Lonely, lovely Mendocino coast

Planning a winter getaway
Lisa Taggart

For general area information, contact the Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce (closed Sun; 332 N. Main St., Fort Bragg; 800/726-2780 or www.mendocinocoast.com).

Activities
Arena Cinema. Nice old art theater on Point Arena's main strip. 214 Main St., Point Arena; (707) 882-3456.

Greenwood State Beach. A short, relatively steep trail leads to a driftwood-covered beach. Park in the lot on the west side of State 1, across from the Elk Store; (707) 937-5804.

Manchester State Park. North of Point Arena Lighthouse, this park includes a long stretch of beach (more than 5 miles) that's good for walking. A 1/4-mile trail over dunes leads to the water's edge. Parking at end of Kinney Rd., Manchester; (707) 937-5804.

Moat Creek Trail. Short (1/4-mile) hike to a pocket beach. Catch great views from the top of the trail up the bluff. Parking area is 13 miles north of Gualala off State 1.

Point Arena Lighthouse & Museum. Daily tours of the lighthouse. Museum has exhibits on shipping and navigation. 11-3:30 daily; $4. 45500 Lighthouse Rd., Point Arena; (707) 882-2777.

Point Arena Municipal Pier & Boat Launch. Surfers gather nearby when the waves are good; you can fish off the end of the pier without a permit. End of Iversen Ave., Point Arena.

Dining
Bridget Dolan's Pub & Dinner House. Irish pub serving clam chowder as well as bangers and mash. 5910 S. State 1, Elk; (707) 877-1820.

Food Company. Homey, wholesome lunches, with picnic tables and a patio for lingering. Closed Jan 22-Feb 13. On State 1, 1/2 mile north of Gualala; (707) 884-1800.

Harbor House Inn. The dining room affords breathtaking ocean views. Prix-fixe dinners Fri-Sat through Feb, daily after Mar 1. 5600 S. State 1, Elk; (800) 720-7474, (707) 877-3203, or www.theharborhouseinn.com.

Pangaea. Great California cuisine dinners emphasize organic and local ingredients; served in a warm, colorful dining room. Good wine list. Closed Mon-Tue. 250 Main, Point Arena; (707) 882-3001.

Queenie's Roadhouse Cafe. Breakfast and lunch in restored garage built in 1901. Tasty omelets, grilled sandwiches, and burgers. Closed for renovation Feb 1-12; closed Tue. 6061 S. State 1, Elk; (707) 877-3285.

Victorian Gardens. Prix-fixe Italian dinners masterfully prepared by inn owners. Closed Mon-Wed. 14409 S. State 1, Manchester; (707) 882-3606.

Lodging
Coast Guard House Historic Inn. This former house for Coast Guard rescue workers, who were called Surfmen, overlooks the Point Arena pier. The five rooms and two cottages are decorated with Arts and Crafts-style furnishings and nautical details. From $125. 695 Arena Cove, Point Arena; (800) 524-9320 or www.coastguardhouse.com.

Elk Cove Inn. Cottages and rooms in a late-19th-century house overlooking Greenwood State Beach. From $148. 6300 S. State 1, Elk; (800) 275-2967 or www.elkcoveinn.com.

Harbor House Inn. Rooms in the 1916 Craftsman were once used by lumber executives. Today, weekend stays include elegant dinners in the dining room. Nice garden; steep trail leads to private beach. From $100. See "Dining."

Victorian Gardens. Elegantly restored farmhouse is surrounded by 92 acres. 4 rooms from $180. 14409 S. State 1, Manchester; (707) 882-3606.

Wharf Master's Inn. At Arena Cove, the 25-room inn overlooks the pier. From $75. 785 Port Rd., Point Arena; (800) 932-4031, (707) 882-3171, or www.wharfmasters.com.