Mendocino Travel Guide
  • Photo: Peter Guttman/


A flourishing logging town in the late-19th century, Mendocino seduces 21st-century travelers with windswept cliffs, phenomenal Pacific Ocean views, and boomtown-era New England–style architecture. Following the timber industry's mid-20th-century decline, artists and craftspeople began flocking here, and so did Hollywood: Elia Kazan chose Mendocino as a backdrop for his 1955 film adaptation of John Steinbeck's East of Eden, starring James Dean, and the town stood in for fictional Cabot Cove, Maine, in the long-running TV series Murder, She Wrote. As the arts community thrived, restaurants, cafés, and inns sprang up. Today, the small downtown area consists almost entirely of places to eat and shop.


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