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Neighborhood Guide: Mendocino

Perched atop rocky headlands towering above the Pacific surf, this lumber-town-reborn-as-artist-colony turns on the charm

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Posted 3 years agoby Ann Marie Brown

Visit the tucked-away coastal hamlet of Mendocino on California's North Coast, set along dramatic ocean-bluff overlooks.

1. Gallery Bookshop
Browse a carefully curated selection of fiction and nonfiction in what might be California’s only bookstore with Pacific views through salt-encrusted windows.

2. Out of This World
Shop for telescopes, chemistry kits, ant farms, celestial mobiles, volcano-building sets, and other brain-tickling fun stuff for curious kids or adults. Birders love the array of binoculars and spotting scopes—some are set up for storefront whale-watching. 

3. Ford House Museum & Visitor Center
Surrounded by the meandering paths and blue-water views of Mendocino Headlands State Park, this 1854 building contains historical displays, maps, brochures, and helpful volunteers.

4. Sallie Mac
This Parisian-chic shop overflows with tasteful trinkets and haberdashery—French cookbooks, tableware, L’Occitane and Pré de Provence soaps, charming metal art and birdhouses, plus outstanding Italian leather goods.

5. Frankie’s Pizza and Ice Cream
Surprise—pizza and ice cream can be complementary foods. Try a cremini mushroom pizza followed by a scoop of Cowlick’s candy cap mushroom, made by Fort Bragg’s beloved ice-cream crafter.

6. Harvest at Mendosa’s
Stock up on picnic supplies or take home gifts from this old-school general store and high-caliber grocery.

7. Deja-Vu, the Mendocino Hat Co.
This tried-and-true millinery boutique offers an array of headwear from floppy sun hats to fancy fascinators just right for the Kentucky Derby. In the market for a Panama hat? Skip the trip to South America and buy it here.

8. Café Beaujolais
This Cal-French bistro in a bright yellow farmhouse delivers on your Mendocino expectations: organically grown produce, free-range meat, and locally line-caught seafood. Save room for coconut cream pie.
 

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