Mendocino Grove is a fantastic Glamping spot to relax with family in Mendocino, California. There is so much to enjoy at the campsite itself for the weekend that I doubt you would ever want to go out and explore.
If you are staying at Mendocino Grove for more than a few days, you can definitely check out Mendocino’s numerous beautiful beaches and stunning national parks.
Things to do in Mendocino Grove
Relax right by your tent
There are neatly placed chairs on the patio, benches and log-seats right outside your tent. Sit back and relax, drink in the nature around you. Find at least half an hour to just sit and enjoy the peaceful woods surrounding you. Or even enjoy reading a book while you sip on hot chocolate.
Lazing around on a hammock
Lie down on one of the hammocks in the Meadow area and enjoy reading a book or just relax. Kids love swinging in them.
Soaking up ocean views
There are many chairs placed around the campsite that you can use to enjoy gazing at the ocean and soaking up the pleasant breeze.
Hiking in the woods
You can walk around the campsite by following the trail on the map you can pick up at the registration desk. There is an in-house naturalist that gives you a tour on weekends too. Enjoy hiking the beautiful woods around the Fern Canyon loop.
In the Meadow, there is an area filled with firm sand to play Bocce Ball.
Badminton or Volley Ball
Right next to the breakfast area in the Meadow, you can see a volley ball court at your disposal.
You can relax with yoga in the mornings of weekends. This happens right after breakfast in the same place in the Meadow.
Stories around bonfire
Enjoy a lovely time around the communal campfire exchanging stories with other glampers. Or you could just enjoy a bonfire with your family right next to your tent. Firewood can be purchased at the registration desk.
Enjoy a delicious meal you can prepare using barbecue grills and gas stoves provided around the camping site. Do not forget to enjoy those s’mores 🙂
When you are away from pollution, you can except to enjoy nature at its purest. If the night skies are clear, you will witness brilliant stars in the sky all dotted together in millions right where you are. Mendocino Grove is one of the finest places to enjoy star-gazing.
Things to do around Mendocino Grove
North of Mendocino Grove
Catch-a-canoe is a rental place for canoes, kayaks and bikes and it is open from 9 AM to 5 PM everyday except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Online reservations prior to your visit is recommended as this place tends to get fully booked on weekends.
This is just a 5 to 10 minutes leisurely walk from your tent depending on where you are located on the campgrounds.
Just about a mile from the campsite, this is a huge bay lookout with awesome ocean views and offers a beautiful trail to go around the town of Mendocino.
Big River Beach
This is a peaceful stretch of white sandy beach. The sand is very soft and you can simply sit on the beach, gazing into the woods around, spotting a bird or two perching there.
You can see this place from Catch-a-canoe shop, but as there is no direct access, you would need to come around here by driving your car.
Van Damme State Park
This park is also very close to the campsite and has Pygmy forest in it. Great trails to spend the day. There is a beach opposite this park, but it is not a great one to spend time walking along or sitting around because it is full of stones. The sand is black in this beach.
If you are planning to continue exploring more of this gorgeous coast, check out this useful post: The perfect Pacific Coast Highway California Road Trip Itinerary.
Russian Gulch State Park
About 4 miles from Mendocino Grove, this state park has a gorgeous waterfall that can be hiked to. There is a beach to relax too.
Point Cabrillo Light Station
Point Cabrillo is around 5.5 miles from the campsite. This is a majestic lighthouse that is a short walk from parking.
Jug Handle State Nature Preserve
Around 6 miles from Mendocino Grove, this is a wonderful state park that you should do if time permits for nature hikes and beach access.
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
These gardens are located about 8 miles away from the campsite and are just gorgeous. Spend half a day here in its trails, picnic spots and its gift shop, it has great photo opportunities.
Entry is free for kids 5 and below, $15 for adults. Hours vary by season, please check their website and plan.
Glass Beach in Fort Bragg
Glass beach is about 11 miles from Mendocino Grove.
This beach is popular because of the glass on it. The glass is actually trash turned into and crystals by nature. This beach was a dump yard for old cars according to the signboards put up along the Glass Beach trails.
There is a easy trail, which would lead to a beach without much glass on it as visitors seem to take some with them. There are signs all along the beach asking us to leave the glass in place for future tourists to also get to witness.
If you take the difficult trail, you can see glass. But the trail gets quite some time to finish. Also, there are sharp strings and metal springs poking from between the glass, so be careful and do not allow your little ones to roam around the beach without footwear.
While you are in Fort Bragg, enjoy a scoop of ice cream at the Cowlick’s Ice Cream Cafe there.
Pomo Bluffs Park
This is around 15 miles from Mendocino Grove and has great coastal trails that are open for biking and hiking.
Mackerricher State Park
15 miles from the campsite, this state park has a good boardwalk to the beach bluff. Enjoy walking around the woods and wetlands.
South of Mendocino Grove
Hendy Woods State Park
30 miles out from the camping site, Hendy Woods is a beautiful Redwood forest with gigantic trees in it. There is a parking fee of around $8 per car. Choose one of the trails depending on your interests and enjoy.
One trail goes to the river, another one called ‘The Gentle Giants’ trail goes through the awe-inspiring redwood trees. This was recommended to us by the naturalist at Mendocino Grove.
Point Arena Lighthouse
34 miles from Mendocino Grove, this lighthouse is worth checking out. From the top of the lighthouse, you get to see lovely views around the town. They have a museum and souvenir shop too.
The tour is $7.50 per adult, and you need to climb up around 150 steps while a guide explains the lighthouse’s fascinating history to you. So, if you have any knee problems, this is not recommended.
B Bryan Preserve Conservation Center
This is a preserve for animals like Zebra and Giraffe. You can have close encounters with the animals here. This place needs prior reservations. So, don’t drive till there without one. It is close to Point Arena Lighthouse.
Download offline maps for the places you like to visit beforehand. You don’t find service at some places, so be prepared.