If you’re in Sacramento and in desperate need for fresh air, blue skies, and lush greenery, make your way to the coast for a much-needed vacation. One of the best California road trips to make is from Sacramento to Mendocino. There are a couple of routes you can take. The quickest way would be to take I-5 North leading to Highway 20 West.
But, if you’re looking for the road trip of a lifetime, we know a better route! The driving time from Sacramento might be a little longer, but it’s worth it. Your journey will be filled with towering trees, flowing rivers, captivating nature views, and charming California wineries. Then, arrive in Mendocino with your vacation already planned out for you in our free Mendocino itinerary. We made sure to include all of the best places to eat, spots to catch a sunset, or nature parks to take the fur babies for a hike!
The Most Captivating Drive From Sacramento to Mendocino
After leaving Sacramento, hop onto Highway 128. This route is absolutely breathtaking as towering redwood trees abound the sides of the road. This route will take you on a four-hour journey minimum, leaving you plenty of time to find wildlife between the trees. Curious deer often prance around the area so keep a watchful eye out.
Glory Hole in Lake Berryessa
A little over an hour and a half into your journey, pass by Lake Berryessa in Napa. This stunning body of water is one of the largest lakes in the state of Califonia! People usually go to Lake Berryessa to water ski, fish, kayak, swim, or catch an amazing view of the water and mountains. But the main talking point for Lake Berryessa is the giant hole in the middle of the water.
Water flows down a hole as if it’s a portal to nowhere, but it’s actually a drain called Glory Hole. Overflowing water from the lake spills into the hole like an inverted waterfall. It’s definitely a unique sight to see!
Wineries in St. Helena
What’s a drive through wine country without a sip of wine? Without straying from the route, make a stop at Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena. It’s the oldest continuously operating vineyard in Napa Valley. One unique thing to try at this winery is a cave tour! The Legacy Cave Tour is 30 minutes, and you can try wines as you make your way through the Old Winery and historic tunnels. Some other vineyards and wineries to tour include the Louis M. Martini Winery, Paraduxx Napa Valley, or Charles Krug Winery.
Jackson State Forest
Once you get to Cloverdale, detour to US-101 which leads you to Redwood Valley near Mendocino National Forest. Then, you’ll continue on to Jackson State Forest, the perfect ending to a day of scenic California road-tripping! By this time, you might want to get out of the car and stretch your legs. This is a great place to do just that, as there are several hiking options in the park!
Park the Car at Cottages at Little River Cove
If you think, you’ve seen the best views of your life on the road trip from Sacramento to Mendocino, just wait until you see what Mendocino has in store for you. Upon arriving, settle into your charming accommodation with Cottages at Little River Cove. Each of our Mendocino rentals features modern amenities and breathtaking ocean views or garden views.
Reserve the Ignacio Cottage for a spacious two-story accommodation, perfect for a relaxing getaway. Whip up a delicious homemade meal in the gourmet kitchen, and take your dinner outside for gorgeous views of the meadow and forest. You might even spot deer or turkeys!
Your nature-filled vacation awaits on the coast! Check our availability and book your getaway today!