That Golden Glow

Our favorite sunset spots in Mendocino

Sunset from the Main Deck at the Brewery Gulch Inn

Sunset from the Main Deck at the Brewery Gulch Inn

Whenever anyone comes to visit us here on the Mendocino coast, they almost invariably ask, “Where should we go watch the sunset?” And we don’t blame them – there’s something magical about that golden hour when the sun starts to slowly descend, dusting the rugged cliffs and wind-blown cypress trees with a shimmering glow, touching the tips of the rolling waves with hints of deeper blue, slowly toasting the edges of the clouds with a million shades of magenta and burnt orange. Even the very air seems to sparkle… unless it’s foggy, but that’s a whole different experience! So where do we go on a fog-free evening when we want to taste a little bit of that sunset magic?

Always lovely, of course, is the Main Deck here at the inn. With couches, cozy Alpaca blankets, and a mug of steaming tea, it is perhaps one of the homiest outdoor spots available to watch the drama of Mendocino’s sunset unfold. Of course, a glass of wine from our Wine Hour dinner buffet enhances the moment as well. (We may or may not have done this a few / several times. Ahem!)

When family comes to visit from out of town, we’ll often try to sneak in a late afternoon or evening visit to the Point Cabrillo Light Station to catch the sunset there. That gentle walk down the hill, with the light house slowly coming into view against the background of evening colors, the ocean wind fresh and crisp on our faces… it’s a truly special experience. And if we’re lucky (or just patient), we sometimes catch a glimpse of the magnificent grey whales that live year-round right off our coast. Or if we go during migration season, when greater numbers of California grey whales add their spouts and breaches to the panorama, it just makes the sunset stroll that much more exciting!

And perennially the most lovely sunset spot must be the trail along the Mendocino Headlands. We absolutely love the stunning sweep of this trail’s panoramic ocean view, with fresh little vistas around each winding turn. Sometimes we’ll watch the sun slowly slide down to the horizon as we powerwalk the whole 3(ish) mile loop. Or if we’re feeling a little less ambitious, we’ll just drive out to the end of the peninsula and sit there, soaking in every last drop of glorious color we can see.

If it’s raining or too foggy though, perhaps the most delectably hygge spot for watching day give way to night is from right inside one of our rooms – French doors out to a private deck, soft robes, gently flickering fire… Mmmm….

Written by Laura Hockett