Visiting Mendocino County

Parent Reviews

Redwoods River Resort is a “glamping” resort in Mendocino county right on the Eel River and it’s fabulous. About 2 hrs north on 101 from the Bay Area and nestled among the redwoods.  They have cabins and lodge rooms as well as camping options. There have a pool, bocce ball court, playground, ping pong, giant Jenga, a little pub with great food and drink and of course the river.  There’s also a mystery spot across the road and plenty of hiking trails. Something for everyone, highly recommend it!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Need recommendations for a hotel in Mendocino

Dec 2011

My boyfriend and I are finally taking time away from our combined 5 (!) children and want to go to Mendocino for a weekend. I would like a recommendation for a great place to stay. Neither of us wants a bed and breakfast-don't want to share a bathroom or make small talk in the morning over waffles. Prefer something fairly modern but still warm and inviting-fireplace in lobby (or room) strongly preferred. Thanks... finally getting away....

Hello! Check out the Dogtrot house on Long Valley Ranch ( My husband and I have stayed at two different Sheep Dung properties (one was the Glass House, on the same road as the Dogtrot) and have found them to be clean and comfortable, secluded, and quite romantic. The property that the Dogtrot is on is private and beautiful, but a quick drive in to Boonville and nearby wineries, Hendy Woods, and the rest of the lovely Anderson Valley. It's also only a stone's throw to Ukiah, for more nuts-and-bolts supplies, like a full-bore grocery store. My husband and I liked our stay at the Glass House so much that we bought the 80 acre parcel adjacent to the Glass House and Dogtrot property. We have a little trailer out there, so you won't be seeing us. Alene

You didn't say what your budget is, but it sounds like this might be a splurge, since you have 5 kids! I can recommend two places my husband and I have splurged on when we got away without the kids that we really enjoyed (and I still think longingly of.)

Harbor House Inn in Elk, near Mendocino, is between Highway 1 and the ocean. It is a charming small hotel right on the cliffs, with a nice restaurant - breakfast and dinner included. You have your own private table so it's not the B&B scene. We stayed in the main lodge, which has a gorgeous lobby with fireplace (some of the rooms also have fireplaces). There are also some small private cottages.

We've also stayed at Fensalden Inn which is a B&B in Albion that used to be a stagecoach stop. It feels very remote and private, in a beautiful setting surrounded by cypress trees, near the ocean. Some of the suites have kitchens - they provide breakfast. I can't remember if there was communal dining but I too dislike the chit chat with strangers, so if it did, it must have been OK. We spent a lot of time just walking through the cedar trees on the property and then hanging out in our room by the fireplace.

Either place would be very relaxing and pleasant.

Wish I were going ...

You didn't want to go to a B&B, but that's really all that's available in Mendocino- -it's part of the charm!!! I highly recommend the MacCallum House:

I've stayed in a room with it's own bath, fireplace AND hot tub! The super yummy breakfast (you choose from a menu) is served in their restaurant where non- guests eat as well, and you get your own table and don't have to make any small talk whatsoever!!! What I like about the MacCallum House, besides the charming main house, is the location. You're in the town proper and can walk to restaurants (Cafe Beaujolais), bakeries, stores, the old Chinese temple, art galleries, and the cliffs/beaches in minutes. Bring bikes if you can, and don't forget to check out the 'blow hole' at the far SW end of the shoreline! Long-time Mendocino Lover

Places to stop on the way from the East Bay to Mendocino

Nov 2009

Planning weekend getaway in December to take my parents visiting from East Coast, us and our 4 year old up to Mendocino. Considering the Hwy 1 rt but wondering:
1. Is it worth the extra time to go the coast vs 101 (dif between 3 hrs 15 min and 4 hrs 15 min)?
2. Where would you recommend stopping along the way?
3. restaurants people like for lunch?
4. Any particularly engaging places for a 4 year old and a mom with limited mobility?- mom can walk a few blocks but uneven ground/slopes would be an issue.
5. anyone been to B Bryan preserve in Pt Arena and is that a good stop for kid/worth the admission?
Thanks Melanie

We do this trip several times a year with our 3 kids. First, do not take Rt. 1 all the way unless your child (and the rest of the passengers) has an iron stomach. It's scenic, but EXTREMELY twisty and nausea- inducing. We go this way: Take 101 all the way to Cloverdale, and take the Cloverdale/Rt. 128 exit. If you're hungry, stop at the famous Hamburger Ranch and Pasta Farm, just past the turn-off for Rt. 128, on the road that heads into the town of Cloverdale. It's an old-fashioned, family-friendly BBQ and burger shop. Clean, friendly, lots of choices. Good food. Then take Rt. 128 all the way to Rt. 1, and north to Mendocino. If you want to stop along the way, go to Hendy Woods State Park, just past the tiny town of Philo. Beautiful Redwood forest to walk through. Easy access. Have fun! heidileeross

Also, stop at The Apple Farm ( in Philo (turn left at Greenwood road, towards Hendy Woods). They have a self-pay stand w/organic apples, juices, jams, chutney, etc. My kids like to pick out pretty little apples, weigh them and put the money in the slot. The Pygmy Forest boardwalk trail is accessible, up at Van Damme State Park. Mendo Fam.

If you like wine, the small vineyards of the Anderson Valley along Hwy. 128 are very pleasant. We usually stop at Husch ( and/or Navarro (, taste a little, buy a little, and eat lunch. Our daughter especially enjoyed the pretty picnic area at Husch. Melanie

I often drive from the East Bay up the 101 to Cloverdale and then across on Hiway 128 to the 1. I stop at Booneville which is about halfway along the almost 60 mile twisty 138 route. Cell phone service will work in this town while the rest of the way is blacked-out. There are nice food markets and little delis to have a sandwich made, a very nice toy shop for the kids to look around, and a wonderful ice-cream parlor which even has a water bowl for your dog outside. This is a very nice place to stop, get out of the car, and take a break. And of course, for the adults, there are the wineries. I recommend a stop at Husch and let the kids run around on the grass for a few minutes while you are tasting!

And one other attraction--past Mendocino in Fort Bragg is the new state-of- the art swim center--more like a water park. This is a fun place for the family in summer or winter! Mendo Visitor

Mar Vista Cottages in Mendocino Coast

Jan 2008

We're considering spending a couple of days there with our 20 month old toddler based on a friend's recommendation. We'd love to hear from other parents in our situation about this or similar places to visit with kids. Thank you! Ready to Travel Again We visited Mar Vista (pre-baby) about 3 years ago and LOVED it. I think it would be a great place to take a 20 month old. You could spend the days swinging in their hammock, petting and playing with the baby goats, chickens, rabbits, dogs, hiking down to the ocean to play on the beach, and visiting with the very friendly owners. What we loved most was the lack of cell phone reception and TV. We now have a 14 month old, and I'm hoping we can find the time to get out there this summer. Enjoy! Jennifer

Cozy, not too expensive B&B in Mendocino

Jan 2007

We want to bring my mom & her partner for a little weekend getaway up in Mendocino as a thank you for all her help with our wedding. We're thinking of heading up there in Jan or Feb. Any ideas for a good B&B that won't break the bank? We're on a pretty tight budget, so we're really looking for someplace nice, but low- to moderately-priced, especially since we'll need two rooms.

Other suggestions for fun things to do there in potentially bad weather or good and moderately priced places to eat are also welcome. Thanks! anonymous

We had a great stay at the Mendocino Farmhouse, The rooms were 140- 160/night regularly, but she also has special winter rates that are as low as $100, I think. Which would definitely be a bargain for the quality of the place. It's not right in town, but a five-minute drive. The setting in the woods is lovely anneh

Hi, The Mar Vista Cottages are wonderful...simple but very cozy (down comforters, high quality sheets, etc), ultra clean, little kitchens in every cabin, fireplaces in most (I think). I believe they start around $150. Their website is: You also might want to check out this article from Sunset Mag...mentions some great places to eat and a few things to do:,20633,1224908,00.html Have fun! Julie

We have stayed at the Blue Heron Inn many times-it's really nice and reasonable, and they have a great restaurant downstairs. The Mendocino Bakery has great and inexpensive food- pizza, salads, pastries. Just walking around town is fun, whatever the weather. Walking along the headlands. Russian Gulch State Park and Van Damme State Park are both beautiful. The botanical garden in Ft Bragg is also nice. The Mendocino Village Inn is also nice and has attic rooms that are quaint and not expensive. Mendocino is lovely! m

Try the Seafoam Lodge which is just down the road on hwy 1. The rates are extremely reasonable, all rooms have ocean views, many have fireplaces, plus it is dog friendly, has a nice hot tub and unlimited free movie rentals. They give you a little breakfast basket, but it is only muffins and OJ. Many of the rooms have a microwave and refrigerator, so if you are really on a tight budget you could bring breakfast and lunch food with you and eat in your room. Physically, the facilities are fine but a little run down. My husband and I went there last weekend and paid $105 for one of their nicer rooms, but I think you could get a room for as little as $80 there. Monica

May 2005
Re: 10th Anniversary romantic getaway
Check out the Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino, or the Milliken Creek Inn on the Silverado Trail near Calistoga. I've been wanting to try one of them for a long time. They're both splurges and each has a website.

Re: Family getaway in a beautiful location (Oct 2003)
We stayed in a nice private house with a hot-tub just south of Mendocino a couple of years ago. Very private, beautiful views. See The house we stayed in was Tide Pool. Kathy

Re: Weekend of solitude for mom (April 2003)

I hope you recieve many retreat suggestions. Mendocino is fabulous for quiet walks by the ocean. I thought I'd offer a different suggestion. While waiting for that weekend to arrive, how about an hour or two at Dimond park, walking by the creek on a sunny afternoon weekday? Or Lake Temescal grassy on a weekday before the summer season? Both are just as you described in my opinion. Watching nature at Oakland zoo on a quiet weekday also gives me the same peaceful satisfying inward vibe, but may not be for everyone. Of course you would need someone with the kids for the hour. I'm sure you'll enjoy whatever you choose to do. And I hope you do it often.

Places to stay near Mendocino in the summer?

April 2003

I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations of places to stay/houses to rent in or near Mendocino during the summer. We're looking for a place that would be great for a 2 year old, parents, and grandparents. (5 people total) Looks like the Joshua Grindle Inn has a great guest house, but no hot tub. Does anyone know of a place that has a hot tub, or any place that is particularly kid friendly? rachberko enjoy...

Try Serenisea in Gualala for vacation homes to rent in Mendocino county, all sizes and prices. I have rented large houses for groups, and smaller ones for just myself and my husband. Hot tubs and ocean views or coastal access available. Telephone: 800 331-3836 or website: cabernard

My favorite lodging in Mendocino is to rent a house, which may be a good option for such a large family. Try You can see photos of what they have. I have used them twice and had no problems. You can also try a very nice inn called Brewery Gulch Inn (also has a website) or a somewhat simpler setting such as Mendocino Coast Guard House. chris

Try MacCallum House Inn and Restaurant in Mendocino. I have not yet gone there, but am told by a friend that it is under new ownership and is really great because they gladly welcome kids and pets. She put them to the test and brought her dog and they provided a special dog bed, stainless steel food/water bowls, and I think dog treats. The new owners have a baby and thus are also very welcoming to kids and I believe have baby ammenities. For more info. call 800-609-0492 or visit their Web site at Kira

March 2003

Re: Romantic Getaway for Couples
Hi - I can highly recommend the MacCallum House in downtown Mendocino. It is a beautiful old Victorian with its own restaurant inside. Check out the web site at or call Noah Shepherd at 1-800-609-0492 (he is one of the co-owners who I know). Julie

Mendocino vacation homes

From: Becky (2/99)

With some reluctance, I reveal my favorite website for vacation homes in the Mendocino area:

I say I'm reluctant because I want to be sure everyone leaves a reservation available for us the next time we go!