Do you have a go to place in your mind when things are stressful? I do and that place is Mendocino, California. I think the appeal of this place is that it left an imprint on my heart, soul and mind on the first visit and that imprint strengthens with each visit.
Our family literally stumbled on Mendocino and Fort Bragg during a road trip to Napa Valley. Don’t ask how we ended up from Napa to Mendocino – a long story which I will shorten for readers. Basically my spouse took off driving and nowhere in particular mind you. After hours of driving three of the four passengers asked “Are We Somewhere Yet?” because hunger was setting in and probably soon a place to lay the head for the night. We still laugh about this trip years later because we don’t recall everything we saw because we hardly got out the car to stop and see anything. Then the next morning the area was covered in a deep fog, but once again my spouse thought a drive along the Pacific Ocean would be great – you could not see your hand in front of your face. Ah the Memories!!!
My spouse and I went back to Mendocino in 2009 and fell in love all over again with the place. The Mendocino Headlands State Park is gorgeous and a must see if you visit the area. We spent hours in various parts of this park as well as checked out two other State Parks – Russian Gulch and MacKerricher. You become an adult on an outdoor high with a twist of salt water and your stress just disappears. You will break out in smiles and laughter and may even consider doing kid like things again – fly a kite anyone?
The one place we seem to graviate towards when visiting this area is Navarro Winery. I love Navarro’s Gewurtz – mmm! The tasting room can become cozy when busy and there is plenty of patios outside to relax and have a glass of vino. We went to the Hopland Passport Wine Event in 2010 and stopped by the winery and hope to stop by this Spring when in the area for the Hopland Passport again.
Another area to visit is Fort Bragg. We went to Glass Beach which use to be the public dump back in the 40’s. We checked out the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse and saw some black-tailed deer. The highlight was dinner out at Silver’s At The Wharf Restaurant at Noyo Harbor – great food, great ambiance and great service. You can also see a part of the Redwoods while in this area – ocean one direction and forest another direction.
So next time stress kicks in go to that place in your mind that makes you smile and your stress will start to disappear.
This big guy was hanging out in Noyo Harbor when we stopped to pick up some fresh seafood one afternoon. See how relaxing this place is even for the animals.