This past weekend was my first Mother’s Day, so Mr. R and I wanted to do something special. For growing up in Northern California, I am ashamed to say I have never been up to Mendocino, which is a beautiful coastal town north of Sonoma Valley. We have heard so many great things about the topography and the wineries up there, so we decided to stash Marina in the car and head on up!
We left on a Friday night after Mr. R left work, and the drive took 3.5 hours, which is a bit longer than usual since we were caught in traffic. We arrived at the Heritage House Resort (about 15 minutes south of downtown Mendocino) just after 8pm, which left us to see the last minutes of a beautiful sunset over the Heritage House Resort grounds. The resort is situated right at the cliff’s edge, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There was no need for a sound machine for Marina because all night we listened to the soothing sounds of ocean waves crashing against the rock formations below. Although our little cabin was adjacent to another, we felt as if we were completely alone, and the views and sounds were just for us.
That first night we ordered room service and a few glasses of Pinot to our room, so that we could put Marina to sleep for the night. Since it was a fairly cool night, we turned on the heat and were pleased to see it directly turned on the fireplace in our room! Room service is a serious luxury that is made all the more better when you are listening to ocean waves and sitting in front of a fireplace in your room. We kept the fireplace on all night as we slept, which provided the perfect nightlight for our (several) middle of the night feeds!
The next day we started off with room service again (hey-don’t judge- it was Mother’s Day weekend!) and went for a walk around the grounds of the Heritage House. We walked the property from edge to edge, which meant all the way to the ocean cliffs on one side, to the stairs down to the isolated beach on the other. Although it wasn’t much of a sitting beach (it was all rocks) it was pretty incredible to see these cliffs rise up around you. I know nothing of flora, but I was struck by these incredible large lupine type flowers (picture below). I have spent a bit of time online trying to find out the name but can’t figure it out- does anyone know? The landscaping was truly beautiful, and it was punctuated by a white pagoda on the edge of one of the cliffs, which was a perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine.
After our walk my husband treated me to a massage at the spa, which was one of the best swedish massages I’ve ever had. I was in full-on relaxation mode while my husband took care of Marina, which is pretty much the best you can ask for on Mother’s Day!
After showering we drove into downtown Mendocino, where we had a quick lunch at the Goodlife Cafe (a recommendation from one of my readers!) and looked around the many cute shops. I really loved Honey & Ro, which is a cute boutique filled with mindful crafted and sustainable clothing, jewelry and accessories. There were a few things I wanted to take home but I decided to show a little restraint instead… sadly.
Downtown Mendocino is also perched right on the cliff/water’s edge, which gave a really casual, beachy vibe to the town. Once we were full on lunch we drove almost an hour back the other direction, past the Heritage House to do some wine tasting. We had heard great things about Toulouse Vineyards and were not disappointed! For $5 we tasted 5 high quality wines, and the fee was waved if you bought a bottle (which of course we did). We also went to Navarro vineyards which had 14 wines to taste for free. I have to say that even though Mendocino is a bit of a drive from San Francisco, the value of food and wine is unparalleled!
Our last stop for dinner was at the Boonville hotel for a delicious 4 course prix fixe dinner. The pesto gnocchi was a standout as was the chicken. I’m not sure what else there is to do in Boonville, but we loved our dinner so if you are passing through definitely stay for a meal!
Back at The Heritage House we enjoyed another glass of wine in our room listening to the waves; the perfect way to end our day. We were sad to leave early the next morning, but we wanted to make sure we caught up with my mom for a mother’s day brunch in Napa. We enjoyed our trip so much that we will hopefully return again soon! It was the perfect Northern California getaway- great views, great wine, and great accommodations.
Special thank you to the Heritage House Resort for hosting us for the weekend!