Small and charming, located on a windswept headland on California’s north coast, Mendocino has plenty of attractions for travelers. Whale-watching, wine tasting, feasting on organic cuisine, painting the scenery alongside the hamlet’s many artist residents — or just relaxing with a book, enjoying the peace and quiet.
Like many other communities in the area, Mendocino has its share of Victorian-era homes that have been converted into inns and bed and breakfasts. These make for some of the most memorable accommodation options in town.
Rooms from $69/night
You can’t beat the views from the first-floor balcony at Mendocino Hotel & Garden: from this vantage point, you might spot a whale in the water. And unlike balconies at most other hotels, it’s not a space that’s reserved just for one guest room. It’s open to all guests. That’s the spirit of the hotel, generally speaking: the owners are able to keep prices down by offering private rooms that share clean, well-maintained bathrooms. (Spend a little more, of course, and you’ll have your own in-suite bathroom.) There’s a traditional Victorian-style restaurant on the main level, plus an appealing lobby lounge with a hand-carved bar and a stained-glass ceiling, both open to the public.
Rooms from $135/ night
There’s something a little out of the ordinary about Blackberry Inn in Mendocino: it’s thematic, based on the concept of an an old Western town. Guest rooms and suites take their names (and stylistic inspiration) from the Wild West. One is called “Saloon,” complete with swinging doors; another is “The Barber Shop,” and another is “Dorothy’s Sweet Shoppe.” Themes aside, Blackberry Inn is clean and comfortable: guest rooms feature different amenities, but many have sea views, seating areas with sofas, bathtubs, coffee machines, and welcome baskets with snacks. It’s a few minutes’ drive from downtown.
Rooms from $105/ night
Practically right on Big River Beach, Didjeridoo Dreamtime Inn is a cozy B&B with a great gourmet breakfast spread served by the owners. Guest rooms have nice details like stained-glass windows and oversized tubs; standard amenities also include free wi-fi, TVs with DVD players, and complimentary bath products. Some rooms also have private fireplaces, ideal for when you’re returning to the inn after dark. Thanks to the convenient location, you don’t need to drive anywhere. You can park your car for the duration of your stay and walk into the center of town — or along the beach, of course.
Rooms from $130/ night
There’s a Victorian look to Hill House Inn, from the rich burgundy carpets to the wooden writing desks and brass beds, from the gilded mirrors to the grand central staircase. Many guest rooms have private terraces and ocean views, while others face the lush, expansive gardens. All have free wi-fi, coffee machines, and work spaces. The location is a plus. Hill House Inn is on the edge of town, so it’s close enough to walk everywhere, but far enough away from the busy center of town that you can really relax and enjoy the peace and quiet here. It’s also pet-friendly, in case you happen to be traveling with a cat or small dog.
Rooms from $144/ night
There’s a sweet wake-up call at Sweetwater Inn & Spa: a gentle knock at the door indicates an early delivery of freshly baked muffins to each guest room. Personal touches like that make this cozy B&B a traveler’s favorite in Mendocino. The building is historic, so while guest rooms have been restored and updated, they still feature details like antiques and gas stoves. Many rooms and suites have sea views, and some also have private porches and full kitchens. Thanks to its central location, there’s no need to drive anywhere: you can walk to dinner or the beach.