Mendocino Activities range from active to relaxing. From forest hikes to beach strolls. To treasure hunting in unusual boutiques to hot tubs and massages.
Interesting Fact: Big River Beach is the sandy beach under the southern bridge and is accessible from the headlands or drive down from the east side of the Hwy.
Fun Things to Do in and around Mendocino
BEAUTIFUL BLUFFS & BEACHES
Mendocino Village is surrounded on three sides by gentle trails that meander along the rugged coastline providing spectacular views of sea arches, ancient blow holes, hidden grottos and the ever changing Pacific Ocean.
Catch a Canoe & Kayak Rentals
Kayak, Canoe and Outrigger rentals on gorgeous 8 mile long Big River Estuary. Escape the fog and ride the tide through a redwood canyon. Watch for seals, otters and bird life. Stable outriggers are easy to paddle and hold from 1 to 10 people. Children & dogs are welcome!
Sweetwater Spa, Massage & Hot Tubs
Hot tubs and saunas, both private and public with an experienced massage staff will provide the special touch to complete your Mendocino experience. Sweetwater spa offers a healing and peaceful environment for your relaxation and renewal.
Best Views of Mendocino
Picture postcard view of Mendocino Village from across the bay! Mendocino Bay Overlook offers a spectacular view of the village of Mendocino from south of Big River. Located off Road 500B/Brewery Gulch Drive immediately south of Mendocino (after the bridge).>> Click for Map.
Big River Adventure
Experience California's newest State Park aboard the unique Solar Wind Outrigger. A combination of sail, paddle, and solar electric power are used to easily navigate undeveloped Big River Estuary in Mendocino. Harbor Seals, River Otters, and a variety of birds are often seen during the guided 2.5 hour adventure.
BIKE RENTALS ~ Stanford Inn
Catch a Canoe & Bicycles Too! rents well maintained high quality mountain bikes, plus easy and upright Cannondale comfort bikes. Single track through the redwoods available too!
Temple of Kwan Tai
The oldest of California's Chinese houses of worship in continuous use, the temple may date back as far as 1854, though its documented history reaches only to 1883. The Chinese built many temples in California, but no others remain on the North Coast.
Ford House Museum
Constructed in 1854, this home today houses a visitor center for Mendocino Headlands State Park. The museum features models of vessels which once plied coastal waters, carrying lumber, passengers and other essentials to those who made their homes on the North Coast. It also features an elaborate model of the town of Mendocino in 1890.
Stanford Inn Classes
Come to the Coast leave with a new skill!
- Eating well, living well
- Creative Playshops
- Cooking Classes
- Gardening Classes
Stanford Inn Day Spa
You'll feel as if you're floating - stress free with greater flexibility, improved circulation and strengthened immune system. Their massage therapists are certificated in shiatsu, acupressure, Esalen, deep-tissue, Swedish and Thai massage, blending these techniques to fit your needs.
Danielle Belinger and her staff of licensed massage therapists are certified with years of experience to provide relaxation and rejuvenation, in 4 rooms that accommodate up to 6 clients. Treat yourself to custom spa treatments in their unique "Garden Massage Studio" within walking distance from your Mendocino Inn.
Murder She Wrote
The popular television series starring Angela Lansbury, features the exteriors of Mendocino Village. A Victorian bed and breakfast in Mendocino was used as Jessica Fletcher's home in the fictional town of Cabot Cove, Maine.
This is one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in continuous use in California. Organized as the Presbyterian Church on November 6, 1859, the building constructed of local redwood, was dedicated on July 5, 1868.
North Coast Surf School
Make your Mendocino vacation memorable! Learn to Surf! 1 Hour 45 Minutes of Instruction
- Private & Group Lessons
- Includes all equipment
Kelley House Museum
Constructed in 1861 by William H. Kelley, one of Mendocino's founding fathers. Located on Main St. in Mendocino, overlooking the mouth of Big River and Mendocino Bay; it houses an extensive collection of photographs and family histories.
SAT, 11am - Docent lead Historic Walking Tours
Stanford ART by the Sea
Creative Playshop: Give yourself permission to play! Tap into your own creativity and inner wisdom, using expressive techniques including collage, art making, writing, and role-playing. Non artists will experience delight as the inner critic is banished and your playfulness arises. Each session is catered to you. No art experience necessary. Materials provided. For no reason at all, or for insight, re-visioning oneself, or to just play with art materials
Out of this World
Located on the corner of Main and Kasten in Mendocino. You'll find the largest selection of telescopes, spotting scopes, cameras and fascinating science toys. Great shop for curious kids of all ages.
This independent bookstore's outstanding selection of books as well as a knowledgeable staff who will accompany a customer to the shelves to find a book or make suggestions, this bookstore a Must-See.
Bookwinkles, has a huge selection of
children's books & gifts.
Discover world treasures from beads, findings, tribal jewelry, ethnic textiles to incense and sacred aromatherapy oils and burners, scented candles, metaphysical books, CDs, crystals, locally-made glass beads, and stained glass art.
Mendocino Shoe Works
Jason Clapp has traveled the world to learn the art of custom shoe crafting and he's back to make them in Mendocino with Old-World techniques
- Custom Purses, Wallets and Belts
- Custom Shoes, Shoe Repair and more...
A collective of Mendocino painters, sculptors, jewelers, glass artists, potters, photographers, fabric artists, silk screeners, weavers, beaders, candlemakers, and haberdashers from Mendocino County.
This clever husband and wife have created a gallery of the senses, specializing in sight, sound and smell. She offers 1,000's of fragrances from Classic to Artisan to your old favorite, and he makes unique stereo speakers disguised as elegant furniture.
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Located on 47 Ocean Front acres, this magnificent landscape includes canyons, wetlands, coastal bluffs, a closed-cone pine forest and a varied array of floral and plant collections.
Bring a Picnic!
Mendocino Art Center
Explore the arts! Take a class, listen to a concert, enjoy the theater, relax in the gardens, view our exhibits, buy a piece of local art, talk with artists, go on a garden tour, join the fun. There's always something going on.
At Last Farm - Doggie Day Camp
Hands on Care with Total Supervision in a Protected & Safe Environment that is Fully Enclosed by Fencing.
A gallery of decorative and fine art, showcasing the finest work of Northern California painters, woodworkers, sculptors and artisans in a beautifully restored building on historic Main Street overlooking the Pacific.
Montgomery Woods State Park
Half way between Mendocino and Ukiah, you will find ancient redwood groves in Montgomery Woods State Park, you'll find one of the TALLEST LIVING THING in the world, (a redwood tree) is in this grove.
Perfume Mendo offers over 1,000 fragrances. From Classic and hard-to-find to small boutique and all natural fragances.
Perfume Mendo specializes in unparalleled service with a knowledgable staff to help you find just the right new fragrance or help locate an old favorite.
Russian Gulch State Parks
Perfect for exploring and hiking, this park features 1,162 acres with 7,630 feet of ocean frontage, with rugged headlands, beaches, tide pools and the Devil's Punch Bowl sea cave on one side and on the other side you'll find the heavily forested Russian Gulch Creek Canyon and the 36-foot high waterfall.
Pt. Cabrillo Lighthouse
Join our knowledgeable docents for a leisurely stroll through the meadows and along the windswept bluffs of the 300 acre Point Cabrillo Preserve. You'll learn a little coastal ecology and some Mendocino history including the story of the Frolic, the 1850 shipwreck that changed the north coast forever.
Jug Handle State Reserve
NATIONAL NATURAL LANDMARK: Explore a 2.5-mile self-guided nature trail called The Ecological Staircase.
Each of the terraces was uplifted from sea level about 100,000 years before the one below it. The lowest terrace consists of prairie; the second is covered with pines; the third supports a unique pygmy forest with knee-high trees possibly several decades old.
Big River Beach
Where the Pacific ocean meets the Big River to form Mendocino Bay. A picturesque path that runs atop the southern bluffs (if you walk EAST), will take you to the wooden staircase that leads down to this sandy beach. Drive South out of Village and take first left before bridge to drive to sand.
The long shallow beach is perfect for kids! Dive for abalone, fish to your heart's content or hit the water for a little surfing, boogie-boarding, kayaking, snorkeling or swimming. Sunbathe on our sandy shores, or comb the Beach for shells.
Mendocino Theater Co.
Mendocino Theater Co. performs in the intimate 83 seat Theatre, located in Mendocino, at the Mendocino Art Center. Live theater presents a variety of plays ranging from great literary classics to modern comedies to original dramas.
Village Toy Store
The Village Toy Store specializes in old fashioned toys like Wooden Blocks, Raggedy Ann Dolls, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, Puppets, Classic Children's Books, Trains, Puzzles, Clay and more. Every toy can be played with in the store come on in and take a look! We carry the largest inventory of kites North of San Francisco.
Tides and tidepools
The sun and the moon move in cycles affecting the ebb and flow of the Tides, wind and storms. We have two high and low tides of unequal heights each day, with a time difference of approximately six hours between them. Tides below one foot in height are ideal for viewing organisms in our majestic tidepools.
NEVER TURN YOUR BACK TO THE OCEAN!