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Mendocino Headlands State Park

Hike through this scenic park for its excellent views and beaches and browse the fascinating exhibits in the visitor center.

Mendocino Headlands State Park is a scenic coastal area covering 347 acres (140 hectares) of beaches, cliffs and historic houses. Arches, secluded grottos and other intriguing rock formations decorate the coast. Stroll along the gentle trails with the family to appreciate the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

Arrive at the visitor center in the Historic Ford House in the southeastern part of the park. The 19th-century building contains a model of the town as it was in 1890. Watch videos on the migration of the gray whale, the logging period of the town and other historic moments. Examine the historic photos, tools and artifacts that chronicle the town’s history.

Hike along the 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) Mendocino Headlands Trail with a guide for a better understanding of the local plants and wildlife. In spring, see wildflowers in blossom embellishing the sides of the trails. Blackberry and rose brambles are also common here. Spot the majestic gray whales migrating in winter.

Sunbathe on the sandy bay of Portuguese Beach at the western end of the state park. Descend the staircase to this isolated beach and enjoy the tranquility.

At the southern end of the park is the vast Big River Beach. Join the surfers and picnickers on this scenic stretch of sand, which often has a lagoon where the river meets the ocean. Explore the adjacent Big River Wetlands for its range of habitats. In July, the park hosts the Mendocino Music Festival, with orchestral and big band performances alongside jazz, blues and dance.

Make use of the park during the daylight hours. Bring layers of clothing, as the weather is particularly changeable here. Consider purchasing an annual pass to California’s state parks.

Mendocino Headlands State Park overlooks the Pacific Ocean on the northwestern side of Mendocino. Ride a bus to one of the stops bordering the park. Visit nearby attractions, such as the Mendocino Art Center, St. Anthony’s Hall and Friendship Park.


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Best Lodging Options Near Mendocino Headlands State Park

See all 153 Properties near Mendocino Headlands State Park
The Mendocino Hotel and Garden Suites $107
The Mendocino Hotel and Garden Suites

The Mendocino Hotel and Garden Suites

45080 Main St, Mendocino, CA
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated by the ocean, this hotel is steps from Ford House Visitor Center and Museum, Kelley House Museum, and Temple of Kwan Tai. Mendocino Art Center and Friendship Park are also within 10 minutes.

    Hill House Inn $130
    Hill House Inn

    Hill House Inn

    10701 Palette Dr, Mendocino, CA
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated by the ocean, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kelley House Museum, Friendship Park, and Mendocino Art Center. Ford House Visitor Center and Museum and Agate Beach are also within 10 minutes.

      Blue Door Group $139
      Blue Door Group

      Blue Door Group

      10481 Howard Street, Mendocino, CA
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Mendocino, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Kelley House Museum, Friendship Park, and Ford House Visitor Center and Museum. Mendocino Art Center and Temple of Kwan Tai are also within 10 minutes.

        Mendocino Village Ocean View Suite 600sq ft
        Mendocino Village Ocean View Suite 600sq ft

        Mendocino Village Ocean View Suite 600sq ft

        Mendocino, CA
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated by the ocean, this historic apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Temple of Kwan Tai, Mendocino Art Center, and Mendocino Headlands State Park. Kelley House Museum and Ford House Visitor Center and Museum are also within 10 minutes.

          MacCallum House Inn $212
          MacCallum House Inn

          MacCallum House Inn

          45020 Albion Street, Mendocino, CA
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in the historical district, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Temple of Kwan Tai, Kelley House Museum, and Mendocino Art Center. Ford House Visitor Center and Museum and Friendship Park are also within 10 minutes.

            Sweetwater Inn and Spa $161
            Sweetwater Inn and Spa

            Sweetwater Inn and Spa

            44840 Main Street, Mendocino, CA
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated by the ocean, this cabin is within a 5-minute walk of Ford House Visitor Center and Museum, Friendship Park, and Kelley House Museum. Temple of Kwan Tai and Mendocino Art Center are also within 10 minutes.

              Modernized Historic Home With Breathtaking Oceanview in Mendocino Village
              Modernized Historic Home With Breathtaking Oceanview in Mendocino Village

              Modernized Historic Home With Breathtaking Oceanview in Mendocino Village

              Mendocino, CA
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated by the ocean, this historic vacation home is within a 10-minute walk of Temple of Kwan Tai, Mendocino Art Center, and Mendocino Headlands State Park. Kelley House Museum and Ford House Visitor Center and Museum are also within 10 minutes.

                Agate Cove Inn $238
                Agate Cove Inn

                Agate Cove Inn

                11201 N Lansing Street, P.O. Box 1150, Mendocino, CA
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Mendocino, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Agate Beach, Kelley House Museum, and Friendship Park. Mendocino Art Center and Ford House Visitor Center and Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).