    I’ve never read such an honesy and well detailed review like this before on any blog. Thank you!

  7. Sasha Rosswell

    Oh my god, this all looks absolutely amazing!I have got to get up there! Have you been to Temecula, CA down south? Just went there this past weekend and did an off-roading Jeep Winery Tour. SO much fun.

  8. Evelyn Sandler

    Everything looks great! Your articles represent a reason enough to make me want to visit The Mendocino Coast. I miss California even more now after reading this post.

  9. Christina Norelli

    I’ve just emailed this article to my sister. She’s an adventure travel, and it’s just the kind of place she will be crazy about. 🙂

  10. Felicia Stewart

    Another one for the bucket list. Thanks to Hilary and the Urbanette Magazine my bucket list keep growing haha! I love it. 🙂

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