A Mendocino Year - When to Visit Spring
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Every season in Mendocino has its own special flavor!

While a warm, sunny day in Mendocino is an impossible act to follow, residents and frequent visitors to the North Coast quickly learn to enjoy this unique place in all of its moods and seasons.

The Mendocino Art Center is a good source for information on current activities and events (including their own exhibits, classes, and the annual arts and crafts fairs held each year on Labor Day and Thanksgiving weekends.) Throughout the year, galleries in Fort Bragg welcome guests on First Fridays, while those in Mendocino host artist receptions on Second Saturdays.

As owner/managers of a single, special home, we will work with you to maximize your access to Bever-Roberts tower on desired dates during peak periods, and to avoid disappointments when travel plans are disrupted by occasional extreme weather or prolonged power outages.

Guests are urged to book early and reschedule promptly when forced to change their plans - both to avoid cancellation costs and to allow others to enjoy the available time.
Anytime of year, when planning a visit to Mendocino, it is always wise to pack a flexible set of clothes and expect to accommodate changing weather patterns.

Spring in Mendocino

Spring brings wildflowers, whales and kite flying.

From late February through March, the Gray Whales swim closer to shore heading back to Alaska with their young. Watch for news of the annual whale watching festivities in Fort Bragg, Mendocino, and at Point Cabrillo Light Station. Alternatively catch a closer view from the deck of a boat

As the weeks pass, storms diminish in strength. Sunshine mixes with the rain. Gentler breezes replace winter's gale force winds. March and April bring a scattering of wild flowers that brightens each day as Douglas Iris, Thrift, Cups of Gold and Indian Paintbrush bring a glow to the bluffs and roadsides.

April, May and June are peak times for wild flower walks, spring birding, and prize-winning displays of rhododendrons and iris at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. To celebrate this prime kite flying season, the North Coast Habitat for Humanity holds an annual kite festival as a family-oriented friend-raising and fund-raising event.

Spring is also the time to take advantage of weekly and monthly rates when booking ahead of the crowds for summer vacations. (When your plans include a larger group, we'll be glad to help you locate the perfect combination of accommodations to provide both privacy and time together with family and friends.)

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Summer in Mendocino

Mendocino summer brings fireworks and music to the coast!

With the school year ended, Highway One, its campgrounds, and all types of visitor-serving facilities quickly fill to capacity with a parade of enthusiastic vacationers.

Most years, Bever-Roberts tower is on hold by family for the busy 4th of July Holiday but even when this is the case, we can often locate alternative accommodations so that you can enjoy the community's festive parade and fireworks.

Before the flags and holiday bunting are down, the big white tent is being pitched on the headlands in preparation for the Mendocino Music Festival. Well into its second decade, this event now features more than two weeks of classical music, opera and jazz performed by some of the world's leading musicians. Many concerts are sold out in advance, but there is always room outside the tent where music lovers pause on their evening stroll or settle down for the evening with a blanket and thermos.

Now in its 25th year, the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference attracts visitors to the coast later in the month for a stimulating program of workshops geared to professional and aspiring writers at various levels who seek to connect with their peers and refine their craft. www.mcwc.org

On the first Saturday in August, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden closes to the general public for its annual Art in the Garden fund raising event. Artists and Artisans display their work throughout the 47 acre gardens, while guests enjoy locally produced food and wines and a range of music to fit all tastes from classical to blues. www.gardenbythesea.org

July and August range from chilly to warm. High fog is more the rule than the exception from San Francisco to the Oregon border. Relatively flat seas, calm winds, and moderate tides are ideal conditions for sand castle building, wading, tidepools and driftwood fires on Big River Beach. Rain is rare. Sunshine is often a mile or so inland--by car, footpath, or in a canoe or kayak from Catch a Canoe. Summer offers an abundance of special events from concerts, shows, and gallery openings to community BBQs, pancake breakfasts, and auctions hosted by local groups and volunteer fire departments.

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Fall in Mendocino

A Mendocino Fall brings sunny days and starry nights!

For those with school-age children, Mendocino's summer ends with the Labor Day weekend. A week later, fall receives a rousing kickoff when the North Coast Hospital Foundation holds its annual wine tasting and art and wine auction, WineSong http://www.winesong.org, at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Auction. This is a book-ahead weekend that brings a standing room only crowd to the coast and supports hospital and emergency medical care for residents and visitors alike.

With peak visitor season past, Mendocino residents and visitors with flexible schedules settle in to enjoy the finest weather of the year. Savvy travelers schedule leisurely vacations to take advantage of the sunny days and star-studded nights. Any remaining weekends quickly fill to capacity.

By October, the trees are changing color. The pumpkins and Gowans' coveted apples and pears are ripening in the Anderson Valley. The color continues to deepen - in the vineyards and on the hillsides well into November when the lights go up and the inns and shops are decked in their holiday finery. The local Audubon Society schedules its year-end bird count and puts out a call for volunteers.

From the Mendocino Art Center's Arts and Craft Festival on Thanksgiving weekend through a series of holiday events, the North Coast celebrates the holiday season with an outpouring of community spirit and traditional activities. These include lighting the Kelley House tree, musical and theater performances, religious services, and a unique parade of decorated log trucks and logging equipment down Fort Bragg's main street.

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Winter in Mendocino

On the coast, the holiday season begins at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens’ Festival of Lights. For 12 nights from late November to just before Christmas, the plaza and formal gardens glow with thousands of lights. The Gardens big top provides a gathering place where friends and families mingle over holiday treats and festive beverages while local groups perform seasonal music. The store and nursery overflow with carefully selected gifts and holiday decorations. www.gardenbythesea.org

Winters in Mendocino Village can be exhilarating!

Mendocino often welcomes the New Year with crystal clear skies, sparkling seas dotted with white caps and spouting whales passing on their annual migration from Alaska to Baja. When the weather cooperates, the January full moon can bring some of the year's best opportunities for tide pooling or mussel gathering (a license is required). Always watch for waves!

Test your sea legs on a whale-watching cruise out of Noyo Harbor. Landlubbers can count whale spouts from the bluff top trails of Headlands State Park while also watching for osprey, geese, oystercatchers, and an occasional swan or loon.

Enjoy the drama when shirtsleeves weather gives way to the crashing waves and wind-driven rains of a winter storm, but stay safe. Bundle up. Be alert to rain-weakened bluffs and the possibility of sneaker waves. Keep your pet on a leash, your children near your side. Turn off any electronic equipment when not in use to protect against power surges.

This is the time to curl up in the Captain's Snug with a good book or pull a chair up to the fireplace at the Mendocino Hotel and order an Irish Coffee, or a bowl of their popular French onion soup, or a bucket of clams from their popular bar menu. Blustery afternoons are also perfect for watching sea lions and waterfowl at Noyo Harbor during a late lunch at The Wharf restaurant. Seeing the Coast Guard rescue team battling its way out of the harbor is another unforgettable experience.

When spring sunshine combines with wintry winds, the Fern Canyon Trail in Russian Gulch State Park offers protected 5-mile hike to a rain-swollen waterfall.

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