“Get out of Town,” by Ari Burack

Special to The S.F. Examiner, published May 25, 2014

Vast and strikingly beautiful, a little quirky and in ways still undiscovered, or at least untarnished, Mendocino County is one of the Bay Area’s great refuges to the north.

Some days, fog blankets the coast, its villages and waterways cool and quiet in eerie splendor. Inland, the warmer and sunnier valleys and mountain ranges are home to hundreds of miles of forest, farmland and an increasingly raved-about wine region. Traffic is nearly nonexistent. You will even (gasp) pass through areas without cellphone service. And guess what? You probably will not notice.

Mendocino County made headlines in March when President Barack Obama declared more than 1,600 acres of its southern coastline part of a federally protected national monument. The Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands are accessible from state Highway 1 for hiking, bird and wildlife viewing, and fishing. The area features dramatic cliffside vistas, dark, striated rock emerging from the ocean, a river estuary and the Point Arena Lighthouse.     …

Down the road in Little River, … The restaurant at the nearby Little River Inn also offers magnificent views and a talented chef to match. With a sweeping panorama of the water, the aptly named Ole’s Whale Watch Bar has been slinging drinks of one form or another since 1939. Chef Marc Dym’s superb New England clam chowder may make East Coast visitors question which ocean they’re facing. You can follow it up with a perfectly cooked steak and sweet-and-tart berry cobbler.  …

Be our guest at the Little River Inn when you “Get out of Town,”

Enjoy the complete article at:  http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/mendocino-county-a-monument-of-redwood-trees-nature-wine-and-hot-springs/Content?oid=2806287