Travel for 2 cost breakdown (at the time of writing this post):
- North Cliff Hotel: $190 per night (A Toast the Moon Favorite!)
- Food/Entertainment/Transportation/Souvenirs: $1000
- GRAND TOTAL FOR 2 TRAVELERS – 4 days: $1760
***At this time, we are not endorsed by any outside affiliates. That said – when booking our trips, we have had a lot of success with Hotels.com, Skyskanner, and Tripmasters.
Toast the Moon always recommends using a passport. We also recommend TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry, because who wants to waste their vacation time in an airport line, am I right? Traveling around the United States is not difficult, but changes are in the air. Please be advised that as-of October 1, 2020 – basic drivers’ licenses will no longer be valid for identification in airports. Sign up for a passport or Real ID now to avoid complications later!
California’s Wild West Coast – Mendocino and Fort Bragg
I’m almost reluctant to post this, because I know that its current state won’t last forever. But, this part of California is a vast unknown for many travelers. And, that’s what makes it beautiful.
This is a rugged coastline with legitimate fishing villages, old-fashioned drug stores, rustic camping, breweries, wineries, and amazing restaurants. The vibe is beyond casual, and the people are friendly and proud of their well-kept secret small towns.
This is not an easy place to come. It takes 3.5 hours to drive to Fort Bragg from either of the closest airports (San Francisco International or Sacramento International). The drive is winding and mountainous. This is not a trip for those who are easily motion-sick. However, during the drive, you will pass some of the most famous growers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in all of the United States. When it comes to these specific varietals, Napa is out and Anderson Valley is IN! Stop off from CA-128 and enjoy some tastings from these locally owned and family-run establishments. You won’t be sorry!
Where to Stay
For travelers, it’s best to stay near the coast, like Fort Bragg. This will be your best shot for dinner options and nightlife (likely at the North Coast Brewery and Jazz). We love the North Cliff Hotel in Fort Bragg. All rooms have views of the coast with lovely balconies, and many also have a tub for two right by the window overlooking the cliffs. All of this for under $220 per night! The towns of Fort Bragg and Mendocino are equally lovely and charming, but they have their differences. In my limited time in the area, Fort Bragg is a fishing village with more modern amenities. Mendocino is stunning and beautiful with the old-fashioned buildings, antique shops, and spas. It is perhaps slightly more touristy (and thusly, tourist-friendly).
What to Do
The top export from this area is seafood, mushrooms, wine and beer. Do check out the local flavors – literally! If you’re looking for fun, we highly recommend Sea Glass Beach. It is amazing what nature has done with our human error in this place. Tons of washed-up sea glass lines the coast and makes the whole beach shimmer with blues, ambers, and greens. You could also go check out the light house in Point Arena with a picnic and plenty of layers! It’s really magical (but can be windy and cold). Then, if you’re up to helping out animal conservation, check out the B. Bryan Preserve at Point Arena for an up-close and personal encounter with zebras and giraffes!
Toast the Moon Rating:
- Food and Drink: 10/10
- Culture/Locals: 10/10
- Things to Do: 7/10
- Adventure Opportunities: 8/10
- Cost: 9/10
- Total: 8.8/10 – Cheers!
Enjoy your adventure!
Toast the Moon – Cheers,
Noah and Majhon