Who says only Southern California boasts some of the most gorgeous beaches in the state? Northern California is filled with its share of wonderful spots, too. In this blog, we’ll share some of our favorites! Get ready for long walks in nature, picnics on blankets, and even horseback rides with your significant other! Read on to discover our top 10 beaches in Mendocino and make the most of your stay with us.
Learn more about the best things to do in Mendocino in our exclusive, free Vacation Guide. Inside, we’ve compiled our top recommendations for local restaurants, events, museums, shops, outdoor adventures, and more.
10 Beaches In Mendocino You Need to Know About
Jug Handle State Natural Reserve
Mendocino doesn’t lack outdoor areas and state parks, and one of our all-time favorites that we think you should check out first is the Jug Handle State Natural Reserve. This lovely park offers a variety of trails leading up to a scenic beach, as well as a stunning Ecological Staircase where you can stop, soak in the view, and even take some pictures.
Navarro River State Park and Beach
The Navarro River Redwoods State Park is a marvelous place if you’re looking for breathtaking views. With more than 11 miles of beach, it offers the peace and tranquility that you seek. Imagine kayaking on the cold river through towering redwood trees or going fishing with your loved ones. This park can be accessed via Highway 128 and makes for a lovely day trip from Sea Rock Inn.
Russian Gulch State Park
Another fabulous beach we love to recommend is located in the Russian Gulch State Park, along the scenic Highway 1. It’s particularly fun for hikers looking for fantastic trails and stunning vistas. Make sure you stop by the Devil’s Punchbowl — jaw-dropping views are guaranteed there! Take a moment to breathe in the salty waves crashing underneath and gaze at the horizon for a stellar sunset.
Van Damme State Park
If you want to let go of your stress and breathe a sigh of relief from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then head over to Van Damme State Park! The beach there is beautiful, and you can even explore the Pygmy Forest where cypress and pine trees grow only a few feet tall.
What if we told you there’s a beach near Mendocino that shines like a thousand gems? Well, there is, at Fort Bragg’s Glass Beach! The beach consists of little pieces of glass that washed up from the ocean, offering a gorgeous spectacle of colors, including red, blue, brown, and clear glass. Make sure to pack your camera! It’s a one-of-a-kind spot that will make you feel as if you stepped into a fairytale.
Mendocino Headlands State Park
What about the days where you want to stay near Sea Rock Inn? Downtown Mendocino has a beach that’s perfect for that. Drive to the Mendocino Headlands State Park and enjoy a relaxing day on the sand. Plus, it’s right next to the Visitor Center, which features historic exhibits where you can learn more about Mendocino’s past. There are also a few trails you can hike before hitting the beach. We recommend waiting for low tide; the beach is wider for you to walk on!
Ten Mile Beach
If you want to find the picture-perfect beach near Mendocino, then Ten Mile Beach is the answer! This local favorite is, in fact, made up of several beaches and is the ideal playground for outdoor activities, like jogging, biking, or even horseback riding. Discover beautiful landscapes, rock formations, tide pools, and sea caves! We always recommend bringing a warm jacket with you as it can get pretty windy by the water.
Bowling Ball Beach
Bowling Ball Beach is another one of our local favorites. If you visit the beach at low tide, you’ll even spot some remarkable rock formations. They’re almost all perfectly spherical, which makes them look like bowling balls. If you want to take an Instagram shot that will impress your friends, Bowling Beach is the perfect backdrop.
Big River Beach
Big River Beach is often named one of Mendocino’s jewels. This white-sand beach is right by the Big River Estuary and just below the cliffs of the Mendocino village. You can either access it by foot by following the cliffside path behind the Historic Presbyterian Church or drive south of Mendocino to the parking lot before the bridge. You can park there and carry a picnic basket or even lace up your hiking boots and follow the beach trail.
Last but not least on our list is Portuguese Beach, located on Mendocino Bay within Mendocino Headlands State Park. To get to Portuguese Beach, just walk to the west end of Main Street and find a wide path that begins there. Look for a trail with wooden steps that drops down to the beach. The view of the town from the top of the trail is out of this world!
Spend the Best Northern California Beach Vacation at Sea Rock Inn
Now that you have a better idea of what beaches you’d like to visit, it’s time to find the perfect place to stay. Sea Rock Inn is one of Mendocino’s top B&Bs and has gorgeous beach views you can enjoy from the privacy of your balcony. We offer one of the most romantic experiences on the coast as well as some of the most jaw-dropping views, so, whether you’re looking for a romantic escape for two or a getaway in nature to unwind, Sea Rock Inn is the place for you. Browse our selection of rooms today and pick your favorite! Did we also mention our delicious, homemade breakfast?