Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

18220 North Highway One
Fort Bragg, California 95437
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Local Phone: (707) 964-4352
E-mail: [email protected]

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens was founded in 1961 by retired nurseryman Ernest Schoefer and his wife, Betty. Ernest's keen eye spotted the ample supply of water augmented by the mild coastal climate and quality soil essential to acid-loving plants like rhododendrons. The gardens opened in 1966 and by 1992 had been purchased with grants from the California Coastal Conservancy and transferred to the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District.

The gardens are best known for their tender, fragrant and rare species of rhododendrons. Native to the cloud forests of Southeast Asia and the Himalayas, these gems are restricted in the United States to a narrow band along the Northern California coast, where they thrive in the foggy, coastal climate.

Don't leave your best friend in the car! Dogs are welcome on leash in the gardens.

What's in Bloom:
February, March, April: Early rhododendrons, camellias, daffodils, magnolias, cherries and Pacific Coast iris (spring whale migration also occurs during this time.)

May, June, July: Rhododendrons, heritage roses, perennials,cactus, succulents, lilies, heathers, coastal and forest wildflowers.

August, September, October: Perennials, dahlias, heritage roses, heathers, fuchsias and hydrangeas.

November, December, January: Late perennials, winter heathers, camellias and wild mushrooms (winter whale migration occurs during this season).

Check their website for hours, directions and reservations.

A pedigreed playground for your pup
The active Noyo Harbor fishing village sets an engaging backdrop for a Noyo Harbor Inn stay. Walk your dog around the village, or plan adventures at the area’s state parks, beaches, botanical gardens and attractions. Ride the famous Skunk Train. Admire shimmering Glass Beach at sunset. Photograph Fort Bragg murals. You’ll find plenty of fun for you and your four-legged friends. more »
Mendocino Botanical Gardens
Mendocino Botanical Gardens
By now, we all know the drill: wash your hands, cover your face in public, maintain six feet of “social distancing” between yourself and anyone else who is not a member of your household “bubble.” So where does your dog fit in? Right by your side, as always! In Mendocino County, you’ll have access to many activities that let you have fun while still adhering to the guidelines. Here are a few suggestions. more »
MacKerricher State Park - Photo Credit: @mylittlemonchichi
MacKerricher State Park - Photo Credit: @mylittlemonchichi
The largest community on the Mendo coast has much to recommend, including the Beachcomber group of properties offering variety and value close to the sea. The Beachcomber Motel itself is a luxury motel that offers panoramic views, fire pits and “pet suites” (rooms that open onto a deck with dog house and pet shower) with direct access to the property’s leash-free dog park. more »
Cooper - Photo Credit: @littlecooperbear
Cooper - Photo Credit: @littlecooperbear
The Mendocino Coast is rich in natural attractions, from beaches and redwood forests to vast networks of trails where you and your pup can hike to your hearts' content. And then there are the manmade attractions, from the dog-friendly Skunk Train to specially rigged outrigger canoes at Catch A Canoe in which dogs can ride with their paddling people, to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardensmore »
Dog on his morning run
Bodie's morning run on the beautiful Mendocino Coast.
Photo Credit: Cathy Crnkovich
Fort Bragg is the “big city” on the Mendocino Coast with 7,500 full-time human residents, many of whose households also count our-legged family members. Top attractions for DogTrekkers start right in town more »
Fetch! Photo: Colleen Proppe
While you can drive from one end of Mendocino County to the other in a morning or afternoon (it’s 102 winding miles from Leggett to Gualala on scenic Highway 1) this intoxicating stretch of coastline is best savored at a snail’s pace. Our advice: Hang your hat (and leash) for at least a night in one of the many dog-friendly lodgings situated within sight and sound of the sea.  more »
Sookie on the Mendocino Coast
Sookie visits the Mendocino Coast. Photo by Luis Valencia-Medly
With a whopping 7,500 full-time residents, Fort Bragg is the “big city” on the Mendocino coast. It’s also a very dog-friendly place, thanks largely to the tireless advocacy efforts of the Mendocino Coast Dog Owners Group (McDog). more »
dogs on a bench
Not all botanical gardens are dog-friendly, but we know some that are—and if you’re into tulips and other early-blooming florals, now’s the time for the two of you to watch spring springing into action. more »
Photo Credit: Mark Cosy (CC)
Photo Credit: Mark Cosy (CC)
Noyo Harbor BeachA mere glimpse of Mendocino’s gorgeously sculpted coastline is all it takes to turn urban angst into rural revelation. The scenery is so intoxicating you can happily spend a week along the Highway 1 corridor without venturing beyond sight or sound of the sea. more »

 Dogs on a bench at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens Not many botanical gardens come with a thundering ocean sound track in the background. The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg enjoys that distinction, along with a moody maritime climate that fosters its signature displays of rare rhododendrons native to the cloud forests of Southeast Asia and the Himalayas. Camellias, dahlias, heaths and heathers also thrive here, and a perennial garden is bright with color from spring to fall. more »

Kayla the lab and Chuck the conductor prepare to board the Skunk TrainMendocino County is “so close and yet so far away” when it comes to scenery, attitude and ambiance. Whether you play it sophisticated or sniff out the rustic, you’ll have no trouble carving out an itinerary to fit your budget and style. more »
If there's one destination in Northern California that really rolls out the red carpet for your pooch, it's Mendocino County. You'll find dozens of hotels, motels, inns, B&B's and cottages that will welcome you and your pup with open arms, treats and amenities. For more on accommodations, check out the Visit Mendocino lodging page and search "Pet Friendly." In addition to great places to stay, many winery tasting rooms welcome canine companions with water, treats and a place to curl up by the bar.  more »
What can you say about a town that has its own dog park mayor, an ice cream parlor that provides free licks for Fido, and a 47-acre botanical garden, known for its rhododendrons and dahlias, that not only welcomes dogs, but loans out mobility scooters to the physically impaired? "We're all dog-crazy here, and our weather is perfect for dogs year-round," says Johanna Jensen, co-founder of the Mendocino Coast Dog Owners Group.  more »
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