75 Mile Drive: Mendocino Village (Mendocino County) To Benbow (Humboldt County)
Note: when asking for any of these options, please refer to "The Golden Gate Package."
This package begins 8 miles South of Fort Bragg in the Village of Mendocino and continues north on Highways 1 and 101. After Westport, Highway 1 turns inland to Highway 101. Continue North on Highway 101 to Benbow. The trip is full of awesome ocean and redwood views.
Wine Tasting at Pacific Star tasting room in Fort Bragg or at their spectacular winery on Highway 1 on the Coast north of Fort Bragg. (pacificstarwinery.com, tasting room at 401 N. Main St. Fort Bragg – 707-962-9463 and winery at 33000 highway 1 – 707-964-1155) There will be free tasting and a selection of their most popular wines will be available for $75. One of their best wines is called Dad’s Daily Red. Coincidentally, Dad is the father of the owner and he walked across the Golden Gate Bridge on the first day it was open. He was 9 years old.
The adventure portion of this itinerary should be a hike to view the sea lions or whales (depending on the season) in Mackerricker State Park. (mendoparks.mcn.org/macker.htm - 12301 Highway 1).There is no charge but feel free to leave a donation of $7.50 per person. Hiking the Mendocino Headlands State Park around Mendocino is also a fabulous convenient option. (www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=442) And don’t forget unique shopping in Mendocino Village. They will be happy to have you spend $75 on their wares.
Lodging is available on either end of this itinerary. Stay at the Agate Cove Inn in Mendocino, perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean for only $75 per person plus taxes based on double occupancy. (agatecove.com – 707-937-0552) Some restrictions apply. Please call ahead for availability.
On the north end of the trip, the classic Benbow Inn on the banks of the Eel River offers an incredible value on their elegant rooms for the same $75 per person plus taxes based on double occupancy.(benbowinn.com – 707-923-2124). (Some restrictions may apply). This Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places and features afternoon tea, golf and fine dining. Ask for your free gift upon arrival.
Dining is also available on both the southern and northern portions of the trip. Try the popular Little River Inn just two miles south of Mendocino. (littleriverinn.com – 707-937-5942). They will offer a meal for two consisting of a shared appetizer, two entrees and a shared dessert for $75, tax, alcohol and gratuities not included.
You will pass two road side attractions which will bring you back to the golden days of car travel. The Drive Thru Tree in Leggett (where highway 1 and 101 merge) is a must. (drivethrutree.com – 707-925-6363) It costs $5.00 per car to drive through but they have a gift shop where you can easily spend another $2.50 per person to equal the magic $7.50.
Further north on Highway 101 is Confusion Hill, a complex of odd and confusing happenings including a gravity house as well as a train which travels through a small portion of the redwoods with a guide who offers information about the timber history of the area. (confusionhill.com – 75001 Highway 1 Leggett – 707-925-6456) The discounted rate for the Gravity House is $7.50 for 2 adults. The train begins to run Memorial Day weekend.
Additional 75 mile drive Mendocino County itineraries: