Mendocino–An Artist Haven

Mendocino County is known for its beautiful coastline, redwood forests, wineries, microbreweries and liberal attitudes towards marijuana.  Also, in July of last year the Ranch Fire devastated miles near Clear Lake in Mendocino County.  For my first trip there last week it was for an art workshop at the Mendocino Art Center, a wonderful experience I highly recommend.  There are a wide range of art classes available for weekend artists and friendly, beautiful accommodations within walking distance.  (My friend and I stayed at MacCallum House, and I highly recommend them!)

“Lost Horizon” by Susie Berteaux
Barbara Kibbe

“The Finale” by Diana Paul

I think of Mendocino as Carmel about a century ago:  quaint, historic buildings that are impeccably well-preserved and with history hiding between its lanes and alleys.  For example, there is a cemetery with a Chinese grave site within its perimeter, established in 1863, and segregated from the “mainstream” plots.  Ditto for the Catholic cemetery.  Little known but well-worth stopping by.

The artisanal grocery stores, curated galleries, and wide range of retail clothing and jewelry shops try to represent locals only in their goods.  And an  unbelievably well-stocked bookstore (Gallery Bookshophas an entire table devoted to the local history of Mendocino. And the food (check out Trillium and Cafe Mendocino restaurants) are not to be missed.

For all of you who plan to visit northern California, I highly recommend the Mendocino Coast, and if you are there in May and love flowers, make sure to stop by the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens (on 47 acres).  Last week’s rhododendron show was memorable–and the largest in the U.S.!

Who knew Mendocino had so much to offer?!

Comments (3)

  • Hi Diana:
    Bill and I went to Mendocino for our wedding anniversary for many of the years we were at Stanford. That means we knew it during the heyday of hippie artists and laid back lifestyle. I am sure that many of the places we knew are gone, replaced with something much better.
    Thanks for taking me down memory lane.

  • Mendocino – one of my favorite destinations.
    The location is one of the many reasons I like to attend Evelyn Klein’s Encaustic Monotype workshop at the Monterey Art Center.
    I have vacationed in Mendocino on and off for the last 30 years, finding new things to enjoy and established things, like the botanical garden, to revisit.
    Thank you, Diana, for deciding to attend the workshop so I could share what I love about Mendocino. It was sooooo much fun and a real pleasure.

  • I fell in love with Mendocino on my first visit 5 years ago, and have returned every spring. I teach a class at the Mendocino Arts Center, which is historic and dates back at least 50 years or more. This quaint, quiet and secluded haven is nestled by the ocean with spectacular views and great hikes. My favorite subjects to paint are its unique water towers.
    I highly recommend Mendocino as a stop amongst places to visit.

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