Don’t Just Escape. Evolve With Sustainable Travel. Your Guide to Mindful Mendocino Coast Exploration. 
Mendocino Coast Landscape


A guide to eco-tourism on the "Secret" Mendocino Coast, brought to you by Bluum Marketing.

Nestled between the lush Redwoods and the vast Pacific lies Mar Vista Farm + Cottages, a cluster of charming cottages, abundant gardens, and seaside restoration that is ripe for your sustained renewal. 

We’ve all been there: letting our minds wander with thoughts of our next getaway, visualizing a reprieve from the monotony of our every day. To travel is to live, immersing ourselves in newness, fully tapping into our senses, and existing in the present moment. But just as soon as we plan a trip, pack a bag, and depart, our adventures come to a close, and we return home to reminisce until the travel pang grows once again.  

If you’ve had a similar, cyclical relationship with travel, we’re right there with you. Last fall, my partner and I traveled down the Northern California Coast seeking experiences that endured, as opposed to temporary escapes. Could we ask for more of our time spent away—inspiring us to cultivate a life outside of travel that reflects our commitments to sustainability, wellness, and connection with nature? 

As we wove through the Mendocino Coast and found ourselves at Mar Vista Farm + Cottages, we found our answer in sustainable, value-aligned travel. Value-aligned eco-tourism doesn’t merely encourage us to get away. It invites us to return to our most authentic selves—fervently embracing simplicity, slowness, and a lifestyle we wish to lead, always.

Without further ado, we would like to share our Mendocino Coast itinerary with you in the hopes that you can embrace a new kind of travel that nurtures you from the outside, in. 

Immersive, Slow, and Sustainable Mar Vista Living

Picture a place that exists in perfect symbiosis, and you are likely picturing something that resembles Mar Vista’s nine bountiful, secluded acres. My partner and I found ample opportunities to connect with the land–from harvesting our fresh herbs and vegetables to hearing the soothing hum of honey bees float from the on-site hive. 

Our days consisted of morning walks to stretch our legs surrounded by the towering pines, always returning to a basket of fresh eggs hanging on our cottage door. During Goat Gab, an event with Mar Vista steward Cab, we met Willy, Wally and Wiley, Mar Vista’s resident goats, and Cheddar, the spunky orange cat who makes his rounds.

One of our favorite memories was packing a picnic filled with local provisions (complements of Mar Vista’s Sunset Wine + Cheese Basket available for purchase)–from artisanal cheeses to fresh bounty we picked ourselves in the garden (garden tours also available by reservation). We took our basket across Highway 1 to catch the sunset at Fish Rock Beach, Mar Vista’s private beach, and snacked against a seaside backdrop. 

As much as Mar Vista inspires in the daylight, the natural wonder that diffuses from the night sky is truly enchanting. We scurried across the grounds for a relaxing dip in the natural wood soaking tub, and warmed up fireside before heading to bed (tucked in with dreamy House No. 23 Organic Cotton Linens).

Exploring Mendocino: Scenic Drives, Beach Walks, and Bluff-Side Hikes

Mar Vista is conveniently tucked into the “secret” northern California Coast, and there is no shortage of local sites to reach by car during your stay. My partner and I are avid hikers, and we ventured to the Gualala Regional Point Park and the Stornetta Lands Lighthouse Trail, packing a picnic lunch and practicing leave-no-trace principles along the way. We’ve heard that visiting between December and April gives you a good chance of spotting a whale spout, and these trails make for ideal viewing points. 

Bowling Ball Beach was our next destination: a geological wonder that lends itself to tide-pooling. We spent the afternoon spotting sea anemones and collecting abalone shells before heading to The Surf Market (what might be our favorite grocery store ever) to pick up locally sourced and grown goods for dinner. 

Eco-Conscious Wine & Dine Destinations on the Mendocino Coast

Founded by two adventurous fisherwomen, Elissa and Emilie—Little Dory Seafood Co.** is a sea-foodie haven, rooted in their connection to the sea and a shared vision of sustainable fishing practices. 

If your trip falls on a Wednesday, The Pelican Bakery is a must-go for fresh, rustic bread. If you miss the Pelican Bakery boat, don’t worry–Mar Vista exclusively offers their goods in the morning Breakfast Basket, as well as at the on-site Red Welcome Cottage/Mercantile for purchase. Naturally, these famed baked goods pair to perfection with Mar Vista’s farm-fresh eggs. And just down the street from Mar Vista is the Murder Ridge Winery, a sustainable winery with a wonderful Pinot Noir (available for purchase at Mar Vista). While they do not have an on-site tasting room, take our word for it—their grapes make for excellent wine, and can be enjoyed in your cottage or on the Mar Vista grounds.

Finally, the Sea Ranch Lodge made for a special location for our date night, spoiling us with locally sourced, caught, and grown dishes that delighted in flavor and quality. The Lodge is committed to regenerative ranching and farming practices so you can dine in confidence. We would recommend securing a reservation for the best experience. 

Mindful Travel Moments: Reflecting & Realigning

When it comes to value-aligned travel, seeking moments of stillness and reflection can make the world of a difference in your journey to come home to the self. My partner and I wandered down to the cliffside for self-guided morning meditation (Note: Mar Vista Steward Cab also teaches complimentary beachfront Vinyasa yoga or on the scenic upper deck most Saturdays and meditation on Sundays). I also found myself sitting solo in the Adirondack chairs to reflect and bask in the glow of golden hour, occasionally wondering about the garden to take notes on Deanna’s harvesting tips for our soon-to-be garden (we felt so inspired to cultivate a home garden upon returning home).

Finally, with easy trail access just steps from our cottage, we ventured into the forest to bathe—listening, observing, and appreciating its abundance, reaffirming our desire to connect with the natural world around us. 

As individuals who strive to live in alignment with our values, my partner and I found that our experience at Mar Vista reenergized us on our path to regenerative, intentional living. To slow down, seek small adventures, and reconnect with the land is how we wish to cultivate a meaningful life; we were lucky to find a destination that was just as much a starting point. 

** Little Dory Seafood Co. has two sale locations, Fridays from 3-4 pm outside Druids Hall in Point Arena and Saturdays from 9:30-12:30pm in Downtown Gualala across from the Community Center.  Check their site for weekly availability and to pre-order.

Sustainable Travel Packing List

  • Reusable water bottle 
  • Reusable coffee mug (for refueling on-the-go)
  • Reusable grocery bag
  • Reusable food storage bags/containers
  • Forget your low-waste travel companions? Mar Vista offers low waste available for purchase at the Red Welcome Cottage Mercantile. Plus, your kitchens are stocked with your low-waste living essentials.

A guide to eco-tourism on the “Secret” Mendocino Coast, brought to you by Bluum Marketing.