Home > Events > 2007
July 2-3
Trip to Mendocino

We take the Monday and Tuesday before July 4th off and take a road trip up the California coast to Mendocino:



There are many places in this state yet to explore and the California coast north of San Francisco was one area I have never ventured to before. So we planned a short trip up the coast to the quaint picturesque town of Mendocino. We stopped at numerous sites along our drive, we left early Monday morning heading north thru San Francisco. It was the perfect clear day for our drive up the coast. We first stop at the vista point just past the Golden Gate Bridge. We then drive to Petaluma on 101 then exit on Bodega Avenue out toward the town of Bodega. We stop to visit Potter School house in Bodega made famous as the school the children were attacked in Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie "The Birds". Also in Bodega is the church also used in the Birds and photographed by Ansel Adams. We then head over to Bodega Bay with a short stop at The Tides restaurant which has been vastly remodeled since The Birds. Heading up the Highway 1, we stop at Fort Ross State Park, former Russian outpost during the 1800's. We then stop for lunch in the small town Gualala at Mazu Grill which had great filling burgers. We continue up the coast to Point Arena to climb up the lighthouse, one of the tallest on the west coast. From this lighthouse we spot a small pod of humpback whales migrating up the coast. On our way north we stop off the see the natural arch formations from Greenwood Beach. Just a short drive up the coast we finally reach our destination... Mendocino. We check into our hotel, Hill House Inn also known as Hill House of Cabot Cove of "Murder she Wrote" fame. We quickly settle in and freshen up before exploring the quaint town. We park our car on Main street and then begin exploring the New Englandish little town which was ablaze of flowers. There was also a production company filming a movie with Darryl Hannah. After walking along Main Street we explore the Mendocino Headlands State Park which surrounds the small town. Later that evening we have dinner at Mendocino Inn.

The following day the fog enveloped the town in a thick wet mist. We had breakfast in the hotel before checking out and heading north to Fort Bragg. We stop at the Skunk Train station to see people board the train. We make a short drive up to Glass Beach to find many unique glass remains left over from the old abandoned dump. After collecting a few 'choice' glass pieces we head south to Noyo Harbor used as the backdrop for the filiming of the movie "The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming". We then head back south the Mendocino for some shopping and then lunch at Moose Cafe. We purchase some homemade icecream before heading out of town. We make a short stop at Van Damn State Park to see the Pygmy Forest, then we drive south to 128 to head over the mountain toward Cloverdale. We tried to stop at a couple of wineries in Healdsburg but arrived too late, so we just head south to Sausalito for dinner at Scomas. After a wonderful seafood dinner we head back across the Golden Gate bridge down the peninsula back home.

Click here for information on "The Birds" filming locations in Bodgega Bay
Click here for information on The Tides restaurant in Bodega Bay
Click here for infomration on Fort Ross State Park
Click here for information on Point Arena Lighthouse
Click here for information on Greenwood State Beach
Click here for information on Mendocino
Click here for information on Hill House Inn in Mendocino
Click here for information on Mendocino Headlands State Park
Click here for information on Mendocino Inn and Restaurant
Click here for information on The Skunk Train
Click here for information on Glass Beach State Park
Click here for information on Noyo Harbor
Click here for information on Van Damn State Park
Click here for information on Scoma's Restaurant Sausalito

Golden Gate Bridge vista point in Marin County.

It was a perfect clear day for our drive up the coast.

The Potter Schoolhouse in the small town of Bodgea, used in the movie "The Birds"

Just imagine the birds attacking me as I run down the street... like in the movie... hee hee.

The building is private so we could not enter, there is a small gift shop open only on the weekends.

The church nearby was photographed by Ansel Adams.

Bodega Bay was made infamous when it was used in the movie "The Birds", a lot has changed since the film was made.

The Tides: The little diner in the movie is now a huge seafood tourist stop in Bodega Bay.

Up the coast past Jenner is Fort Ross State Park, a former Russian-American fur trading post dating back from the 1800's.

The fort had watch towers at either end of the compound.

This is a Russian Orthodox church.

There were many cannons and artifacts from the days when this Fort was a bustling fur trading site.

We stop off for some wonderfully delicious burgers in the town of Gualala.

Up the coast we visit the Point Arena lighthouse for some spectacular vistas and a climb up the tower.

We wait for the next tour to climb the steps up the 115 foot lighthouse.

After a tour guide explained the history of the lighthouse, we were able to see the view from the top and a look at the Franscel lens (not working)

Outside the lighthouse a more modern beacon is used.

A small pod of migrating humpback whales swimming up north past Point Arena. A very still deer was just outside the visitor's center.

From Greenwood State Beach we can see numerous arch formations.

The arch formations were visible from the high butte above the coast.

We stop off at a small vista point just south of Mendocino, where you can see the entire city.

Our accommodations in Mendocino, Hill House Inn. This inn was used in the Angela Lansbury TV series, "Murder She Wrote".

Our room on the first floor, Room 128.

We soon discover that Mendocino is ablaze in floral color, this garden was bursting with flowers everywhere.

We explore the Mendocino Headlands which surround the small town.

We were able to view the city's Main Street to see the quaint New England style buildings.

Toby with Mendocino in the background. Many people were out and about enjoying the sunny weather.

There were some arch formations at the far end of the Headlands.

Many unique coastal features surround the town. The coastal slopes were also ablaze in floral colors.

Tuesday morning the town was covered in a thick wet fog, which made photographs more interesting.

These flowers were surrounding the Inn. We then have breakfast in the hotel before checking out and hitting the road.

We drive up north to Fort Bragg to see the Skunk Train before it departs for the day.

Just past the train station is Glass Beach which is covered in small fragments of old glass.

We head down to Noyo Harbor which was used in the movie "The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming."

This is still a full working harbor with some seafood restaurants.

We head down to Point Cabrillo light house just north of Mendocino, this lighthouse was used in the Jim Carey movie, "The Majestic".

The short light house still has a working lens lighthouse.

A deer was wondering the large fields surrounding the lighthouse, it had a free riding bird on it's back.

Russian Gulch park with it's view of the arched bridge just north of Mendocino.

In Mendocino we catch some taping of the movie with Darryl Hannah.

Flowers flowers everywhere!

We have lunch at Moose Cafe, then we stop and have home made ice cream before heading out of town.

One last look at Mendocino from the vista point just south of town.

We make a very quick stop at Van Damn State park to see the pygmy forest of old short trees.

We take the windy 128 road over the hill past Boonville toward Cloverdale and Healdsburg.

We stop in Sausalito for dinner at Scoma's before heading home.