Northern California’s Crown Jewel for Natural Vacations

Running along 90 miles of Pacific coastline, riddled with redwood trees, surf, hot springs and hiking opportunities, Mendocino County, California, is a treasure trove for outdoorsy families. Two hours north of San Francisco, Mendocino County is an idyllic location for active adventures, relaxing swims and endless beauty. Check out this list of must-see locales to explore before your next visit.

Big Hole in Navarro

Parents and adult children will love Anderson Valley for its famous wine region and notable Sauvignon Blanc grapes, while the kids may prefer a hike through the Redwoods for a dip in nature. Explore the region’s lush vineyards and Redwood trees lining Navarro River Red Woods State Park. Hike through the woods enjoying the natural beauty before cooling off and relaxing with a swim in Big Hole.

Frog Woman Rock in Hopland 

Explore the folklore and beauty of Hopland at Frog Woman Rock. A mythical, powerful and intelligent Pomo Indian, Frog Woman was said to devour men who passed by the enormous volcanic rock. Now more welcoming than the stories would have you believe, families and adventure travelers head out kayaking, swimming, hiking and sipping wine along the Russian River. While recommended for more experienced kayakers, Hopland is a haven for scenic beauty and outdoor activities.

vineyard in Mendocino County, California © Nathanphoto | Dreamstime.com

Mill Creek Park in Talmage

Mill Creek is home to lush forests, fields of wild flowers, secret swimming holes and endless walking trails. Take the scenic route along any of the 400-acre park with Ukiah Valley in the near distance — tucked away off of Highway 101 and Talmage Road.

Leonard Lake in Redwood Valley 

Located in one of Mendocino County’s most beautiful and underrepresented wine regions, Redwood Valley is worth the trek. Rent a ranch for a night or two on Leonard Lake. Get out on a boat with the kids on a fishing trip or jump in for a swim after a long nature walk.