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.
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.
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.
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.
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…