Accessible Nature Travel: A travel guide for folks with wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or strollers

Recommended Accessible Getaways

Recommended Getaways:   Mendocino   Fort Bragg   Weaverville

A Stepless Guide to Mendocino Village

Visiting the historic village of Mendocino can be confusing for the mobility challenged, as high curbs, steep sidewalks and two unfortunate steps make travel through town somewhat problematic. Mendocino can be negotiated more easily, however, with a few simple tips. If an electric wheelchair is an option, it would simplify travel through town greatly, largely due to inclines, uneven pavement, and improved access to the coastal bluffs.

Headlands Trail on the Mendocino Coast Accessible parking on the Mendocino Coast

The safest entrance to Mendocino is the stoplight on Highway 1 at Little Lake Road, and when heading west, the village and Headlands beckon ahead. Mendocino has six handicapped parking spots, four of which are located in front of the Ford House Visitor Center on Main Street. The parking spots face east and are best accessed by staying on Little Lake until making a left on Kasten Street. Upon reaching Main Street, turn left and the Ford House is just ahead.

The Ford House is the Mendocino Headlands State Park Visitor Center and is a charming introduction to the village. Built in 1854, the quaint building offers incredible historical information, a taste of vintage architecture, and friendly, informative docents. The picnic table behind the Ford House is a personal favorite for a wind-sheltered respite. The adjacent public restroom is convenient, but often cold and damp.

If you'd like to have lunch or a snack, consider the nearby Mendocino Hotel. The ambience and food are great, and the vintage lobby, sitting room and fireplace are a North Coast classic. The Hotel and charming, unique shops line Main Street, which overlooks one the most beautiful vistas in the area. Another personal favorite is the Mendocino Café -- located on Lansing just south of the Fire Station. Their ocean view, pet friendly patio offers a reasonable but exceptional menu, and their inside dining provides the same excellence, minus the pet's option! Their restroom is accessible but small.

While traveling on Main Street, a note of caution: the sidewalk at Main and Kasten drops off steeply, and by proceeding up Kasten, visitors can cross more safely at Albion Street. The detour is worth the effort, if possible, because more nice shops and an ocean experience are available at the west end of Main Street (see Accessible Nature Locations: Mendocino Headlands) This is also a good way the access the Kelley House Museum on Albion Street, a turn of the century house with a wealth of information on Mendocino's origins.

Another good option is to park at the modern handicapped parking spot on Ukiah Street, just west of Lansing. A huge benefit of this location is its proximity to Frankie's. This local's favorite features pizza, ice cream, coffee, and exceptional local musicians like the Blushin' Roulettes. This parking spot provides access to the higher, flatter portion of the Village, and visitors can take in the magnificent Victorians that lie slightly north.

If you continue west on Ukiah Street, you'll pass Corners of the Mouth, a natural food store nestled in a big red church. Immediately west of the store, a paved ramp leads into The MacCullum House, a Victorian hotel and restaurant whose history continues to grow with exceptional food, ambience, and a colorful landscape.

Given the village's terrain, guests are encouraged to evaluate their mobility possibilities with care, as hills and few sidewalks can make travel challenging but very rewarding.

Adventures on the Mendocino Coast

Liquid Fusion Kayaking

Ricochet Ridge Ranch

USS Watersports

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more Accessible Nature Locations see also: Fort Bragg
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