For as long as I have lived in California, I have been dying to go to Mendocino, a coastal town about 3 hours north of San Francisco. The most universally reviled Hitchcock film (and one of my favorites), 'The Birds' takes place not too far from Mendocino and I knew it would make the perfect weekend getaway. We drove up on a Friday afternoon in November (yes, I realize it is now February and I am just now posting this) and stayed at the lovely Joshua Grindle Inn. The Inn has 9 or 10 rooms all with a different theme (no, not like 'Jungle Fantasy Room,' more like 'Harbor View').
We stayed in the Water Tower.
The room was warm and cozy and equipped with local wine, fresh baked cookies, and a wood burning stove.
Mendocino looks more like an east coast fishing village than a California coastal town, and is full of art galleries and specialty stores.
We spent the better part of Saturday morning hiking along the coast in the freezing cold and sporadic rain. We made friends with a few abalone fishermen along the way.
After lunch at a local brewery, we stopped by another state park that was totally deserted because of the rain (I left the camera in the car). It was quite beautiful, but very creepy in a we were just waiting for the horror movie villain to jump out from behind the tree kind of way. I convinced BVZ that what the rest of the rainy day really called for was a fancy dinner and playing scrabble in front of the fire, and he happily obliged.
Before heading home the next day we stopped at the botanical gardens . The gardens themselves were very interesting and quite beautiful, but it was the view from the top that was really quite spectacular. If you stay on the garden path long enough, you'll find yourself at the edge of the ocean.
It was a quick trip, but well worth the drive and a place I am sure we will frequent for years to come.