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Vacation Houses for Rent in Mendocino

Along the Pacific Coast Highway on the California coast, about three hours north of San Francisco, lies the beachside community of Mendocino. Like much of the region, the town reflects the influence of the loggers and fishermen as well as the 60s hippies and counterculture artists who once called this spot home. It's also a place of stunning natural beauty. Lots of the houses available as vacation rentals in Mendocino boast panoramic views of the rugged coastline as well as amenities such as private hot tubs, washing machines, fireplaces and outdoor grills for barbecuing. Almost all are non-smoking properties; a good percentage is happy to welcome pets.

Beaches

Mendocino Headlands State Park: Mendocino's geography is such that the portion of town east of Highway 1 juts out into the Pacific. On this short peninsula sits the Village of Mendocino and the Headlands State Park. With free parking and admission, the park's many acres make it easy to enjoy the spectacular coastal bluffs and picture postcard views. There are also miles of walking trails some of which lead down to Big River Beach where the Big River estuary connects with Mendocino Bay.

Russian Gulch State Park: This redwood-forested park is two miles north of town and offers great hiking in a picturesque natural setting. Unlike other state parks, it has plenty of ocean views with seaside cliffs, beaches and tidal pools. There are opportunities to swim, fish and go horseback riding. The star attractions are the Devil's Punch Bowl, a sea cave with churning waters, and the Blow Hole, a natural tunnel where water blasts in at high tide.

Shopping

The heart of Mendocino is quaint Mendocino Village which is filled with restored Victorian era homes, galleries and shops. These aren't the chain stores that are found in cookie-cutter malls; instead, travelers can wander around the small, independently owned boutiques and browse among the eclectic, handcrafted goods. The setting will be familiar to fans of the "Murder, She Wrote" television show. This village by the sea, with its New England style architecture, stood in for the fictional Cabot Cove where the show's mystery-solving took place.

Mendocino Art Center

Artists have been coming to Mendocino since the 1930s. This non-profit center supports promising new talent, mounts exhibitions, offers artwork for sale and holds classes and workshops.

Outdoor Activities

A locale with so much natural beauty is bound to invite tourists to explore its every nook and cranny. Some of the leisure activities to take part in along the shore, out at se, or on Big River include:

  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Whale watching tours
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • River boating
  • Scuba diving

Mendocino Climate

The weather in Mendocino can be characterized as cool. Summer highs average 65 degrees and winter lows average 40 degrees, which means there's never much chance of encountering frigid cold or sweltering heat. Dressing in layers is the best strategy for anyone traveling to the northern California coast. The Mendocino Film Festival and the Mendocino Music Festival, which features classical, swing and bluegrass performers, are annual events that make the summer season an especially fun time to visit.

How to Reach Mendocino

The nearest airport to Mendocino is Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, about two hours away. It's served by two carriers whose scheduled flights originate in Southern California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona. To get to Mendocino from the airport, it's possible to rent a car or take a taxi. Limited private town car and limousine service is also available. It's even possible to use the Mendocino Transit Authority system by taking a bus to Ft. Bragg and a connecting bus to Mendocino.

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Mendocino: Houses, Cottages & More (200)

  • 1 - 50 of 200
Additional fees apply. Taxes may be added.
    Exceptional! 5.0/5
    (48 reviews)
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    48
      Wonderful! 4.8/5
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                Exceptional! 5.0/5
                (80 reviews)
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                        Exceptional! 5.0/5
                        (49 reviews)
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                        49
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                                Wonderful! 4.8/5
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                                    Exceptional! 5.0/5
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                                              Wonderful! 4.8/5
                                              (65 reviews)
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                                                          Excellent! 4.7/5
                                                          (40 reviews)
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                                                            Wonderful! 4.9/5
                                                            (34 reviews)
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                                                                        Wonderful! 4.8/5
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                                                                              Excellent! 4.7/5
                                                                              (9 reviews)
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                                                                                    Wonderful! 4.8/5
                                                                                    (28 reviews)
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                                                                                          Exceptional! 5.0/5
                                                                                          (31 reviews)
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                                                                                          31
                                                                                            Exceptional! 5.0/5
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                                                                                                Exceptional! 5.0/5
                                                                                                (5 reviews)
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                                                                                                      Wonderful! 4.8/5
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                                                                                                      • 1 - 50 of 200
                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      Recent Mendocino Reviews

                                                                                                      Very nice experience...

                                                                                                      4 of 5
                                                                                                      The accommodations were great for two couples! Super easy to get to and enjoyed the home environment. Nice walking path in neighborhood with lots of ocean views. Great experience and I would definitely recommend if coming to this area...
                                                                                                      • Submitted: Sep 18, 2016
                                                                                                      • Stayed: Sep 2016

                                                                                                      Amazing Beach house!!!

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      We consider ourselves experts on B&B's and have stayed in many in the Elk/Mendocino area. This time we wanted a different experience, and when we saw this house on VRBO......we knew we'd found the perfect vacation spot. We invited some good friends to be our guests.......and we had the best time!!! The view is unsurpassed and even on cold, cloudy days we could hardly pull ourselves away from being out on the deck! The house is very clean and well supplied. The beds are very comfy.......although the second bedroom is small with no ocean view The master bath is missing a shower, but the downstairs bath is close by. The view in the master bedroom makes up for the missing shower! The jacuzzi was a wonderful treat at the end of a busy day......and the fireplace was great for mornings and evenings. We arrived after dark and had a bit of trouble finding the house and dealing with the gate and lock. I'd definitely recommend getting there before dark. We loved doing the wineries and hiking in the nearby state parks. Russian Gulch was our favorite. The restaurants were amazing, and the owners were kind enough to leave us a list of all of their favorites. The Elk Store people were very helpful and they have a good supply of deli items which we enjoyed. We loved this house, and the view will always remain in our minds and in our hearts. We'd want to go back every year.......if it was just easier to get there!!! But, it is definitely worth the effort to experience this "treasure". .
                                                                                                      • Submitted: Sep 9, 2016
                                                                                                      • Stayed: Aug 2016

                                                                                                      STUNNING BEAUTY AND SERENITY AT MOONSTAR

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      I have had the pleasure of staying at the Moonstar House and Cottage on a number of occasions over the last several years. It has a rustic charm with incredible views of the Pacific Ocean. I love listening to the crashing waves day in and day out during our stays. Relaxing in the hot tub, right on the bluffs edge. We love it so much that we got married right there on the deck. It was intimate and beautiful. Just what we wanted. The home is well maintained with plenty of dish ware and flatware, pots and pans, coffee maker, toaster, blender, etc. Comfortable, clean beds and furniture. The grounds are spectacular. With walking trails, some railroad tie stairs and the occasional sitting area to take in the views. There is even a waterfall on the grounds. The drive to Anchor Bay is less than 10 minutes and there is a great Thai Restaurant, coffee shop, hardware store, laundry, grocery, etc. and the town of Guallala is just a few more minutes down the road. It has a few more boutique type shops, art galleries and a book store, as well as, The Surf Market. Just about 20 minutes north of the property is Point Arena, it's got a movie theatre and restaurants too. The city of Mendocino is about a 45 minute drive and the giant redwoods aren't too far for an afternoon outing. I'm looking forward to that on our next trip up to stay at the beautiful, cozy and comfortable Moonstar. It's our retreat, where we forget about our cares, relax and unwind at least twice a year.
                                                                                                      • Submitted: Feb 4, 2014
                                                                                                      • Stayed: Oct 2013