Every now and then you get a moment to just press the pause button on life and soak up the moment you're in. Cody and I got to do just that last weekend for our sixth wedding anniversary in Mendocino! I've been that broken record (that won't shut-up) about wanting to explore the area for years now. Cody heard my cry. And he answered with a beautiful, unforgettable, and amazing weekend! My mom and sister-in-law quickly jumped at the chance to have Luke all to themselves. Two nights away from Luke was a little shock to my system, but they're both already asking when we are leaving again!
It really is just as gorgeous as you've dreamed. Redwoods, crystal clear waters, cliff-side beaches and sandy beaches, scrumptious coffee shops and bakeries, fresh seafood and cozy accommodations. We stayed at the Inn at Schoolhouse Creek in the tiny town of Little River. They have a variety of room and cottage sizes depending on the space you need, very sweet place to stay! We drove around quite a bit planning the next trip (while still enjoying the one we were on!), most likely the next visit up there will be camping. But we also would like to stay at the Searock Inn and Stanford Inn based on their location and views. That's how you know you love a place though right? When you immediately miss it even though you haven't left yet!
We also drove up to Ft. Bragg (about 10 miles north) and loved exploring Glass Beach and the surrounding beaches. Most of the glass at glass beach has been worn down to actual sand and (more than likely) collected by visitors but it was still fun to comb through the pebbles. Beautiful views, cliffs and tide pools to climb around on. Most of the coast here is open to explore as you please. Love that!
Based on my perception, there are four state parks within ten miles of highway (everything is off highway 1), but I am never 'map accurate', so just know that there are four state parks like really close together up there. Two have camping, Russian Gulch & Van Damme, and the other two are great for hiking, viewing, photographing, biking, you get it.. Since we are tent campers, either Russian Gulch or Van Damme would suit us, but if you have a trailer of any sort, Van Damme is your better bet as the sites and inner roads are a little more spacious.
We splurged on a fancy schmancy dinner Saturday night at The Albion River Inn for our anniversary. The most amazing dinner I've ever had. Really. Seriously. Have you ever eaten your fill of shrimp, crab, halibut and salmon? I can now say I have! The waiter even passed my husbands straw test. Every time we go out to eat, he orders a soda, but he plunks the straw in my drink because he doesn't like drinking through a straw. He's been waiting for years for a waiter to notice and not place a straw in his drink on the refill. So if you're out there, thank you Mr. Waiter for noticing. It put the cherry on top of your already stellar service!
I highly, highly recommend checking this place out! Even during peak season (July & August) it was not hardly crowded! I mean I think for the locals it was probably swamped, but being from the Bay Area it was like we had the place to ourselves! I'm probably leaving a million tips and details out, but my brain is too scattered right now to list them in any sort of helpful order. Can't wait to go back and add to the memories!