A blufftop getaway with a surprising arts scene.

By Travel & Leisure
October 23, 2014
Credit: Courtesy of Visit Mendocino County

Built by Maine lumberjacks in the 1800’s, the saltbox-style houses that make up the little blufftop village of Mendocino now shelter an arts colony. Lots of boutiques, restaurants, and lounges, round out the experience. Beyond its borders, the Pacific Ocean and redwood forests afford beautiful views.

Brewery Gulch Inn

Standing on the balcony of the Osprey Room at the Brewery Gulch Inn might satisfy a lingering childhood fantasy of living in a tree fort. A mile south of the historic California town of Mendocino, the inn is bordered by pine, fir, and hemlock and overlooks verdant meadows and the Pacific Ocean. The redwood-shingled, three-story structure was built from timber eco-salvaged from Mendocino’s Big River. All but one of the 10 bedrooms (each named for one of the region’s birds or trees) have ocean views, Craftsman-style furniture, down comforters, and fireplaces; most have private decks or balconies . The Great Room, with its oversized steel-and-glass fireplace, is an ideal spot for playing backgammon, critiquing local wines, or indulging in a breakfast of slow-braised hash or deconstructed huevos rancheros . For outdoor adventures, have the concierge book a kayak tour of sea caves or a guided horseback ride on the beach—or simply go hug a redwood.

Mendocino Art Center

When the logging dried up in the 1930s, the artists started moving in; eventually, they founded this nonprofit, which gives scholarships, rents studio space, and mounts ambitious exhibitions that are well worth checking out.

Highlight Gallery

If woodworking is your thing, drop in at this gallery.

Cafe Beaujolais

After 30 years and two changes of ownership, the restaurant is still Mendo’s answer to Chez Panisse: the Dungeness crab cakes are winners.