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Top Picnic Spots on the Breathtaking Mendocino Coast

Picnic by the beach in Mendocino

As sunny days beckon along Mendocino’s craggy Pacific coastline, there’s no better way to celebrate summer than by packing a picnic basket and heading outdoors. This natural wonderland offers no shortage of jaw-dropping spots to throw down a blanket and feast your eyes while you graze. Here are some of the best places to soak up the scenery and flavors of the season.

1. Portuguese Beach

Main St, Mendocino

Sheltered by cypress trees, this hidden gem offers tranquility and striking views of the surrounding bluffs dotted with wildflowers. Unwind to the sound of crashing waves as you fuel up for an afternoon of tide-pooling and beachcombing galore.

2. Point Cabrillo Lighthouse

45300 Lighthouse Rd. Mendocino

Take in dramatic 180-degree coastal views as you picnic on the grassy grounds of the historic light station. On clear days, look for migrating whales over an endless seascape that feels worlds away yet is just minutes from Mendocino village.

3. Russian Gulch State Park

CA-1, Mendocino

Post up at a picnic table along the scenic headlands trail to enjoy sweeping vistas of the Pacific as you dine. Then venture down to the secluded beach below to dip your toes in a picturesque tidal creek brimming with salmon in the summertime.

4. Big River Beach

Hwy 1 and Big River Rd

Spread out on the wide sandy shore as kids splash about in the gentle lagoon. The protected inlet between pine-rimmed bluffs invites pure relaxation best accompanied by great food and even better company.

5. Noyo Headlands Park

Fort Bragg

Unwind on a grassy bluff top that seems to float amid sea and sky, watching brown pelicans dive for fish as fog rolls in to blanket the craggy coastline. This lesser-known spot promises front-row seats to nature’s show.

Wherever your picnic adventures take you along Mendocino’s breathtaking shores, be sure to stock up on provisions for the perfect spread. Pop into Cucina Verona Mercato in downtown Fort Bragg to assemble the ultimate Italian-inspired picnic basket. Then you're all set to savor la dolce vita al fresco with sand between your toes! If you'd like to round out the experience with a proper feast, step into Cucina Verona and indulge in your favorite Italian meals. Click here to make a reservation.


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