Mendocino Journals

Of crab, wine, and whales

A February 2002 trip to Mendocino by davilin88

Quote: Winter being the low tourist season on the northern California coast, the good people of Mendocino created the Crab and Wine Festival, and we are glad they did. With crab and wine tasting at many businesses in Mendocino and Ft. Bragg and prime whale watching, this makes winter in northern California enjoyable.

Of crab, wine, and whales

Overview

Quote:
During the Crab and Wine Festival (this year it will be 1/28-2/01) there are cooking demonstrations, food specials at many restaurants, and special cruises to see how crabs are caught, watch grey whales up close and end it with a crab and wine feast at Noyo Harbor.

Quick Tips:

Dress in layers. On our trip the days started out cold but the sun came out and temperatures were in the 60s by afternoon. It gets very cold on the boat, but seeing the whales up close is a thrill.

Best Way To Get Around:

In both Mendocino and Ft. Bragg, grab the first parking place you find and walk around downtown. To get between the towns or to Noyo Harbor, you need a car.
Quote:
The rooms are large (about 500 square feet) and comfortable. There is a restaurant on-site that was closed when we stayed there. There's also tennis courts and a private beach a short walk down a tree-lined path. They have a nice website that can be linked to here.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 11, 2003

Pine Beach Inn
16801 North Highway 1
Fort Bragg, California 95437
(888) 987-8388

Hi - Seas Beach Motel

Hotel | "Hi Seas"

Quote:
This is a small, cozy motel on the highway just north of town. We like the ocean view (we have seen whales from our room) and the deck on the ocean side of the building. A very friendly place, classic beach motel.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 13, 2003

Hi - Seas Beach Motel
1201 N Main St
Mendocino, California 95437
(707) 964-5929

Quote:
A very cozy B&B just north of downtown Ft. Bragg, within walking distance of the famous Glass Beach, a beachcomber's paradise. The rooms are themed; we liked the Malaysia Room with its rattan decor. There is also an enclosed hot tub that can be reserved for privacy. Breakfast includes some of the best hotcakes I've ever had.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 27, 2003

Glass Beach Inn
726 N Main Street
Fort Bragg, California 95437
(707) 964-6774

Rendezvous Inn & Restaurant

Restaurant | "Rendezvous Inn"

Quote:
Rendezvous Inn is a bed and breakfast and restaurant. The atmosphere is romantic (we have celebrated two wedding anniversaries here) and the food and service are excellent. I would describe it as California nouveau seafood dishes.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 13, 2003

Rendezvous Inn & Restaurant
647 N Main St
Mendocino, California 95437
(707) 964-8142

Captain Flints

Restaurant | "Cap'n Flint's"

Quote:
Grab a seat at a window table where you can look out on the harbor and watch the sea lions frolic and the fishing fleet come in. This is a north coast fixture specializing in fish and chips using fresh, off-the-boat red snapper. I like to wash mine down with San Francisco's Anchor Steam beer. Shrimp creole has its diehard fans also.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 13, 2003

Captain Flints
32250 N Harbor Dr
Mendocino, California 95437
(707) 964-9447

Noyo Harbor Charters

Attraction | "Various charters"

Quote:
November through March is prime whale watching season on California's coast, so the Crab and Wine Festival falls right in the middle. The special cruises during the festival go out to the areas where crabs are caught, bring up some crab pots for a look, and then go whale watching. It did not take long to find them, and when we did we got very close, enough to get sprayed by their spouts. They are awesome creatures by anyone's standards. The cruise ends back in the harbor where a feast of steamed crab and wine waits, a perfect finish to the day.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 11, 2003

Noyo Harbor Charters
Noyo Harbor
Mendocino, California

Mendocino Headlands

Attraction

Quote:
Sweeping views of the Northern California coast, cliffs plunging to the ocean, waves crashing on offshore rocks, natural stone arches and caverns. This is one dramatic slice of coastline. Take the main street through "The Village," as the locals call Mendocino, follow it around to where land ends, and you're at the headlands. Dress warm and wear sturdy walking shoes to explore this spectacle. Also, don't forget the binoculars, as from fall through spring the California grey whales migrate just offshore.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 27, 2003

Mendocino Headlands
Highway 1
Mendocino, California 95460
(707) 937-5804