Little River Inn in Mendocino

Little River Inn in Mendocino

Welcome to Rich Life Travel Friday!

This week, we continue exploring the Mendocino Coast in Northern California.



After we finished up our wonderful and satisfying breakfast at Brewery Gulch Inn, we packed up our things and went exploring.

The morning started off a little foggy but that didn’t stop these mustard fields from looking cheery and vibrant. I love the old barns you often see, dotting the North Coast countryside.


After roaming around this lovely farm for a bit, we got back in the car and headed north. My husband and I always visit this beach in Mendocino, where the Big River meets the Pacific. The water was crystal-clear on this particular day and we were happy to see the fog had dissipated and sun was out.


We were happy to feel the sunshine and sea breeze on our faces. The Mendocino Coast’s weather is unpredictable but no matter what it is – rain, fog, or sun – it’s always scenic.


We continued on, driving north past the village of Mendocino, when we saw a sign telling us a lighthouse was nearby. I am never one to eschew a good lighthouse, so we pulled over and parked at the Point Cabrillo Light Station parking lot.

It was a lovely half-mile walk to the lighthouse from the lot. On the way we passed these darling red-roofed houses built in the early 1900s.


Soon we reached the lighthouse, standing majestically on a cliff above the ocean.


We walked around the lighthouse, browsing the gift shop and taking a look at the museum. After, we walked along the path above the ocean. I love the rugged beauty of the North Coast. White caps, jagged outcroppings of rocks and the occasional whale spout make this view hard to take your eyes off of.


Several miles north, up route 1, is the charming town of Fort Bragg, home to the famous Glass Beach and North Coast Brewing Company which makes Scrimshaw beer, one of my husband’s favorites.


This time, we skipped both the beach and the beer and had a cookie instead at Mendocino Cookie Company (get the Backpacker cookie if you go!).

One of my favorite buildings in Fort Brag is this stately Victorian that sits on a hill in the middle of town. It has been home to various lumber executives over many decades and now it houses the headquarters of the Fort Bragg – Mendocino Coast Historical Society. 


After walking around Fort Bragg, eating our cookies, we decided to head back to Mendocino. I can’t visit Mendocino without stopping by Sallie MacThis lovely boutique sells beautiful home accessories, jewelry, soaps and lotions and more, and all with a French flair. I always find something special to bring home with me.


For lunch my husband wanted to have his favorite Mendocino sandwich – a rueben at Patterson’s Pub. I really like them too, mainly because the corned beef is so lean!


With full bellies, we decided it was time to check in to our room at Little River Inn. I have long admired this eye-catching property, perched above the Pacific, and was excited to finally experience it as a guest.

Little River Inn sits on 225-acres and has 65 ocean view rooms, a nine-hole golf course, pro-shop, spa and a popular restaurant and bar.


The main building was once a family home, built in 1857 and turned into an inn in 1939 by Ole Hervilla. It has remained in the family ever since. Little River Inn is one of the oldest inns on the North Coast and one of the most well-known.

This grand Victorian serves as the centerpiece of the property. In springtime, wisteria can be found draped all around the inn.


Our room was just behind the main building on a hill. Our room was enormous! High ceilings, lots of windows and not one, but two sitting areas giving the room a light and open feel.


This bathroom was also very spacious. The tub, with whirlpool jets, was enormous. At my height, I greatly appreciate a large tub, something I don’t get to enjoy at home!


The patio was our favorite place to spend time.  We rocked back and forth in these two chairs, looking for whales, watching the fog go in and out and checking out the various birds and squirrels. This is my idea of relaxing!


Sunny or foggy, this view is always stunning!


We could enjoy the fantastic view from inside our room, too, through these big windows.


And what goes better with an amazing view but a wonderful bottle of wine? We were given this bottle of Chardonnay, a commemorative 75th anniversary wine celebrating the legacy of Little River Inn. It was created through a partnership with Navarro Vineyards, a beautiful winery you will pass on your way to Mendocino if taking route 128.


My husband and I aren’t golfers – yet – but if we were, we would love to play on this course. It’s the only course on the Mendocino Coast and is an Audubon-certified sanctuary.

Surrounded by redwood and pine trees, this course also comes with fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean and I’ve been told it offers even seasoned golfers surprising, though welcoming, challenges.


After checking out the property and relaxing on our porch, we freshened up and headed to dinner at the main house.


Little River Inn’s Executive Chef Marc Dym, classically trained at Culinary Institute of America, has had a long culinary career that has taken him all over the world. In 2006, Chef Dym settled in Mendocino after marrying Cally (fifth generation innkeeper at Little River Inn). Chef Dym adds a modern flair to classic dishes that are sure to satisfy guests’ palates.


One thing you’ll notice about the dining room at Little River Inn is the clever use of windows that look, at first, like artwork. These up-close gardens, framed in large picture windows, were fascinating to me! I couldn’t get enough of them. The dining room window with the little rose-shaped succulents were my favorite.


The food was fantastic and fresh. The Dungeness Crab Cakes were outstanding and could be a meal on their own! Good thing Bill and I shared them so I had room for more courses.


Little River Inn has its own Wine Consultant who asked us what wines we would like to have with dinner.  Since it’s part of my job to experience as much as I can about a property, we told him our wine choices were his to make. From bubbles to port and everything in between, we had quite the regional wine experience. Good thing our room was close by!

I couldn’t write this review without mentioning how friendly, warm and accommodating the staff is at Little River Inn. From the moment we walked into the main building to register to the moment we said our goodbyes, every person we interacted with was kind, courteous and accommodating.


The gorgeous sunset from Little River Inn’s property was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.


The next morning, after a peaceful and comfortable night’s sleep. we went to Sunday Brunch at Little River Inn. Boy was it popular, every table was occupied and I know why! The food is wonderful. I ordered enjoyed Ole’s Swedish Hotcakes (recipe in the link!) that are hands-down my favorite pancakes. Mine were topped with a little olallieberry jam which added just thee right amount of sweetness. If you like a thin, light and freshly flipped pancake, these will be your favorite too!


We thouroughly enjoyed our stay at Little River Inn. From the incredible views to the spacious room, and the friendly staff to the delicious food, we will be sure to return again and again.

Little River Inn has a some special offers available right now. Be sure to visit their Specials and Packages page for more information.

Make it a rich day!




Disclosure: Little River Inn hosted our stay. All opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.


  1. April 24, 2015 / 3:39 pm

    The Northern California coast is so beautiful, any season, and you captured the magic beautifully, Adrienne. The Little River Inn is such an icon in that area. Coincidentally, my step-daughter, Lauren, was the event planner there last year. She has since moved to Los Angeles but she truly enjoyed her time working there. Your dishes, and the wine, look fabulous! I always enjoy travel post. 😉 Thanks again for joining our Lifestyle LinkUp #stylefocus today! It’s fun to see your stylish inspiration in the collection!
    Happy weekend!
    xx, Heather

  2. Kathy
    April 25, 2015 / 5:46 am

    I would love to be transported there now. This is my favorite travel post of yours ever, want to see and eat all of it. So inviting.

  3. Becky
    April 25, 2015 / 7:54 am

    This has been a favorite place of ours for 30 years. We have always stayed in one of the cabins with the private deck looking out over the ocean. The view from the bar, and from the dining room is lovely. And, did they have the large fireplace in the dining room going? Nothing beats breakfast in the dining room with the fireplace roaring, viewing the beautiful gardens & birds at eye level. Love that area of the coast as well with the rugged beauty.

  4. April 25, 2015 / 1:43 pm

    I can’t believe we haven’t been to Mendocino. Your review has made me want to place it on my Must Visit list.

  5. April 26, 2015 / 8:23 am

    Gorgeous get away!WE did that a few months ago but were higher up the coast!
    Those GALS sent me Jennifer & HEATHER………………
    Enjoying my SUNDAY with coffee in hand and cruising all the LINKS!
    A Beautiful share.

  6. April 26, 2015 / 12:30 pm

    Simply charming. As many times as we have driven past, we have never visitied that lighthouse! We won’t be passing without stopping next time.
    That inn looks beyond fabulous. What a terrifc get-away. We are so lucky to live where we do!!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful inspriation with us on #STYLEfocus!

  7. April 26, 2015 / 1:19 pm

    I was so pleased to see your pictures of the Little River Inn. I took my girls there for Thanksgiving week for over 10 years as they were growing up. The staff saw my daughters become young ladies! The hotel truly has a place in our hearts.
    You visited many of our favorite places on your trip Adrienne, including Patterson’s! Did you have their Bloody Mary??
    Thanks for a wonderful post.

  8. Linda Salazar
    April 26, 2015 / 8:34 pm


    We also stopped at that lighthouse when we were driving back from Fort Bragg during our visit to Mendocino, I remember that was quite a hike from the parking lot!

    We were checking out Patterson’s for dinner one evening, but it was really crowded so we opted to get our food to go. (Tony was just drooling over the Reuben photo and said next time we go there he is getting that!)

    The Little River Inn looks like a nice place to stay and I just was looking at their website and see that they allow pets! 🙂 I’m definitely going to remember it for our next trip up there.


  9. April 27, 2015 / 7:21 am

    Love this post Adrienne and you really captured everything that is amazing about Little River Inn. I stayed there with Jakob a couple years ago when I showed him Mendocino and we both can’t wait to go back again. It is so relaxing sitting there on the deck overlooking the ocean and you and your hubby should take golf lessons together and try playing. It’s SO fun, especially if you’re patient hehe.

    Hope you had a great weekend!

  10. May 4, 2015 / 7:47 am

    What a lovely post – makes me want to go there – I miss the ocean so much!

  11. May 6, 2015 / 12:32 pm

    So glad to have stumbled on this post! My boyfriend and I are making our way to Little River Inn in June and this got me even more excited for the weekend getaway!

    Xx, Tiffany |

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