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Discover historic and cultural charm with our Mendocino vacation rental

Those who love to travel the world or simply explore their own backyard are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting destinations that offer rich cultural experiences. Destinations in Paradise hosts exclusive vacation rentals in some of the world’s most prized destinations, from iconic Hawaii to sunny Los Cabos. All of our favorite destinations pride themselves on their cultural and historical offerings, and the majestic coasts of Mendocino County are no exception. Welcome to Mendocino, destination paradise!


Where is Mendocino?


This eclectic colonial town is located a short 3-hour drive North of sunny San Francisco, with much to see and do along the way. Head North on Highway 101 and exit left onto the 128 towards Anderson Valley, where our historic journey begins. Keep your eyes peeled for picture-perfect scenery and Instagram-worthy moments you won’t want to miss!


Where is Mendocino?
Where is Mnedocino?


What are the best things to do in Anderson Valley? 


Anderson Valley Navarro Vineyards & Winery
Anderson Valley Navarro Vineyards & Winery


The Anderson Valley is a region famous for its picturesque vineyard landscapes, towering Redwood forests, and delicious regional wines. As you explore the area's rolling landscapes, here’s where you might want to stop and stretch your legs.


Anderson Valley Historical Museum

12340 CA-128, Boonville, CA



The Anderson Valley Historical Museum (the pride of the Anderson Valley Historical Society) is well worth the visit. A half-mile northwest of the historic town of Boonville, the museum is comprised of three historic buildings packed with curious artifacts and nostalgia. The museum is a truly collaborative project, with local families donating pieces to showcase the lives lived by the region’s first settlers, such as documents, photos, and furniture dating as far back as the 1880s. Visit the Little Red Schoolhouse, and immerse yourself in Bootling, the unique local language that forms a part of the area’s beginnings.  


Anderson Valley Historical Society
Anderson Valley Historical Society


Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum

45500 Lighthouse Rd, Point Arena


Continue North on Highway 128 before taking a left on Elk. A short drive south, you’ll find the Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum, the tallest historic lighthouse on the west coast. Daily tours are available, and for those wanting to rest for the evening, lodging is available at the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage. Think of spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and premium whale watching with unbeatable hiking trails at the nearby Point Arena-Stornetta park. 


On the way to Mendocino!


In the tiny coastal town of Mendocino, you’ll experience the very best historical and cultural experiences that Mendocino County has to offer, as well as luxury Mendocino coast vacation rentals that are the epitome of holidaying in the lap of luxury. Before we show you the very best in Mendocino accommodations, here are our favorite historical sites in the center of the village. 


Mendocino Masonic Hall

10500 Lansing St, Mendocino Village


Located on the popular Lansing Street, the Mendocino Masonic Hall, also known as Mendocino Lodge No. 179, is a historic Masonic gathering place first imagined in 1865 by a small group of Mason who had recently relocated to the area. Originally located at another site, the hall was moved to its current location in 1883 and is an intriguing reminder of the area’s early past. 



Kelley House Museum

45007 Albion St, Mendocino


Constructed in 1861 by William Kelley, this historic home is a true journey into the historic past of Mendocino. Immigrating from Canada during the early age of the logging industry, William constructed his stunning property and acquired ownership of the majority of land in the area with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean landscaped gardens flush with beautiful blossoms, the interior of the property is filled with traditional 19th-century furniture. District walking tours leave from the museum, allowing lucky visitors to explore downtown Mendocino, educate themselves as to the town’s quirky history, and visit more historical sites along the way. It’s a verifiable time capsule.


Artists’ Coop of Mendocino

10400 Kasten St, Mendocino


Mendocino art galleries bring thousands of art lovers to the village year-round. Located at the junction of Kasten and Albion Streets in Mendocino village, this cute and quirky gallery is home to contemporary and traditional art, with everything from photography and painting to jewelry and ceramics on show. Meet visiting artists, watch them work, and be wowed by the talent that calls this region home. Other galleries are located within walking distance, making your cultural journey through downtown a riveting experience.


Other galleries worth checking out in the area are plenty! Here are a few of our favorites…


Anderson’s Alternatives (10550 Lansing St, Mendocino) - Showcases amazing creations all derived from locally sourced wood. 


Highlight Gallery (10480 Kasten St, Mendocino) - Displaying the work of hundreds of regional and national artists across all disciplines, this showroom is a work of art in itself. You’ll want to pick up a piece to take home!


Mendocino Vacation Rentals - Where to Stay When in Town

   

Mendocino Coast vacation rentals are found at every twist and turn of this quaint and mystical village. We have written about Mendocino Inns and B&Bs in the past, and private Mendocino house rentals are popular among those spending weekend getaways in the village. But when it comes to luxury villas for groups and couples, you can’t go past our very own Cheateau Frolic, the jewel in the Destinations in Paradise crown.


Nestled high atop the rugged cliffs of the Northern Californian coastline, you’ll be surrounded by Enjoy breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding landscape that you won't find anywhere else. With 8 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, the expansive luxury villa sleeps up to 8 guests, and first-class amenities such as a hot tub, private art gallery, chef’s kitchen, and wine cellar make entertaining a breeze. 


This exclusive Mendocino vacation rental is perfectly located to ensure easy access to Mendocino’s historic and cultural gems. Think the colonial Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, quaint village mom-and-pop stores, hidden galleries, and stunning beaches. Explore by day and retreat to your Mendocino coast vacation rental Chateau Frolic for lazy evenings sipping wine on the villa's stunning outdoor decks. It’s a vacation you’ll want to repeat year in and year out. 


What’s North of Mendocino Village?


Mendocino County is a vast and scenic wonderland spanning the Anderson Valley all the way North to the historic town of Fort Bragg and beyond. Just a short 10.1-mile drive North on CA-1 S, the town was founded in 1857 when the Fort Bragg Military Post was constructed, and its early economy was routed in fishing and forestry activities. These days, Fort Bragg is a tourist hub, and despite its relatively small size, holds its place as the largest city in Mendocino County. Here’s our pick of what to see and do on your day trip to this bustling Mendocino County tourist destination. 


Visit the Guest House Museum 

343 N. Main St, Fort Bragg


The Guest House was built of local redwood timber in 1892 as a private home for the owner of the Fort Bragg Redwood Company. It was frequently used to host high-ranking company officials and their VIP guests and is now home to the Fort Bragg Historical Society. Elaborate fireplaces, a discreet downstairs wet bar, and a billiard room meant for male guests wanting to smoke cigars and discuss business (the billiard room is currently closed to the public) provide a unique peek into the lives of the town’s early settlers. The Historical Society hosts regular events to allow visitors to get to know the museum and the town’s history. 


Tour the Noyo Center for Marine Science (The Discovery Center)

338 N. Main St, Fort Bragg


A stimulating experience for both adults and children, The Noyo Center for Marine Science’s Discovery Center lets you dive into the region's aquatic history. You’ll be amazed by the presence of the world’s largest killer whale skeleton, peruse an array of marine skulls, and marvel at the intricacy of the ocean’s creatures. Take a virtual dive underwater in the Ocean Immersion Dome and wonder at all the underwater world offers with 360-degree video views. Don’t forget to visit the onsite gift shop to pick up a marine-themed souvenir before you hit the road. 


Hike or Bike the Fort Bragg Coastal Trail

Parking Lot - West end of Elm St, Fort Bragg


Take a family-friendly stroll or bike ride North to South on the Fort Bragg Coastal Trail, which boasts panoramic ocean views and refreshing sea breezes. Great for kids and beginners, you won’t regret the experience. Pack some snacks, take your time, and make sure to photograph the moment. 


Ride the Skunk Train

Departure from 100 W. Laurel St, Fort Bragg


Constructed in 1885, the historic Skunk Train winds alongside the beautiful Pudding Creek Estuary through towering Redwoods and scenic wonderlands. You’ll stop to explore the ancient forest. Do so on foot, or ride a rail bike through the forest for a more adventurous twist. Pack a picnic!


Whatever you choose to do during your stay in Mendocino, the area’s historical and cultural marvels are ready and waiting to amaze you. Pack your daily itinerary exploring as you drive through the Anderson Valley to Fort Bragg, or relax in the quiet streets of Mendocino Village before venturing back to your Mendocino vacation rental Chateau Frolic for an intimate dinner overlooking the ocean. Whether you're traveling with family and friends, or going it alone, a getaway to Mendocino is more than just a vacation - it’s a peak into the past of one of California’s most historic counties. 


From all of us at Destination in Paradise, we hope you enjoy destination paradise, Mendocino, CA!


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