The Glendeven 7s
The following are our own insider's lists or the top things that we like to do, and that we like to tell our guests about. These are named Glendeven's Sevens. Don't tell anyone. We'll keep this amongst ourselves.
There are LOTS of others, these are just the ones that come to mind, and ones that we tell folks about daily. Ask us, we have lots more tips to share.
Be sure to read all the way down to the last line. The bottom of our list has the best recommendation ever while visiting our magical lost-in-time part of the California Coast.
TOP 7 places to get a cocktail while visiting Glendeven Inn
Ledford House Restaurant, Albion (5 miles south)
On this particular ocean cliff there's a restaurant with a long cool wooden bar with friendly bar-hands and a stellar view. It has a great wine list, and great cocktails too. Find a spot to sit at this popular bar-mop polished bar if you can, or get a table because the restaurant is one of the best in the area.
The MacCallum House Inn's bar, Mendocino (2 miles north)
A tiny bar area, but worth not having extra elbow room. Fun muddled concoctions, lots of surprises. They clearly love making a special drink that pleases.
Patterson's Pub, Mendocino (2 miles north)
It's a pub, make no mistake. Great beers on tap, and even local wines. But here you can expect lots of local flavor, and a good healthy draw on your favorite drink. There's nothing not to like about Patterson's Pub. Stay for the food. The specials board is just that -- special and worthy. Their Specials of the Day are always high on our list.
Flow Restaurant, Mendocino (2 miles north)
The best view spot in town, hands down. Full bar, great outdoor dining in good weather. Lots of glass windows when it's not. It's all about the view, so be sure to come during daylight hours. Even if for a Bloody Mary at noon.
Little River Inn bar, Little River (1 mile south)
The closest in proximity to Glendeven—just one mile south. This large property has a restaurant with views of the lovely well-lit landscaping out the large dining room windows. But it's the little bar that has the killer views, and when you manage to get a seat there, you won't want to leave. Order food, and have a favorite cocktail. Time it for sunset and you've got a memory to last a good while. Or at least until the next spot on this list.
Noyo Harbor Inn bar, Fort Bragg (9 miles north)
This tastefully remodeled Inn on Noyo Harbor has a mixologist and bar rivaling any bar anywhere else. Great harbor views, great creative cocktails, and really nice people.
Albion River Inn's bar, Albion (four miles south)
This large inn has an ocean-view restaurant, with the bar tucked in the back corner with peek-a boo ocean views. So the view is not the reason to come if you're planning on sitting at a bar (the dining tables have terrific views, so you know.) What you DO come here for is the amazing selection of 150 different kinds of whiskey from all over the world. And they really curate their list. We recommend it just for the sheer fun of the tasting flights. One of their guests made it through ALL of the different tasting flight options (no, not in one sitting, but over many years visiting.) Here's to him. [Cue us all lifting our whiskey glasses now.]
TOP 7 SHOPPING OPS WHILE VISITING GLENDEVEN
Gallery Books, Mendocino
Open late seven days a week. Right on Main Street at Kasten St, worth a browse. Very worth a browse.
Sallie Mac, Mendocino
Take a home a treasure. A well thought-out, high-quality shop on Lansing Street.
Rainsong Shoes and Rainsong Clothes, Mendocino
Two stores, both on Lansing Street. We like that these shops are here and that they do so well. High quality fun items, also a location in Healdsburg on the town square.
Old Gold Jewelers, Mendocino
Old Gold is a gem. Do not pardon the intended pun. This jewelry shop on Main Street is more than worth a visit. Go there, and you won’t be sorry. The jewelry pieces are worth gawking at, and even better to take home.
Highlight Gallery, Mendocino
On Main Street. Sculpture, fine art, and more. Wonderful hand-made wood furniture, and Noah's Arks. Two levels, with something new and different every time we go in.
Out of This World, Mendocino
A super cool hobby shop on Main Street with toys and items of interest for the kids or for the kid in you. A yelp reviewer says it best, “They have everything science, from make your own root beer kits, to ant farms, to telescopes and binoculars and kick ass coloring books and anything in between!!! I can spend forever in here just looking at and playing with all the cool stuff, and I'd never get bored.”
All the Boutique Shops on Laurel Street in Fort Bragg (between Main and Franklin)
Eclectic, super friendly and you never know what cool treasure you may find there.
TOP 7 DISHES TO EAT WHILE VISITING GLENDEVEN
The uni at Taka's Sushi & Grill in Fort Bragg
Every fancy restaurant in San Francisco, Sacramento and beyond sources its sea urchin (or Uni) from our waters here. You cannot get anything fresher or more amazing. Trust me.
HONORABLE MENTION: Just across the road and up a few blocks from Taka's you MUST find A Sweet Affair Patisserie. Read the resume of the Owner Baker Brittney Harris. You will be glad you went, we PROMISE.
The sticky toffee pudding at Wild Fish in Little River
We pretty much like everything at Wild Fish, but here's the deal with the Sticky Toffee Pudding. We have frequent-stayer guests who did a walking tour across England and their treat to the themselves in each town along the way was the traditional English dessert called Sticky Toffee Pudding. They said the one at Wild Fish (run and owned by Brits, by the way) was better than anything they had on the whole trip.
The papatzul at Mayan Fusion in Fort Bragg
The papatzul is stone ground butternut squash seeds combined with fire roasted tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, garlic and a touch of habanero served with homemade tortilla chips. And pretty much anything else (margarita grilled local-fish tacos, limed corn-off-the-cob, and the best fish & chips) at this little restaurant in Fort Bragg is great. Interesting, different, casual and delicious.
The soup de poisson at the Ledford House in Albion
When halibut is in season, owner Tony Greer makes this amazing thick broth, dark, cooked-down fish soup with every vegetable you can imagine, then strains it to make this thick-not-chunky soup. He also makes his own brick oven bread. If you go on a Friday, that's the only day he makes the seeded bread, which I think is amazing. And all the locals know it too. But remember, this is just between us.
Steak tartar at Cafe Beaulojais in Mendocino
Even if they don't have it on the menu, you can ask for the steak tartar. It's chopped up beef filet, done traditionally with Manchego cheese slices around the outside to hold it together, little pickles and capers in there, with a raw egg on top. It's pretty amazing, if you're a carnivore and love what's good.
The clam chowder at Little River Inn, Little River
Fresh clams. Made to order. Simple and delicious. That's really all that's needed to say. Trust us on this one.
Anything at Frannie's Cup & Saucer in Point Arena
It's a fun day-trip to drive down to Point Arena and see the lighthouse or B. Bryan Preserve or the newly designated National Monument, The Stornetta Public Lands. And no matter the weather, it is worth the drive because you'll get to stop at Frannie's Cup & Saucer where EVERYTHING is amazing. It's right smack in the dogleg of the road that goes through town (you'll know what I mean when you go down there.) It's no wider than my own wingspan. I can touch each opposite wall when standing inside (almost), and it's just worth the drive all by itself.
TOP 7 HIKES WHILE VISITING GLENDEVEN INN
Old growth pristine redwoods, 30 miles inland from us, a three-mile easy hike. I tell people "It feels ancient and remote, because it is." A highly recommended, top choice.
The Cobbler’s Walk
An amazing pristine headlands walk. Not a car, road, or house to be seen—or even another person generally! The trail-head is right across from our driveway, where our other inn is located, aptly named The Inn at the Cobbler's Walk.
Russian Gulch State Park waterfall trail
Three miles north of us, a 3 mile walk to the waterfall. Be sure to also take the loop return trail. It's one of the prettiest walks in the area.
McKerricher State Park dunes
A long narrow state park along the water's edge. Home of Ten Mile beach and Seal Rock.
Old growth redwoods in the Anderson Valley, 45 minutes away from us. Easy parking, and not far off the main drag of the 128. Perfect for stopping on the way home when going south on the 128.
Jug Handle State Reserve Ecological Steps
Seven miles north of Glendeven Inn, where you can walk inland and see the forest zones change from sitka pines, bishop pines, redwoods, and pygmy forests.
Big River Logging Road
Another must-do. Walk along a former logging road that is now a packed gravel trail, which is perfect for cycling too. Flat and easy. Park at Big River Beach just two miles north of Glendeven Inn.
TOP 7 ACTIVITIES WHILE VISITING GLENDEVEN INN
Kayaking through caves off Van Damme Beach.
In the caves and out the other side. Beautiful guided tours with Kayak Mendocino.
Horseback riding in the redwoods and beach.
Ricochet Ridge Ranch will take you any variety of length rides on your choice of sandy beach, redwood trails or both.
Outrigger canoeing up Big River.
Paddling these stable, and very fast multi-person wooden canoes up Big River is a must-do. Go at your own pace, no guides here. And a tip: if you sit in back, you don't have to paddle, as long as you don't get caught!
Visit Glass Beach.
A rarity, and a fun sunny day afternoon walk. Browse the colors of millions of pieces of sea glass left over by a very old dump. Something lovely came from that bad idea of throwing trash into the sea once upon a time. Before going, stop at the Glass Beach Museum along the highway as you enter Fort Bragg. Puts it all in context and boasts great displays of a terrific collection. Worth a stop.
Stroll the Mendocino Botanical Gardens.
45 acres of landscaped and sometimes wild gardens. There's a headlands walk, a nice shop, and a small cafe. A must-do in any season.
Visit a really cool lighthouse and see whales.
Either Pt Cabrillo very nearby or down in Point Arena where you can walk to the top and see forever on a clear day. Highly recommended.
While there are still places like this in the world without cell tower service, savor it. Read a book. Turn off your screens, get away from the Wi-Fi, and go on a walk. That's our last and best tip ever.