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Leuchtturm von Mendocino
Bild: Gary Saxe / shutterstock

Discover Mendocino: California’s Hidden Gem

California is known worldwide for its vibrant cities, iconic beaches, and spectacular landscapes. But off the beaten path lies a charming little town that is often overlooked: Mendocino. Nestled on the rugged Pacific coast, Mendocino offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and artistic flair. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey to this hidden gem of California.

A city with history

Founded in the mid-19th century during the lumber boom, Mendocino has retained its historic charm to this day. The city is known for its well-preserved Victorian buildings, which reflect the character and atmosphere of yesteryear. Walking through the picturesque streets feels like a trip back in time. The historic Ford House Museum offers a fascinating insight into the history of the area and is a must-see for any history lover.

Breathtaking nature

Gorgeous Ocean Views at Mendocino
Fantastic view of the ocean near Mendocino, Image: Sergey Kosarevsky / shutterstock

The natural beauty of Mendocino is unparalleled. The dramatic cliffs that stretch along the coast offer breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. A walk along Mendocino Headlands State Park is an unforgettable experience, especially at sunset when the cliffs are bathed in golden light.

For nature lovers, Russian Gulch State Park offers spectacular hiking trails through lush forests and along the scenic coastline. The highlight of the park is the 36-meter-high waterfall that pours into an emerald green pool – a truly magical sight.

Art and culture

Mendocino is not only a paradise for nature lovers, but also a center for art and culture. The city is home to numerous galleries showcasing works by local artists, as well as the Mendocino Art Center, which offers art classes and workshops. Every July, the Mendocino Music Festival takes place, featuring a wide range of musical genres in a stunning coastal setting.

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Culinary delights

The culinary scene in Mendocino is as impressive as the scenery. Many restaurants in the city attach great importance to local and sustainable ingredients. Fresh seafood is often the focus of menus, and the wineries of the nearby Anderson Valley wine region produce excellent wines that pair perfectly with the delicious dishes.

A special tip is the “Cafe Beaujolais”, known for its French-inspired cuisine and housed in a charming Victorian house. For a more casual ambiance, Patterson’s Pub is a great choice to enjoy local specialty beers and hearty pub fare.

Charming accommodations

From cozy bed and breakfasts to luxurious resorts, Mendocino offers a variety of lodging options to satisfy every traveler. Many accommodations offer breathtaking views of the ocean, allowing guests to fully enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Particularly recommended is the “Mendocino Hotel and Garden Suites”, which combines historic charm with modern comfort. For a unique experience, you can also stay in one of the romantic cottages of the Little River Inn, which are ideal for a quiet retreat.


Mendocino is a destination that enchants every visitor with its unparalleled charm, natural beauty, and rich culture. Whether you’re a nature lover, art enthusiast, or foodie, this idyllic city on the California coast has something for everyone. Pack your bags and discover the hidden gem of California waiting to be explored.

Holidays in Mendocino: the most important information


  • Airports:
    • San Francisco International Airport (SFO): About 250 km south of Mendocino, the nearest international airport.
    • Sacramento International Airport (SMF): Approximately 260 km from Mendocino.
  • Car: The scenic drive along the California coast along Highway 1 offers breathtaking views and is a popular route to Mendocino.
  • Bus: Long-distance bus routes such as Greyhound provide services to Ukiah, from where local bus or taxi services are available.

Important telephone numbers

  • Emergency: 911
  • Sheriff: +1 707-463-4086
  • Fire Department: +1 707-937-0131
  • Mendocino Tourist Information: +1 707-961-6300
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  • Harvest Market: 10501 Lansing Street, Mendocino
  • Mendocino Market: 45051 Ukiah Street, Mendocino
  • Corners of the Mouth: 45015 Ukiah Street, Mendocino (health food store)

Doctors and hospitals

  • Mendocino Coast District Hospital: 700 River Drive, Fort Bragg, +1 707-961-1234
  • North Coast Family Health Center: 721 River Drive, Fort Bragg, +1 707-961-4631

Opening hours

  • Shops: Usually Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday often shorter opening hours.
  • Supermarkets: Usually daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Restaurants: Lunch from 11:30 to 14:30, dinner from 17:00 to 21:00.
  • Banks: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Things to see and do

  • Mendocino Headlands State Park: Offers spectacular cliff views, hiking trails, and tide pools.
  • Russian Gulch State Park: Known for the Devil’s Punchbowl, an impressive sea cave, and beautiful waterfalls.
  • Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens: An expansive garden with a variety of plant species and breathtaking ocean views.
  • Point Cabrillo Light Station: Historic lighthouse with a small museum and scenic hiking trails.
  • Wineries and Wine Tasting: The region is known for its wineries, especially in the Anderson Valley AVA, which is about an hour from Mendocino.


  • Not common: There are no official nudist beaches in Mendocino. Nudism is not practiced and could be considered offensive.

Post / Stamps

  • Mendocino Post Office: 10500 Kelly Street, Mendocino. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Stamps: Available at the post office and in some kiosks.
  • Cost of letters and postcards to Germany: Standard letter up to 1 oz (approx. 28g): 1.20 USD; Postcard: 1.20 USD


  • Crime: Mendocino is considered very safe. Observe the usual precautions as in any small municipality.
  • Emergency number: 911


  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Sockets: Type A and B. Adapters for European plugs are required.


  • Restaurants: 15-20% of the bill amount
  • Taxis: Round up the amount or 10-15%
  • Hotels: $1-2 per day for cleaning staff, $1-2 per bag for porters


  • Allowances for travelers to the USA: Personal belongings are duty-free.
  • Alcohol: 1 liter per person over 21 years old.
  • Tobacco: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars.
  • Other items: Value up to $800 duty-free.