One silver lining of the Covid pandemic is that it forced us to consider national travel rather than the mostly International trips we’ve favored for decades. Mendocino County, a couple of hours north of San Francisco, wasn’t on our travel radar. Previous trips from our Southern California home usually ended in the Sonoma-Napa wine country. But when a press release on Mendocino’s many charms popped up in our email, it sparked the idea of an upscale road trip. Wary of flying, we were confident we could travel by car within the state and do it safely.

Unfamiliar with the Mendocino area, we explored online before hitting the road. Images and descriptions of redwood forests, rock-strewn beaches, world-class vineyards, seaside small towns and rustic inns whetted our appetites for a lengthy stay. We ended up booking four unique accommodations and a handful of local attractions, leaving plenty of time for serendipitous experiences. We knew from experience that these unexpected travel adventures always are the most memorable.

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