Boasting peaceful ocean bluffs, rugged coastlines, and shop-filled beach towns, a stay at one of our Northern California Coast vacation rentals has something for everyone. These classic small coastal towns hugging the Pacific Coast offer a chance to unwind amidst unspoiled beauty, towering redwoods, and thriving artists' communities. Mendocino county is only about a three hour drive from all of the hubbub in San Francisco, but it feels like entering a completely different world! You'll discover award-winning wineries, picturesque hiking trails, and one-of-a-kind woodworking galleries when you plan a stay in one of these charming coastal towns.
The bustling city of Fort Bragg
lies only 240 miles from the Oregon border. With plenty of shops and galleries, as well as the beach to explore, you'll never run out of things to do in this bustling town.
Just 10 miles south of Fort Bragg is quaint, Victorian-esque Mendocino
, California. Spend the day walking along the trails in the spectacular Mendocino Headlands State Park, pick up some local cream cheese and freshly baked bread at the local grocery co-op, or browse new releases at the Mendocino Book Company. This charming, historic town is filled with unique water towers, flower gardens, and award-winning restaurants.
If you're looking for a slightly quieter escape than either Fort Bragg or Mendocino, just two miles further south down California's scenic Highway 1 is Little River
. Situated between Mendocino and Van Damme State Park, Little River is right near the action, but with a slightly more relaxed pace. Here, you can spend your days combing Van Damme Beach for shells, diving for abalone, or just taking in the gorgeous ocean views from the bluff. And if you want to head into Mendocino for supplies or a special dinner out, you're just minutes away.
The hamlet of Albion
is the perfect place to unwind and relax. Take in the old growth redwoods, majestic ocean views, and breathe in the fresh ocean air - all while being only 25 minutes south of bustling Fort Bragg.
If you blinked while traveling further south down Highway 1, you might just miss the tiny, postcard-perfect, rugged cliff-side town of Elk
. With a couple of inns, restaurants, and a gas station, Elk may be small in size but it's big on things to do. In this quiet community where the forests and meadows meet the sea, you can take a yoga or Pilates class at the Greenwood School or attend the Community Pizza Baking event the fourth Saturday of every month - just bring your own dough and toppings and bake your pie in a shared, wood-fired outdoor oven!
Whether you spend your California getaway browsing galleries, wine tasting, visiting artist's studios, or simply taking photos from the bluff, your stay at a Northern California Coast vacation rental will be unique and memorable! Come see why this section of rocky coastline is one of the most beautiful places in the world.