Northern California: Meet The Charming Mendocino & Fort Bragg Coast

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Mendocino County is located just a few hours above San Francisco, California, and the first region where you’ll see some of Northern California’s glorious redwoods. The two best ways to drive to Mendocino County is the inland route on HWY 101, through the picturesque Mendocino Wine Country over rolling hills among sprawling vineyards and through towering redwood forests.

The coastal route on Hwy 1, takes a little longer as you wind your way along the rugged coastline dotted by coastal villages. The south coast starts next to our neighbor Sea Ranch through Gualala to Point Arena.   The mistiness of the below beach in Mendocino felt precisely how it looks – serene, mysterious and yet raw and wild at the same time.

Due to the varied terrain and expansive range of micro-climates, the Mendocino wine growing region is able to produce an impressive variety of grapes that create superior wines. Nearly 40 wineries are located in three regions of Mendocino County – Redwood Valley – Ukiah, Hopland and Anderson Valley. Redwood Valley – Ukiah and Hopland are both in the Russian River area of the County. See our blog post write-up on a couple of gems we discovered along the way.

The town of Mendocino itself is charming and definitely worth a stroll.

Weathered fences and porches add to the ambiance.

Window shopping.


Yeah, there really is a “Dick’s Place.” We even danced to 1980’s music via a jukebox one night – not sure if the dog was still around then or not.

Below, husband and wife team will give you warm hospitality at the Belgian Chocolate Shop in downtown Mendocino.

I’d recommend a few days in the Mendocino / Fort Bragg area and using Mendocino as your base. (be sure to read my write-ups on lodging and hotels in the area and our reviews on Blackberry Inn and the infamous vegan resort Stanford Inn By the Sea). Once you’re based in Mendocino, we’d suggest heading south once you hit the coast to stop over in Albion and Elk, which straddle where Hwy 128 meets the sea. Heading north from Hwy 128 you’ll also discover Little River which is right next to Mendocino and I’d strongly recommend making a reservation at Wild Fish in Little River on the ocean. The northern route to the coast from Hwy 101 will take you to historical Fort Bragg.

Below, Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg

Then, there’s the magical infamous Glass Beach, also in Fort Bragg. See our separate write-up on Glass Beach for more information on this interesting and unique gem.

And let’s not forget the incredible stretch of Redwoods you pass through on your way to the coast.

The Redwoods in Northern California in the late summer and fall is magical. No, more than magical! Need I say more?

Renee Blodgett
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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