What Are the Best Things to See at Van Damme State Park?

the beach at Van Damme State Park

Situated in the picturesque coastal village of Mendocino, California, Van Damme State Park offers 1,831 acres of beach and upland, endless activities, and breathtaking scenery for visitors. Throughout the year, guests can spend time venturing through the park and enjoy hiking, biking, or camping amongst sky-high redwoods, blooming wildflowers, and the peaceful sound of lapping ocean waves. The next time you visit the area, be sure to plan a trip to Van Damme State Park and experience the spectacular beauty that the California Coast has to offer.

Explore Van Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park surrounds the Inns of Glendeven on three sides and can even be accessed by a private trail from the inn’s east llama pastures. Hiking down our switchback trail, you’ll find stunning sights and lush forests that are just waiting to be discovered! Here are some of our favorite features of the park.

Van Damme State Park Hiking

Whether you’re in the mood for a vigorous climb or a peaceful stroll, the park features ten miles of trail systems that can accommodate hikers of all skill levels for a fun afternoon in the fresh air. The scenic Van Damme State Park Fern Canyon Trail features vibrant green ferns and giant redwood trees, and the Pygmy Forest offers mysterious century-old cypress and pine trees that stand only a few feet tall. Throughout your hike, you’ll see a variety of native wildlife, different species of plants, and unique natural wonders like a skunk cabbage patch and bog.

Van Damme Beach

Just steps from the front door of Glendeven’s Beach Trail Cottage, you’ll find the trailhead that winds down to a sandy beach where you’ll encounter curious sea lions and harbor seals, osprey flying overhead, and other water birds hunting and playing. We’ve even spotted sea otters playing in the waves! At Van Damme Beach, small waves and mild tides provide guests with the opportunity to hunt for shells, driftwood, and other treasures. Feel free to sit in the sand and enjoy the breaking waves, or walk a short distance from the main beach where you’ll find peaceful spots away from the crowd. Guests can also take a guided sea cave tour by kayak where you’ll paddle alongside harbor seals, starfish, and birds. The tour leaves right off of Van Damme Beach and will journey through narrow coves, caves, and passageways for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Nearby Attractions

Just two miles north of Van Damme is Mendocino Headlands State Park, which surrounds the town of Mendocino on three sides. Here, guests can experience breathtaking sunsets, hidden grottos, and spectacular views of gray whales during migrating season. Recreational activities at this park range from hiking and biking to surfing and fishing, and photographers and painters are frequently spotted throughout Mendocino Headlands, enjoying and capturing the scenery.

Come Home to the Inns of Glendeven

Visiting Van Damme State Park is a beloved activity by many guests at our Mendocino bed and breakfast, and heading back to our inn after a fun day is just as enjoyable. Be sure to join us for delicious local wine and snacks in our exclusive Wine Bar[n] for happy hour, or treat yourself to a private in-room massage to restore those tired muscles after a hike. We can’t wait to hear about your adventures in Mendocino!

Torrey Douglass