Hotel at a Glance: Sandpiper House Inn
The intimate Sandpiper House Inn couldn't have a more breathtaking location. Perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean on California's Mendocino Coast, the view from the 1916 Craftsman-style house is so striking it has appeared on the cover of Sunset magazine. Sweeping ocean views can be enjoyed throughout the property, and ocean sounds heard in every room.
- Oceanfront location: Less than half a mile away, Greenwood State Beach is a great spot for picnics and bonfires.
- Cliff-top gardens are dotted with flowers and trees, and a cliff-top vista point offers guests a place to sit and take the views.
- Daily gourmet breakfasts are served in a breakfast room that boasts a view of the ocean and gardens.
- Luxurious rooms are uniquely decorated with antiques and feature ocean views, fireplaces, king-size beds, and private baths.
Mendocino Coast, California: Small Towns near Scenic Oceanfront and Redwood Forests
Located about three hours north of San Francisco, Northern California’s Mendocino Coast is a region filled with tiny towns, art colonies, and varied terrain. Within a few minutes of one another are sunlit valleys, fertile vineyards, rocky headlands blanketed by fog, and serene forests of old-growth redwoods. The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens showcase the area’s geographical diversity with native rhododendrons, prickly succulents, and colorful blooms stretching to the ocean.
Partially because of its scenic land- and seascapes, the coast is popular with painters, who gather in artists' collectives such as the Mendocino Art Center. To see the land that inspires local artwork, head to Russian Gulch, Mendocino Headlands, or any of the region’s coastal state parks. At Mendocino Headlands State Park, waves crash into carving arches, grottos, and stony bluffs, while MacKerricher State Park north of Fort Bragg contains dramatic sand dunes.
Although normally quiet, the region comes alive during a series of whale festivals every March and April, when California gray whales pass by the coast as they migrate from Mexico to Alaska. You'll find one of the best vantage points for whale watching at Point Cabrillo Light Station, a lighthouse first lit in 1909. Likewise, The Lighthouse at Point Arena offers visitors a view of whale migration and is surrounded by the Stornetta Headlands, which was recently made a national monument.