Mendocino Botanical Gardens - a MUST see!
My DH and I are traveling around the Wine Country for two weeks and were in Mendocino/Ft. Bragg for three days. We visited the Mendo Botanical Gardens and they are SPECTACULAR!
April and May are cold windy months up here (well, most months are, LOL) but the rhodies and pieris love it. There is one pink rhodie that is a thick-trunked 25' tall tree - an amazing sight!
The paths are windy. It reminded me a lot of Golden Gate Park - some of it's very carefully cultivated and landscaped, but much of the 47 acres are hilly, left-to-coastal-wilderness trails all the way down to the ocean.
My non-gardening DH loved this place as much as I did and said he wished we lived closer by so we could visit more often.
On the website they list what is usually in bloom. They have a nice heather garden which would bloom in summer, and the dahlias are just setting leaves so they will be gorgeous later on too.
I'll have to wait until I get back home to sort out and post some photos. But if anyone is thinking of visiting the area, I can assure you that there are extremely good wineries even up here, excellent restaurants (we loved Cafe Beaujolais, MacCallum House and Rendezvous) as good as the ones we went to in Napa/Sonoma/Healdsburg. The Agate Cove Inn is a must-stay B&B, the best place we've ever stayed in - private cabins and jetted tubs, with gorgeous ocean views. The tourist crowds are much smaller - it's a longer drive from SF - and a hikers/walkers dream. Tons of well-marked trails both easy or hard as you prefer, with many ocean and river beaches easily accessible by foot or car.
As I said, I'll post some pix within the next week. But this area deserves more visitors, so if you have the chance, please think about coming up here and exploring the area. Note that the East-West hwys to the ocean are twisty and windy, with 128 being a much longer drive and 120 one-third the length of 128, but still very twisty in some spots (it took an hour to drive 24 miles!).