Zig-zag about 66 miles north of San Francisco, and you’ll find yourself drifting along the Mendocino coast in a fog of mellow California calm. There is a magical quality to this region’s artist hamlets, narrow country lanes and tabletop headlands topped above with barns, lighthouses, cliffside inns and breezy New England-style cottages — a sanctuary of “waves, wine and redwoods,” describes Michelle Steinhart of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Greenbrae who shares an enviable new $2.9 million listing on Pacific Reefs Road in Albion, with Sarah Schoeneman of Coldwell Banker Mendo Realty, Inc.
“It is an escapist’s dream,” proclaims the Marin County-based Steinhart who visits the village often. “The sheer beauty of the rugged north coast, the warmth and support of the residents here, and the wide variety of architecture combine to offer a potential buyer a unique opportunity.”
Steinhart offers us a peek behind this sleepy-meets-dreamy community, which continues to lure California’s independent free-thinkers to its craggy coastline and cliffs.
See: “You must visit Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens for the diversity and year-round beauty of the 47 ocean-front acres,” offers Steinhart. “After that, head over to historical village of Mendocino for the wooden sidewalks, northeastern architecture and the surrounding Headlands State Park. There’s hiking, biking, and canoeing up the Big River where you can experience, first-hand, the bio-diversity of the area. You should ride horseback on the beach at least once here — as the Mendocino area is one of the only places in California where you can ride through the redwoods and cantor on the beach in the same day. And don’t miss the 30+ wineries in the Anderson Valley, a setting so bucolic you may never want to leave!”
Do: “The great thing about the Mendocino Coast is that there is something to satisfy every mood and desire,” says Steinhart. “Join a kayaking tour to explore the many sea caves riddling the coast. Take a long walk along the dunes of 10 Mile Beach. Taste the wines in the Anderson Valley (Goldeneye, Baxter, Witching Stick, Drew, Balo, Toulouse) where the odds are the person pouring your tasting will be the winemaker himself. Exploring the unique shops in the Village of Mendocino (Sallie Mac, Honey and Ro, the General Store, Old Gold). There are also many festivals throughout the year, with the Mendocino Film and Music Festivals having the largest draw. Where else could you experience these offerings in such a spectacular venue at the edge of the world?”
Eat: “Stone and Embers, the Bewildered Pig and Lauren’s up in the Anderson Valley are beloved for their unique dishes featuring the bounty of our area. Ledford House here along the coast is the local’s gathering place where you will find French country food, sweeping ocean vistas and a jazz duo playing nightly,” says Steinhart. Schoeneman’s husband, who owns The Brewery Gulch Inn, says an older-gentleman guest once described his three best martinis to them: “The first martini was a small bar in Bangkok. The second martini was with FDR in the Oval Office and the third was Aiyana’s at the Ledford House bar.” In Noyo Harbor, there is Django’s Rough Bar, where you can watch ships entering and exiting the harbor while you dine. Both Steinhart and Schoeneman also recommend Ole’s Whale Watch Bar at the Little River Inn for their clam chowder and Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino Village, an elegant mainstay featuring seasonal French-inspired cuisine and local wines in a Victorian farmhouse.
Image via Stone and Embers
Live: Perched on a rocky cliff, The Edge has a front row seat to jaw-dropping vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding headlands. The compound sits on 2.4 acres and is comprised of a 1,600 square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bath main house, a 1,500 square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath artist’s studio, a 240 square-foot cabin and a stand-alone sauna with an outdoor shower and a hot tub.
If you want to do a tour of the city or just want a guide to all of Mendocino’s best kept real estate secrets, give Michelle Steinhart a buzz at (415) 531-1384 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.