The Mendocino Coast has everything we love about Northern California: Eccentric art galleries, great food (and wine, of course), and proudly offbeat locals.
But what makes this area so memorable? The breathtaking coastal scenery. Imagine deep gorges emptying to the sea, windswept headlands without a soul in sight, and boulder-strewn stretches of sand.
Sound good? Well, if you’re staying at the Stevenswood Spa Resort, all you need to do is hop on Highway 1 and start exploring. So let’s go!
Mendocino Headlands State Park – Just a short walk from downtown Mendocino, this park feels like the edge of the world. Grassy fields lead to the sea and trails trace the coastline, offering views of the Pacific and, during winter, occasional peeks of migrating grey whales. 5-minute drive from Stevenswood.
Russian Gulch State Park – Popular with Abalone divers, this park just north of Mendocino features a small beach flanked by jagged cliffs and crowned with a graceful arching bridge. Hike out to the Devil’s Punchbowl, a collapsed sea cave, to see the ocean churning below. 10-minute drive from Stevenswood.
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens – Drive by too quickly and you’ll miss it, but this seaside botanical garden boasts not only a dazzling array of flora, but awe-inspiring views of the crashing surf. There’s even a glass-walled shelter where visitors can watch the show protected from the area’s moody climate. 15-minute drive from Stevenswood.
MacKerricher State Park – If seals are your thing this is a good place to find them. They love to hang out on the rocks just off shore. Either way, this park features miles of trails leading through dunes, headlines, and beaches pockmarked by tide pools. 25-minute drive from Stevenswood.