Mendocino County and the Redwoods
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull
Mendocino County is one of the most beautiful areas of Northern California. Located about 3 hours north of San Francisco, Mendocino County is filled with wineries, quaint inns, the seaside village of Mendocino, and of course, the amazing redwoods.
Head north up the 101 toward Santa Rosa and Sonoma. At Cloverdale, take 128 west toward the coast.
Highway 128 is a winding road that runs through Mendocino County’s wine regions, which produce some excellent wines. Yorkville Cellars is about 17 miles west of Cloverdale and further into the Anderson Valley region are numerous wineries including Husch, Roederer Estate, and Goldeneye.
Heading further west lies the Navarro River Redwoods State Park. The 11 mile drive through the tall redwoods provides ample opportunities for a short hike, picnic or simply to photograph the redwoods and forest habitat. Emerging from the redwood forest, 128 meets Highway 1 and heads north toward Mendocino and Ft Bragg.
A charming village by the sea, Mendocino is a great place to explore shops and galleries, enjoy a bike ride or hike, or simply relax.
A variety of inns line the coast near Mendocino offering picturesque views of the rugged shoreline and a chance to unwind in an incredibly beautiful setting. We stayed at the very tranquil Stanford Inn by the Sea, which has lush gardens, a fabulous ocean view, and a fully-vegan restaurant. One of the most dog-friendly properties we’ve experienced, dogs are welcome everywhere on the property. The rooms are rustic, the views are amazing and the breakfast, which is included, is a fabulous start to the day.
More Redwoods & the Drive Thru Tree
No trip to Mendocino County is complete without a visit to the see the famous Chandelier Tree, also known as the Drive Thru Tree.
Heading further north on Highway 1, then winding inland through 20 miles of redwoods, the Drive-Thru Tree Park is located near Leggett. The Drive-Thru Tree Park states the Chandelier Tree is a Coastal Redwood or Sequoia semperviren and the hole in the tree was cut in 1936 or 1937. The tree is reported to be 2000 years old, approximately 315 feet high and 21 feet in diameter.
If you’re in the mood for more big redwood viewing, head further north up the 101 toward Eureka. Along the route, you’ll find the Tree House and multiple groves as you head toward Humboldt County, or head south on the 101 toward Ukiah.
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