Mendocino Journals

North Coast Changes

A May 2004 trip to Mendocino by davilin88

Quote: It's been two years since we last visited the Mendocino coast and there has been plenty of change in that time; some old favorites are gone, new favorites have been discovered, and a few old standbys are still around.

Cafe 1


On Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, Eggheads had a crowd waiting outside, so we drove up the road a bit to Cafe 1, which was new to us, though it's been open for a couple of years. Open for breakfast and lunch, it features fresh, organic foods at a reasonable price. We were immediately seated, and the friendly waitress was right there with our menus. Linda had eggs with polenta and delicious free-range turkey sausage patty, while I went for huevos diversadero, very much like huevos ranchero but with whole beans instead of refried. Both were around $8, and delicious. This looks like our new favorite breakfast place in Ft. Bragg.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 2, 2005

Cafe 1
753 N. Main
Mendocino, California 95437

While camping facilities are available, we have only made day trips here, though driving through the campgrounds it looks like a great place to stay. For us daytrippers, though, there is a long black sand beach that is popular for families and surfers alike. On the south end of the beach, a boardwalk leads to tide pools and a seal observation point. In spring, seals and their pups cover the rocks off shore. Binoculars are great to have along. Just inland from the beach is a lagoon that is good for bird watching or fishing.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 8, 2004

McKerricher State Beach
1416 9th Street
Mendocino, California 95814
(800) 777-0369

Mendocino Headlands


Drive west through the village of Mendocino to land's end for one of nature's great spectacles, Mendocino Headlands is an awesome meeting of land and sea, with spectacular rock formations, natural rock arches, caves, and waves crashing against the cliffs. I can easily spend hours just sitting and watching this unending show. During winter to early spring, it is also a prime whale-watching spot, as the California grey whales pass through on their annual migration to and from the Sea of Cortez.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 1, 2005

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

Whale-Watching Tours

Attraction | "Whale-Watching Tour"

This was actually a couple years ago, and the boat we went on is no longer in business, but others offer basically the same tour. We went in February, after a very wet winter, so this was the first time the boat had been out that year, and my wife Linda and I were the only guests.

On a very grey and cold day, it didn't take long at all to find whales migrating back north after winter in Baja. We got close enough to get sprayed by their spouts. What awesome creatures, as big as a bus and swimming right alongside us. Two came straight toward the boat, diving at the last second and coming up on the other side. It was an experience of a lifetime.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 23, 2005

Whale-Watching Tours
South end of Fort Bragg
Mendocino, California

Budget alternative to Mendocino

Best Of IgoUgo


Okay, change is inevitable, but when you have a craving for crab cakes and eggs with cheesy garlic grits and find that the old Ft. Bragg Grille is gone, that's a bit much. Ft. Bragg, the next town up the coast from the artist colony of Mendocino, is the authentic working community of the north coast, with a working fishing harbor, lumber, and a quarry, and rustic beach motels. But between those old classic motels are several brand new, modern multi-story motels that look just like many you may see along the interstate near you. This past Memorial Day weekend, we stayed at the old Hi-Seas inn just north of Pudding Creek, a one-story classic short on frills (there is a TV and coffee maker in the ...Read More