<<<  Things to do in Mendocino  >>>

Trails and beaches:


Mackerricher State Park (15.4 miles north) Offers a variety of habitats: beach bluff, headlands, dunes, forest, and wetlands. Great boardwalk path out to the bluff

Glass Beach (11.4 miles north) Sea glass used to cover this entire beach, and it still have a magical effect. Expect crowds on the weekend.

Noyo Harbor (10 miles north) This working harbor is a worthwhile stop if you are heading up to the northern beaches. Also a good place to pick up fresh fish.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens (8.2 miles north) Allow a few hours to explore the stunning 47-acre grounds. A paved loop trail takes visitors through the gorgeous gardens, over meandering waterways, and ultimately to a spectacular ocean bluff with seating. Good gift shop and cafe with local Cowlicks ice cream.

Jug Handle State Natural Reserve (6 miles north) The Ecological Staircase Trail covers 5 miles of varying micro-ecosystems. Pick up the great info pamphlet at the beginning of the trail if you would like to have an educational experience.  

Caspar State Beach (5 miles north) Lovely pocket beach with the occasional surfer. A new trail leads from here to Point Cabrillo Lighthouse State Park.

Point Cabrillo Light Station State Park ( 5.5 miles north) Brief, easy .5 mile walk to a spectacular lighthouse and historic museum.

Russian Gulch State Park (3.7 miles north) This State Park features a popular hike to a waterfall, and a small beach where you can hang out or launch a kayak or raft.

Mendocino Headlands Trail (1.2 miles north) This beautiful trail encircles the town of Mendocino and is accessible from all edges of the village. The 2.5 miles of bluff edge are the perfect place to walk, jog, explore the beaches and tidepools, or catch sunset after dinner. This is must for all visitors to the area.

Big River Beach & Trail (.2 miles north)  Big River Trail is a 5.7 mile fire road that starts at Big River Beach and runs along Big River. It is a great place for bird, seal and river otter watching.

Van Damme State Park & Fern Canyon Trail (1 mile south) The fern canyon hike to the rare pygmy forest (the pygmy forest also accessible by car) is a must. Sit on one of two benches carved from redwood trees while watching the crashing ocean. 7.7 mile loop.

Mendocino Bay Overlook Park (.1 mile north)  Perfect place for a panoramic sunset view of Mendocino headlands and Big River Beach. You can access it on foot from the campground by walking down the old camp road to Ukiah-Comptche Road and walking to the left to HWY1. Cross HWY1 onto Brewery Gulch Road and the overlook is 500 feet more on your right.


Dog-friendly beaches (miles from campground):

1. Big River Beach (.2 miles)

2. Portuguese Beach, Mendocino Headlands, Mendocino. (.4 miles)

3. Van Damme State Beach, Highway 1, Mendocino. (1.5 miles)

4. Caspar Beach, 14441 Point Cabrillo Dr., Caspar. (2.4 miles)

5. MacKerricher State Park, Highway 1, Fort Bragg. (9 miles

For a more extensive list including dog-friendly restaurants and grooming facilities check out http://dogtrekker.com/ or http://www.fortbragg.com/outdoors/pets/

A two minute drive by car, the village of Mendocino hosts a variety of fantastic restaurants. Our favorites include: 

  1. Mendocino Café (707) 937-6141. A tiny eatery with deck seating and a warm atmosphere, serving an eclectic menu of Thai-inspired cuisine.

  2. Flow (707) 937-3569. Owned by same team as Mendocino Café with a similar menu but a better bar. The restaurant is on the second floor and has a great view of the ocean.

  3. Mendocino Hotel (707) 937-0511. An upscale place serving American bistro fare and California wines in a historic Victorian setting. We love eating in the lobby near the fireplace, where a full menu is available.

  4. Trillium (707) 937-3200. New American cuisine with a focus on seasonal and local ingredients. Lunch and dinner are served in a comfortable, fire-lit dining room.

  5. Patterson’s Pub (707) 937-4782. A folksy Irish hangout with modern pub grub and global beers, plus weekend brunch and TVs tuned to sports. You must be 21 or older and it’s always popular, so hard to find seats if you are more than two.

  6. Wildfish (707) 937-3055. Just a few minutes south of the campground, this local favorite features sustainably caught fish and organic produce. We love the cozy atmosphere and ocean views.

  7. Good Life Cafe and Bakery (707) 937-0836. A great coffee shop with a delicious selection of breakfast and lunch items like daily soups, homemade breads, rice bowls, salads, and wraps.

  8. Cafe Beaujolais (707) 937-5614. Upscale, refined, and delicious. Seasonal ingredients include fresh fish, local produce, and house-baked breads.


  1. Harvest Market at Mendosa’s Buy all of your camp provisions and more at this upscale artisan market. You’ll find a fantastic butcher selling ground venison which can’t be beat for burgers, a deli with a great selection of prepared food, cheeses, olives and cured meatsand a small but well curated offering of locally grown fruit and vegetables. Open daily from 7:30am to 10:00pm.

  2. Corners of the Mouth - Cooperative Health Food and general market. This small and eclectic natural food store is located in a historical church building and is a must for all visitors to town. You’ll find great smoothies, wonderful bulk items and prepared foods. Open everyday8am -8pm.

  3. Local Farmers Markets - A beautifully curated farmers market with plenty of food vendors to fill in with any last minute provisions is held in the center of town from 12-2pm on Fridays. On Sunday in Albion, near the general store, farmers market is held from 2-4pm. Fort Bragg market is held Wednesdays from 3-6pm at Franklin and Laurel Streets.

Don’t Miss:

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. 

You can find this hidden jewel at the entry point to Fort Bragg. Allow at least two hours to explore the 47-acre grounds. A paved loop trail takes visitors from the highway entrance due west through gorgeous garden beds, over meandering waterways, and ultimately to a spectacular ocean bluff with seating. Check the website for seasonal showings of azaleas, rhododendrons, fuchsias, begonias, dahlias, and more. Lunch at the garden cafe is a treat. The nursery and gift shop are well stocked and beautifully curated.  http://www.gardenbythesea.org/

While in Fort Bragg, Here are a few other popular food options:

North Coast Brewing Company (707) 964-2739

Piaci Pub & Pizzeria (707) 961-1133

Cowlick’s Ice Cream Café (707) 962-9271