Mendocino Grown-Up Getaway

I love nothing more than traveling with my husband and kids. But you know what else is really fun? Traveling without the kids from time to time.

Recently my husband and I got to take a couple of days for ourselves and booked a last minute trip to the Mendocino coast, about 3 hours from our home. We had no agenda. Just the general goal of catching up on sleep and enjoying some nice meals and lots of long walks. We got it!

We stayed at the Heritage House Resort in Little River in a room with an AMAZING view of the ocean. The waves crashed so loudly and in such an interesting way against the rocks in a narrow cove that they sounded like a musical composition. Our room was luxurious with a nice sitting area and a gas fireplace. The bathroom had the same amazing view from the giant bathtub and heated floors that took the coastal winter chill away. The property is gorgeous and I like that it is on the west side of Highway 1 so there is nothing between you and the ocean.

The almost unbelievably picturesque town of Mendocino is few miles north of Little River. Mendocino is full of shops, interesting architecture and restaurants. My favorite casual place for breakfast and lunch in town is the Good Life Bakery and Cafe. The Ravens restaurant at the Stanford Inn is my other favorite and serves amazing vegan meals with all the cashew cheese and coconut cream things this vegetarian never bothers to make at home. Luckily, to balance the good meals, Mendocino offers a lot of ways to be active.

One walk I always look forward to is the trail at the edge of town that skirts the bluff for a long distance and offers stunning views at each step. Another of our favorite walks is just outside of town on an old logging road along Big River. In winter, remember some warm clothes—it’s gorgeous but usually chilly and windy, too. You can also kayak or canoe this river or rent bikes, all from the same outfitter near the Stanford Inn.

I love being with my kids, and yes, I did miss them for these 48 hours, but what a difference a little grown up getaway can make to one’s sense of serenity and gratitude. Even if you hit it during rainy winter days, Mendocino is still a lovely getaway. I’d just recommend booking a nice room with an ocean view, in case you end up spending a lot of time in it!

Here are some great places to stay, eat and play in the area:


Heritage House Resort (room #48 is very private with an amazing view)

Brewery Gulch Inn

Stanford Inn

JD House


The Ravens

Good Life Bakery and Cafe


Wild Fish


Catch a Canoe and Bicycles, Too (Rents kayaks, canoes and bikes. Also offers Solar Eco Cruise and Bioluminescence Paddle guided tours)

Glass Beach (in Fort Bragg)