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Retirement Living in Mendocino County - California

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Area Description

Mendocino County is not so much a place as a state of mind. Spectacular scenery, a sense of isolation, an aesthetic sensibility, and a strong sense of community are the standout highlights of a trip to Mendocino County.
The reward at the start of a vacation or weekend is to pack a bag, fuel up, and head to a destination where you leave the stress behind. No matter where you come from, your first impression of Mendocino County is one of outstanding natural beauty: redwood forests and rivers from the north, rolling hills and the promise of the ocean from the east, the blue and gold of distant mountains from the south. This is what we offer… a promise of awe at the foot of a redwood tree, a gasp at the sight of a breaching whale, a sigh of pleasure from a sip of wine, hand-crafted from century-old vines… and our welcome.
The county’s large geographical area is broadly divided into two separate, yet contiguous, parts: coastal and inland. And those areas are themselves subject to their own geo-partitions: north and south coast, Anderson Valley, and the Redwood Corridor. Each of the areas has its distinct attractions, yet there are commonalities to be found in fine wining and dining, outdoor recreation, and experiences.

The majesty of the redwoods and vistas of lush vineyards are just two of the defining characteristics of inland Mendocino County. With two routes into the heart of the county, travelers can opt to wind along Highway 128 through the Yorkville Highlands to Anderson Valley, or stay on Highway 101 side-by-side with the Russian River, passing through Hopland to Ukiah, the county’s cultural epicenter and the forests and wilderness that await at the northern part of the county. Warm summer days with cool nights provide the ideal atmosphere for family camping and rural getaways, while couples seeking a romantic weekend can snuggle up in cozy rooms in chic hotels and guest quarters. Fine wine connoisseurs and foodies find their particular slice of heaven throughout inland Mendocino County where handcrafted wines abound and locavore is the only way to eat. Outdoor activities, a train ride through the redwoods, and a multitude of hop stops, are just some of the many reasons visitors choose inland Mendocino County as their preferred destination.

A popular route into coastal Mendocino County involves taking picturesque and windy Highway 128 from Cloverdale westward. Begin by snaking through the Yorkville Highlands, known by the cognoscenti as "Les Petits Tetons," and on to Boonville, the "bahlest" town in the county, and out to the coast. While you're here though, stop and appreciate the good life found in this verdant and abundant land.

Wild and scenic is an understated description of Mendocino County’s coastline. From the placid mouth of the Garcia River to the towering mountains of the Lost Coast to the quaint Village of Mendocino, the coastal region invites you to revel in its landscape and history. Sometimes shrouded by a fine layer of ocean fog and other times crystal clear, the coast offers a panoply of B&Bs and hotels appealing to couples in search of a quiet getaway. Families feel at home at a vacation rental or kid-friendly hotel/motel. With beaches galore all the way up the coast, there’s plenty of relaxing, paddling, whale and seal watching, and hiking for all ages.

With its wild and natural feel, the South Coast offers crashing waves, magical ocean vistas, and miles of hiking on cliff tops and beaches.

The North Coast entices guests to savor an irresistible combination of natural beauty, cultivated lodging, and history along miles of undeveloped shoreline.

Includes Cities/Towns: Albion, Boonville, Fort Bragg, Hopland, Little River, Mendocino, Point Arena, Ukiah, Willits.

Region Characteristics

Area Amenities

Things to Do, Recreation & Fitness

   Both the coast and inland Mendocino County offer numerous outlets for activities. From shopping in downtown Ukiah and the village of Mendocino, to canoeing on Big River, there's something for everyone. Downtown Fort Bragg is filled with shops and art galleries as well as restaurants and cafés. The Skunk Train departs every morning for a short round-trip along Pudding Creek. Catch a boat out of Noyo Harbor for salmon fishing, crabbing, and whale watching.

Willits has the main Skunk Train Depot, offering a wonderful windy trip through the redwood forest to Northspur where riders can take a break and breathe in the magnificence of their surroundings.

Anderson Valley, the Yorkville Highlands, and the Redwood Corridor are studded with family-run wineries. Each year, enjoy the Alsace International Wine Festival, the Pinot Noir Festival, Winesong, and many, many more wine-related events. Let's not forget the beer lovers. The county has four breweries with tasting rooms showcasing "only available here" brews.

The county celebrates each year with an annual Mushroom, Wine & Beer Festival in November, a Crab, Wine & Beer Festival (January), and the Party for the Planet that honors Earth Day in April.

Cultural Activities

Whether you are seeking an inspiring experience in nature, a restorative retreat or a locale in which to reflect and create, Mendocino County offers bountiful opportunities for artistic expression and connection.

The call to explore, discover, and document the natural beauty of Mendocino County has drawn artists from all over the world helping to create the unique communities of Mendocino County. Just look around at the works of nationally renowned local artists in many of the county's restaurants, wineries, and inns. Mendocino County also hosts cultural events throughout the year: art fairs, music and film festivals, and writers’ conferences.
Collectors of unique arts and crafts will delight in the many cooperative galleries, some of which have been in business for decades. Purchase a photograph, painting, sculpture, or a print on locally harvested pampas grass to remind you of your visit or; better yet, take a class with a master potter, wood worker or jeweler at one of our many art centers. Indulge and deepen your own creativity.?
Keep your camera handy! If you aren’t already an artist when you arrive, you may become one by the time you depart!

Public transportation

Mendocino Transit Authority offers bus routes throughout the county. The closest airport is Santa Rosa/Sonoma County (about 1 hour south of Ukiah). Three major airports serve Mendocino County: Sacramento to the east, and San Francisco and Oakland to the south; each about a 2.5 hour drive.

Medical Facilities

Ukiah Valley Medical Center and Hillside Community Health Clinic in Ukiah. Numerous doctors' offices. On the coast are the Coast District Hospital and the Coast Community Clinics.


Monthly Temperatures / Rain / Snow

 Month  Low  Avg  High  Rain  Snow
 Jan  37.9  46.8  55.7  7.8 "  0.0 "
 Feb  39.5  48.6  57.8  7.0 "  0.1 "
 Mar  40.5  50.3  60.2  6.3 "  0.0 "
 Apr  41.8  52.8  63.7  2.6 "  0.0 "
 May  45.0  56.4  67.8  1.4 "  0.0 "
 Jun  48.7  60.6  72.5  0.3 "  0.0 "
 Jul  51.0  63.9  76.7  0.1 "  0.0 "
 Aug  51.0  63.9  76.8  0.2 "  0.0 "
 Sep  49.0  62.0  75.1  0.7 "  0.0 "
 Oct  44.9  57.1  69.3  2.4 "  0.0 "
 Nov  40.6  50.4  60.2  5.5 "  0.0 "
 Dec  37.1  46.2  55.3  6.3 "  0.0 "

Inland valleys have hot summer days followed by a cooling evening trend making it very comfortable for outdoor dining and activities. Coastal temperatures tend to stay steady year-round without much change.

Natural Disaster Areas

Cost of Living for Mendocino County, CA

Mendocino County, California cost of living for Housing, Healthcare, Transportation, Taxes, Utilities, etc.:

Cost of Living




Political Party


Senior Housing Options

Ukiah's Westside is lined with dogwood trees that fill the streets with springtime blossoms. Single family homes are the norm in this neighborhood, which is within walking distance of downtown. Coastal properties are highly sought after for the views and proximity to the ocean. Fort Bragg, and other coastal communities, have a "banana belt" where temperatures are a littler warmer than directly on the coast and offer great opportunities for gardening. For those with a penchant for country life, there are properties with land throughout the county, whether you're looking for one or one hundred acres.

Senior Assistance in Mendocino County, CA

Mendocino County, California offers the following assistance for seniors:

Ploughshares offers meals on wheels to seniors. There is a very active Senior Center in central Ukiah. The local MTA offers senior services for shopping and day trips.

Additional Information

Visitor Information

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