Mendocino California

Apr 12th, 2007, 02:38 PM
  #1  
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Mendocino California

I posted previously about planning a trip north of San Fran with my husband and three kids (aged 17, 20, 23) in July. We were thinking of renting a house at Sea Ranch because I would love to stay close to the water, but now I'm thinking maybe Mendocino would be more fun for my kids with more variety. I would like to stay walking distance to the town but was hoping for someplace with nice grounds or close to the headlands (we've never been, but is this the best place for walking the beach/viewing the ocean?) It seems that everyplace in Mendo is B and Bs, however. I don't mind B and Bs, but we need to sleep the three kids in one room, and I can't find any with two queens or sofa beds. (My huband and I would be in a second room).

Any suggestions? Maybe we can't have it all and need to stay further away from the town...
buckminster is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 03:19 PM
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I was just down there last week and looked at a bunch of different places to stay. One place that might work for you is the Alegria--they just took over a place with 4 rooms some of which have more than 1 bed and are not too expensive so good for families. It's in town, within walking distanc of either the Headlands park or the beach that's just south of town (you can't really get down to the beach from the Headlands, it's too steep, at least the part that I walked on).

The Stanford Inn just south of town might also work for you since they have rooms with two queen beds--I stayed there one of the nights I was in the area and really liked it--it's a lovely ranch/farm type setting.
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Apr 13th, 2007, 08:26 AM
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Mendocino is justifiably often described as the jewel of the North Coast. It's very picturesque with high quality craft shops and good restaurants. Outdoor activities are within easy reach--there's a very good stable north of Fort Bragg. You're right on the headlands, and there is at least one trail down to the beach. A consideration for the kids, it is quiet at night. According to its website, The Whitegate Inn offers a vacation rental in the village.
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Apr 13th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Thanks so much to you both for your help! The Stanford Inn looks very nice and suitable, although perhaps a bit of a walk to town?

I just spoke to the Whitegate and that sounds very promising also. I think we would prefer to be in town for the convenience so we could go our separate ways when we want. I didn't realize how small the town is and that beautiful, natural spots are just a close walk.

As far as night life, my kids will be ok without it. We'll spend the first two nights in San Fran, and this trip is more to hang and relax with the family--my daughters get plenty of nightlife in the college town they live in anyway!
buckminster is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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Yes, the Stanford is a short drive from downtown Mendocino. I suppose you could walk but the highway is busy and you'd have to cross it and a bridge--not sure how feasible that would be. So I can understand wanting to be in town so that everyone can go do their own thing if they want.

And I second the recommendation of the stable north of Ft Bragg if you like to ride (it's called Ricochet Ranch)--I went riding with them on the beach last week and it was great.
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Apr 13th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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We rode with Ricochet Ranch. They knew I was an experienced equestrienne and they gave me a nice horse. We rode through the redwoods as well as on the beach- both rides were awesome. Stop at Pacific Star winery north of Ft Bragg and take a picnic. The kids won't taste wines, but the grounds are amazing with the best coastal setting in that part. bring binoculars and watch the whales close to shore. I don't think it's a bad walk from Stanford Inn! My husband and I walked daily from Brewery Gulch. Just stick to the side, it's basically just a 1/3 mile across the bridge. Plenty of shoulder on the road. That's a lovely place, very friendly and the food is vegetarian. You cahn rent kayaks there, which is fun. Also, there are many, many hikes in the area. beautiful parks, redwoods, etc. Try the Mandocino Cafe for good reasonable fare and Lu's Kitchen for a good picnic wrap.
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Apr 13th, 2007, 11:35 AM
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Dear Buckminster,

I agree that Mendocino would be less isolated, particularly for your type of trip. Sea Ranch is terrific, but I've seen it work out best for return visitors who want to get away from it all.

I usually go up to Mendocino from San Francisco at least once a year. I'm not up on the newest places to eat, but there are at least two very nice cafe/bakeries with sandwich and quiche offerings as well as pastries - good places to stock up for a day trip or picnic.

If you venture a little further north past Fort Bragg towards Rockport and Westport, you will be rewarded by beautiful wild coastal views and uncrowded roads and beaches. McKerricher State Beach is one that has an interesting walk through a beach-side swamp. Closer to Mendocino town, I like Russian Gulch beach and park - there is a hike through the forest at Russian Gulch that ends up at a little waterfall, but I don't know if it would be running after our rather dry winter. The headlands on the western end of Mendocino town are an ideal place to watch the sunset.
dovima is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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Most of the inns we are familiar with in Mendocino cater to couples, but I think some do have cottages available for families. Try calling Mendocino's chamber of commerce or reservation service. Another idea is Howard Creek Ranch, which is north of Fort Bragg (about 20 minutes). It is an unusual place to stay with warm and friendly hosts. Check www.howardcreekranch.com
Take a look at Redwood Suites or the Beach Cabin. You can arrange enough beds for all, and you are only steps from the beach! It's a beautiful property.
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Apr 14th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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Hi again,

We rented the "Retreat" cottage from Whitegate Inn (thanks again, "bon voyage"!). It is about 3 blocks from the Whitegate Inn, and should suit us very well with 3 bedrooms and two baths. We will stay our first two nights at the Argonaut in San Francisco, where we stayed 3 years ago. It was a good location near the cable car terminus, and the cannery, near Fisherman's Wharf but down the street enough so it doesn't feel as touristy.

So that takes care of Sat. through Wednesday nights. After we leave Mendocino, I think we will drive to Guerneville and stay Thursday night at the West Sonoma Inn, which gets great reviews on Trip Advisor. We can explore that area during the day Thursday and part of Friday, then head back to San Fran to stay near the airport Friday night for our last night.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? I wish it was next week instead of 3 months from now!
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Apr 14th, 2007, 08:49 PM
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So glad that worked out, buckminster! I've had my eye on that rental as a possibility when we next return to Mendocino with our own grown kids. Also, if you haven't finalized your last night on the way back to SF, you might take a look at Healdsburg.
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Apr 15th, 2007, 04:37 AM
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was at the argonaut last fall, still a great place to stay.
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Apr 15th, 2007, 05:28 AM
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Bon voyage, I'll let you know how we like it. Have you seen the outside? In addition to the 3-bedroom house, there is a cottage at the back of the property with a queen bedroom and bath. We are not renting the cottage.

I haven't finalized the last night, and Healdsburg was actually my first choice, but I ran into the same problem there. The B & B type places didn't seem to have rooms that slept more than 2 people (ony one bed). The Hotel Healdsburg looked very expensive.

Maybe I'll call a few B & Bs to ask. When I talked to the people at MacCallum House in Mendocino, they said they could put futons on the floor in some of their rooms, which I wouldn't have discovered through online research. MaCallum House also has a cottage rental about a block away from the main house (Ocean's song). It looks very nice, only two bedrooms but has a sofa bed. And it included full breakfast. But it wasn't available the first night we needed it.
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Apr 15th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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No, I've not seen it so will certainly look forward to your report. Thanks, too, for the information on the MacCallum House cottages. The chic and trendy area north of San Francisco is often frustratingly couples centric when you are travelling with kids each of whom needs a bed. The Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce may be able to help with your search as well. The Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza was relatively recently taken over by the Four Sisters group--their properties tend to be more reasonably priced than most and are well managed.
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Apr 16th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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The Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza has only one room that can accommodate 3 people (a King bed plus day bed), but it is $325, which is out of our price range since we would also have to rent a second room for my husband and I (they do have King rooms for $250 on a different floor.)

I have reserved at the Sonoma Inn and Spa in Guerneville, which sounds very nice and I think will be fine for this visit since we aren't really there for wine tours, more to see the area and stop by one or two wineries. Guerneville was described to me as more laid back and "bohemian" that Healdsburg, which sounds good to me and it's also right near the Redwood State Park which we wanted to visit (we're skipping Muir Woods).
buckminster is offline  
Apr 16th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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$575 plus tax for that one last night on the road wouldn't fit my "reasonably priced" category either. Guerneville sounds like a good plan--can recommend the Farmhouse Inn restaurant in Forestville as a dinner possibility.
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