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Highway 1 in Mendocino County winds through coastal forests


About California Regions  ·  California Regions  ·  Mendocino - Clear Lake

Mendocino - Clear Lake Region

The Mendocino coast of California is famous for its dark cliffs and crashing waves edged by hills and deep forests. Seals and sea lions lounge on rocks while surfers bob in the Pacific. Many northern Californians have long enjoyed escaping the heat of the Central Valley and bustle of the Bay Area to vacation in the coastal towns, inland river resorts and at Clear Lake. The town of Mendocino is best known but there are other quaint spots along the coast as well.
For more a more detailed guide to this section of the California coast, check the Top Destinations section called Pacific Coast Highway where you will find hotels, scenic drives and local information.
Click within any green box to view another map.

Mendocino-Clear Lake Region Map

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Highway 1, edged by the Pacific, has limited development with unlimited views with beachcombing or hiking nearby. Sea lion colonies are easy to view where rivers meet the ocean - especially in Jenner. Ft. Ross offers the improbably opportunity to see a former Russian outpost.
Mendocino is a charming New England village-ish destination for romantics and writers - perched on a bluff with stunning views and many unique lodgings, shops and restaurants. The town now has enough local wineries and vineyards to attract wine lovers to tastings in the area.
Inland, the Russian River attracts huge numbers in the summer when the water is warm and calm. Weekends are crowded and the parties are memorable. Clear Lake offers camping, boating and fishing. 


Family fishing

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