Discover Why Everyone Falls In Love With The Mendocino Coast
I came to California in 1989 and visited Mendocino for the first time in 1991 – we set out from San Francisco with our mountain bikes. It was pouring rain, but I was bound and determined to have a hot meal, and so spent two hours lighting a fire. We set out into the Park, which I believe now is no bikes, but I didn’t know it then. There was only one other couple in the Park – amazing walkers from Kansas City who kept overtaking us. We joked that they must have walked all the way from Kansas City!
There was something about that trip that touched me. Just how much life there is being near those redwoods. Or the quaint untouched feeling of the town of Mendocino – back then, with far fewer people on the streets. I felt, rather than said, I would be back. In real estate, I hear anecdotes similar to this all the time; I’ve been coming here for 30 years, I proposed to my wife here, this is where I want to end up.
When I was in tech, I was the owner, and so it was not uncommon for me to work 16-20 hour days. I needed a place to decompress and so purchased in Little River in 1999. Now, most people might camp on their unimproved land once or twice a year. Not me – I was coming up every weekend if I could swing it. I built a small shelf that wrapped around a tree and hung a mirror there so I could shave. Full decompression. When the dot.bomb hit in 2001, I didn’t feel it much, as I had contracts through the coming year. But 2002 was dead quiet and so I figured I finally had time to build my home, which I did. I hadn’t planned on leaving the Bay Area for another ten years, so imagine my surprise when I’d interviewed over twenty people, found the woman I wanted to rent to, went to hand her the keys, only to find I could not let go of them. So I moved in to my newly built home.
The greater Mendocino Coast just does that – it sort of receives and captures you. Wild ocean rolling against the rocky bluffs, the twinkle of evening light on the waves, the ever changing landscape of undulating sands of the various river deltas. Or maybe it’s the wildlife you like? Osprey and hawks darting overhead. Blue and Grey whales and now even Orca spotted breaching. Wild turkey a common sight. Go fishing or dive for abalone.
Music Festival, Film Festival, Paul Bunyan Days, Crab and Wine Days, Whale Fest, Winesong, July 4th Parade, World’s Largest Salmon BBQ and much more to do. Or perhaps it’s the people that get to you – those 2 hour trips to the post office because you know everyone and have to stop to chat. All those really interesting folks that have found their way here. Then of course you could be getting away from things. The blistering summers of the Valley, the mad traffic of the Bay Area. Whatever your reason, the Mendocino Coast gets under your skin – in a good way!
And, in recent years, we’ve been found! Condé Nast has written about us. New York Times says Mendocino Coast is a must-see destination spot. HGTV’s most popular show, Private Islands, just did an episode on an island off the coastline accessed by a bridge.
The Boston Globe says get to the Mendocino Coast before anyone else, and then slow down, adding, thank God for time travel — to the Mendocino Coast. That is where the craggy coastline and soaring cliffs keep the raging Pacific at bay, though just barely. And also where the approaches, through mountain valleys and thousands of acres of redwoods that stand as sentinels, keep the tourists to more of a trickle than a flood.
We’re also the perfect weekend getaway away from the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area. In less than two hours from San Francisco, you can be in Cloverdale which marks the beginning of Anderson Valley. Now for a fully decompressed drive of another hour to hour and a half to the Coast – provided you don’t stop at the many wineries or the brewery en route!
It’s hard to recommend a single place, but lately, my favorite dining of choice has been The Ledford House http://ledfordhouse.com/. Sit at the bar and enjoy one of the finest sunset views that’s not a personal residence. The Café Beaujolais is on its third owner, if memory serves. They have a brick oven out back of the restaurant.
“However you do it, I recommend getting to the Coast with one word of caution – you will want to stay! I have been a partial member of the wonderful Mendocino Community since 1999, full time since 2003, and am positively proud to call this area my home.” -Scott Roat