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Walnut Creek Magazine

CALIFORNIA’S SECRET CORNER

Jan 21, 2020 08:43AM ● By Pam Kessler

Wind your way from the East Bay to Highway 128, a country road that curves through epicurean communities like Booneville, Pinot Noir vineyards in Anderson Valley, and fragrant forests of redwood trees. Head north to Highway 1 where the Pacific Ocean’s crashing waves provide the backdrop for pet-friendly, posh resorts, and a blissful weekend getaway. Fall and early winter good seasons to go to Mendocino, when the local event calendar is packed with foodie festivals including the Mushroom Feast in November and Crab Competition in January.

 While plenty of destinations here are ideal for soulful weekend retreats, none quite parallel the 37-acre coastal property and breathtaking views at The Heritage House Resort. Located on the bluffs in Little River, just outside Mendocino, this historic spot opened in 1949 after the original 1877 New England-style farmhouse was converted into a small inn. It grew over time and became famous as the setting for the 1978 film "Same Time, Next Year," starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn.

Newly transformed suites blend rustic and contemporary elements in spacious interiors. Soak in your deep tub or lounge on your private deck with a glass of wine. Explore the scenic grounds, hike down to the secluded beach, or sip a cocktail in the lounge before a sumptuous meal of fresh scallops or ranch lamb chops—pups are welcome to join you.

 When it’s time for a jaunt, charming Mendocino Village is only a few minutes away where art galleries, boutiques, and eateries line the New England-style streets. A visit to Harvest Market on Lansing Street is a must for handcrafted honey and farmstead chèvre. Afterward, head to the sprawling Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and meander 47-acres of colorful rhododendrons, fuchsias, dahlias, magnolias, heather, and succulents with your leashed furry pet.

For lunch with the locals, Sea Pal Cove, in the picturesque fishing village of Noyo Harbor, is famous for their decadent fish n chips and clam chowder. While waiting for your order on the outdoor pier, check out the fisherman cleaning their fresh catch. Don't leave without eating at Wild Fish, a tiny oceanside hideaway on Highway 1 in Little River known for its creatively prepared locally caught fish. Cool misty California coastal mornings often turn into warm sunny days, so plan to dress in layers, regardless of the time of year you visit. –PK

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