Posted by: vlibrizzi | April 23, 2010

NoCal/Oregon Road Trip: Mendocino, CA

On Tuesday afternoon we drove the two-hour coastal drive from Sonoma to Mendocino. The views of the rolling hills and then the rocky coasts were awe-inspiring, although the windy drive made us all a bit carsick.

In the evening, we arrived at the quaint seaside village of Mendocino, California.

We stayed  at the Joshua Grindle Inn, a lovely bed and breakfast that overlooks the cliffs of Mendocino (photo to the left). As soon as we arrived, Cindy and her adorable cat, welcomed us with tea, freshly baked cookies, and some port which we could drink in the living room while we looked out onto her beautiful gardens and, beyond, the ocean.

Once we settled in, we took a walk along the coastline (but didn’t get too close to the water as we were warned time and again by locals…apparently the waves are so strong that they can sneak up on you and pull you out to sea. Yikes!

We then walked through the quiet town, which seemed pretty deserted for a Tuesday evening, except for the little league baseball game that was being played in the field across from our inn.

Later, we returned to the hotel to warm up (the wind was so strong outside!). Cindy made a reservation for us at the Little River Inn for dinner (and the owners of the inn were so kind to pick us up at our hotel…everyone is so nice in California!). We munched on spicy chick peas while we waited for our entrees of dungeness crab quesadillas and fish tacos from the bar menu (which, we found out, you can now order from while seated in the restaurant..fancy that!). We then hopped back in the van and chatted with our driver back to our hotel about abalone (a giant sea snail that is a delicacy of the region but cannot be sold commercially). I am now more than a little bit intrigued to try abalone (why not?), but am not about to jump in a wet suit and brave the crazy waves that literally crash over the rocks in Mendocino, to pry these pesky giant snails off the rock walls. No way!

That night we nestled into our plush beds (C. and I stayed in the “library” room at the Joshua Grindle Inn) and fell asleep to the sounds of the ocean waves crashing against the rocks. Ahhh!

We slept in the next morning, had some tea while reading in bed (I loved the Moroccan Mint tea that Cindy had out for us), and then made our way over to the dining room where Cindy made pear and maple waffles for us. Yum!

Suffice it to say, we were reluctant to leave lovely Mendocino, with its adorable downtown and its beautiful ocean views (like in the photo above and to the left), but we were eager to get to the next stop on our trip and see the Redwoods of Northern California.


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