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jayne1973 Apr 6th, 2011 08:54 AM

Inexpensive lodging Mendocino area to kick off Hwy 1 roadtrip
We are planning an eight-day July roadtrip down Highway 1 in California, starting in the Mendocino area. It will be one night stay, but we were hoping for something funky, on the beach or with great beach views and relatively inexpenisve, as in $100 or less.

Does anyone familiar with the area have suggestions?

joesorce Apr 6th, 2011 09:37 AM

In July I don't think you'll have much luck in that price range, especially near the beach. Is it a weekday at least? Weekends will have a two-night minimum.

This place is $79-$99 in May, but in July it probably doubles:

sf7307 Apr 6th, 2011 09:56 AM

I live in NorCal, but haven't been to Mendocino in many years. What's the best time of year to visit, weather-wise?

tomfuller Apr 6th, 2011 12:08 PM

Where are you coming from to get to Mendocino? Mendocino is only 4 hours from San Francisco following highway 1.
You could stay near Williams on I-5 and drive over Rt 20 to get to Mendocino in time for lunch.
Take the time to visit Muir Woods and the Marin Headlands before crossing the GG bridge.

Wm Apr 6th, 2011 01:09 PM

We frequently stay at the Harbor Lite Lodge in Fort Bragg, about 15 mins north of Mendocino. It runs about $100/night. This Lodge is above the Noyo Harbor so you can watch the fishing boats go in and out--great view. Rooms are large and very clean. I don't think they have a 2 night minimum on the weekends.

sf7307, the best time to visit the north coast is spring and fall. Just like San Francisco, summer can very windy and foggy and winter produces wind and rain (which actually can be fun if you have a nice, cozy place to stay!).

janisj Apr 6th, 2011 03:33 PM

You won't get Mendocino for $100 -- but you can get Ft Bragg. But not Ft Bragg on/near a beach. The Harbor Lite is good and its non-view rooms do run $99 in July. Their nicer/view rooms run higher.

Where did William/I-5/Muir Woods come from? No, you don't want to stay in Williams

willowjane Apr 6th, 2011 04:17 PM

We loved the Little River Inn - nice views and a fun place to stay - the porch along the rooms was great!

janisj Apr 6th, 2011 04:45 PM

I almost always recommend the Little River Inn -- but you ain't staying there for $100 in July . . .

The historic attic rooms run about $130 - and all the others run from $175 to over $300.

jayne1973 Apr 6th, 2011 06:54 PM

Thanks, everyone.

Looks like Beach House Inn is $119 for a queen non-view room, and yes, Harbor Lite is $99. Either would work if we just cannot get an ocean view.

This is a big road trip that begins in Texas, with a stop to visit friends in Colorado. We will arrive in California after a 300-mile drive from Reno on a Friday and begin our Highway 1 adventure the next morning.

Are there any other towns near the Mendocino/Fort Bragg area where we might look? Any "must" places to see or eat in the area?

razzledazzle Apr 7th, 2011 12:18 PM

sf-we love Mendocino in mid Sept-to mid Oct.
Stupendouslsy gorgeous !


tomfuller Apr 7th, 2011 01:15 PM

Have you seen the price for the Whaler rooms at this place?
Pine Beach

jayne1973 Apr 7th, 2011 02:57 PM

Thanks, Tomfuller. Those are good rates. Wonder if "pet friendly" comes with any special scents? haha
The Ocean Breeze rooms are a decent rate, too.

I almost thought I had discovered something I had in mind at a place called Sea Shell Inn in Point Arena -- funky, inexpensive, etc. Then I read some reviews that said it was full of "tweakers." So I looked that up and found out it means meth heads! Darn it!

janisj Apr 7th, 2011 03:45 PM

Pine beach does have inexpensive rates -- and is fine as long as you understand what it is. It is a pretty basic/dated motel but it does have water views.

elnap29 Apr 7th, 2011 06:55 PM

We haven't stayed here in awhile but really really loved being at Howard Creek Ranch. The location is amazing. Just walk across the small meadow and you are on a wonderful beach! It is north of Fort Bragg (maybe 10 - 15 min?) and is a rustic setting. Nice people. Delicious breakfast. Many room options, all hand-crafted from redwoods on the property.

Another option is to drive north (from San Francisco) on Hwy 101 to Willits. There are some decent motels there, much cheaper than Mendocino. We have done this, staying in Willits overnight, then heading down the Hwy (is it 20 ?) in the morning. It is about 20-30 min from Willits to Mendocino/Fort Bragg.

janisj Apr 7th, 2011 08:05 PM

Willits is a little over 40 miles/1 hour from Mendocino and 35 miles a little under an hour from Ft Bragg

elnap29 Apr 7th, 2011 08:08 PM

Well, perhaps so, janisj; I don't recall it taking that long. But it is a beautiful drive, windy and all downhill in the forest.

brewski Apr 8th, 2011 11:21 AM


If you would like to explore UP the coast, a great place to stay is the Trinidad Bed and Breakfast, in the small town (very small) of Trinidad, which is up from Eureka. I realize you are going the other way, just sayin. It is a beautiful trip on highway 101 thru the redwoods.
Mendo is a great walking town.
We have stayed at the Sea Rock Inn. Not in the price range you are looking for but a great place to stay.

If you want a delicious breakfast go south about 20 miles to ELK to a little cafe called Queenies Roadhouse Cafe.

nancy1652 Apr 8th, 2011 07:33 PM

Mendocino village is so much fun to stay in that you might extend your budget a little so you can be there for one night. Quite a different feeling than staying in Ft. Bragg. Try; they might have something for you. You also should be making reservations now, if you can. July is very busy.

jayne1973 Apr 10th, 2011 07:28 PM

I am going to check out these other towns mentioned. Thanks for link, Nancy. I didn't know Murder She Wrote was filmed in Mendocino. Some of the lodging looks promising.

Does anyone know of an excellent guidebook for Highway 1? I have in mind something with good maps and extensive lists of sites, lodging and restaurants.

Our plans so far are to take it from Mendocino to Capistrano Beach.

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