Last month David and I made the 3 hour drive north to the coastal town of Mendocino to squeeze the last drops out of summer. Founded in 1850, the town is reminiscent of New England’s coastal enclaves with a charming mix of stately Victorians and quaint saltbox cottages, and most of the town’s properties were added to the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970’s.
We stayed at the Blue Door Inns of Mendocino – a collection of 3 historic buildings all united by their signature blue doors and managed by Lark Hotels. I first discovered Lark Hotels when I was planning our trip to Nantucket earlier this summer. Lark is based in New England with hotels in iconic destinations like Kennebunkport, Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Stowe. So when I discovered they have two California destinations – Napa and Mendocino – I knew they’d provide the perfect hideaway for a couple of days. We stayed at their J.D. House and our room had what I call “the trifecta”: a deep soaking tub, a pot-bellied stove and a balcony with views of the Pacific.
Each morning we woke up to the soft sounds of music coming from the kitchen and wandered downstairs to a delicious breakfast made by innkeepers John and Ruby. Breakfast items we lined up on one table and served tapas style – small plates for each item – an idea I’d like to steal for my next bridal shower or brunch. The house had so many great seating areas and we spent our mornings reading and rotating between the living room, back porch overlooking the garden, and our own balcony.
There’s a lot to do around Mendocino but the pace is decidedly slow. We loved that the hotel gave us a great list of restaurants and local activities to try, including an Instagram treasure hunt that takes you around to all the scenic spots. Over our 3 day stay we enjoyed wandering up to Fort Bragg to find Glass Beach and the natural tree tunnel on Highway 1 north of Seaside Beach. We hiked through the redwoods at Montgomery National Park and returned in time for the Blue Door Inn’s nightly happy hour to enjoy wine and chat with other guests, and evenings ended lingering by the fire in our room. There are lots of sweet little restaurants in town but on our last night we decided to picnic with wine and cheese on our balcony while the sun set over the ocean, and that was my favorite moment of the whole trip.
A think Mendocino’s charm will only increase with the fall colors. I’d love to return to go apple picking or go wine tasting in Anderson Valley (known for their exceptional pinot noirs). Until next time, Lark Hotels!
Thank you to Lark Hotels for partnering on this post!
Photos taken by Stacie and David Flinner for stacieflinner.com