4 Ways to Experience the California Coast

the ocean on a sunny day off the coast of Mendocino

Due to the sheer size of the state, it may seem impossible to get your fill of the incredible California coastline in just one trip. With so many things to do and see, it could take you days (or more realistically, weeks) to see every beautiful inch of the stunning shoreline. To make planning your trip a little easier, we’ve come up with a list of some of our favorite things to do that will give you the ultimate West Coast experience. Read on to find out what they are!

How To Take On California

When planning your trip to the Golden State, the best place to start your journey is at the Inns of Glendeven. You’ll love staying in one of our luxurious rooms or suites on the Northern California, and can make us your home base as you explore the rest of the coast. Which brings us to #1:

1. Stay in Mendocino

Our guests agree- staying in stunning Mendocino County is the perfect way to experience the Northern California coast. Mendocino has everything from incredible dining and shopping to outdoor excursions and sightseeing, and when you stay with us, you’ll get a taste of it all. Feel free to take a tour of nearby Anderson Valley Wineries, or have a spectacular meal at one of these amazing Little River Restaurants. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, a variety of recreational activities including hiking, biking, and horseback riding will allow you to breathe in the fresh California air. Whatever you choose to do, Mendocino always delivers a remarkable experience.

2. Whale Watch

Beautiful and majestic Gray Whales are a sight to behold and are the most commonly seen whales off of the California coast. There are multiple cruises that leave out of San Diego, Long Beach, and San Francisco that allow you to see these giants up close, or you can simply observe from land on any part of the coastline that juts into the sea. The best time to watch for this fascinating creature is from December through January, when the Gray Whales start swimming south from Alaska, and again in February and March when they return to their feeding grounds. Whale watching is a beloved activity by visitors and California natives and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

3. Roadtrip Highway 1

If you just can’t stay in one place, the best way to see everything there is to see on the coast is by following the scenic California 1 highway. Starting with us at the northern end of the state, you’ll begin by traveling south toward stunning San Francisco. On your way, make sure to stop at the Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum. Then, as you near San Francisco, cross the stunning Golden Gate Bridge and make a stop at the famous Muir Beach Overlook. And if you’re a movie buff, you’ll want to swing by the Bodega Schoolhouse, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Throughout the journey, you can see beautiful stretches of sand, eat fresh-caught cuisine, and climb golden hills and mountains. Wherever you go, following this route will guarantee you the best California road trip ever.

4. Discover the Redwoods

For a day trip full of sightseeing, head up the coast from Mendocino to northeast California and visit Eureka, a Victorian seaport situated between extensive redwood forests like the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Many suggest driving the Avenue of the Giants to best appreciate the beauty of the forests. This road is a much less traveled route that parallels US 101, and is a peaceful oasis away from the noise of traffic. On your drive up, you’ll see that the trees become noticeably larger, and finally the awe-inspiring redwoods will appear. It will be a sight you’ll never forget.

Book Your Stay on the California Coast!

Now that you know some of our favorite things to do up and down the coast, it’s time to start planning your trip!

Torrey Douglass