These Historical Places in Northern California Make Great Day Trips

Calling all history scholars! When you planning your trip to Northern California via Highway 1, you’ll travel along the cliffside coastline and through the Redwood forests defining our peaceful region. Before you embark on your journey, you may have an itinerary or a Colorado landmarks map to know where the road is going to take you, or sometimes you can break from routine and just drive. As you venture through our scenic area, you’ll find a myriad of exceptional wineries, delightful restaurants, and historical places in Northern California to explore!

Before you experience the best historical places in Northern California, request a copy of our complimentary Vacation Guide to Mendocino, CA, for our top recommendations for which to visit, as well as outdoor activities and things to do. Unlock the best of our region today!

8 Fascinating Historical Places in Northern California to Visit

With a delightful array of educational opportunities waiting in in our coastal community, you’ll be delighted by the marvelous historical places in Northern California and the many Northern California Historical Landmarks. Leave your history book in your room at Sea Rock Inn, have your Vacation Guide (link above) downloaded onto your phone, and experience our area to the fullest today!|

1. Kelley House Museum

One of the most incredible of California’s tourist attractions is the Kelley House Museum. This exhibit hall strives to accurately preserve and display the history that has made Mendocino the culturally vibrant town it is today. As you meander through this museum, you’ll see permanent exhibits embodying the true culture of our community. In particular, the “Then and Now” photography showcase gives a visual representation of the evolution of our oceanside community through the years. There is also a gorgeous collection of rotating exhibits telling a particular story of our beloved town. Once you explore the museum, step into the manicured garden with sweeping ocean views from the Kelley House.

2. Point Cabrillo Light Station

Point Cabrillo Lighthouse

Located a short drive from Mendocino, visit the quaint Point Cabrillo Light Station. One of the most stunning California state tourist attractions, this destination teaches you about the history of our local lighthouses. Seeing as so many of our towns are on the cliffs, these beaming structures helped to keep ships safe. When you arrive at this historical place in Northern California, tour the lighthouse, the charming grounds, and other buildings as well. Bring your camera to capture the beauty of this beloved site and the panoramic views!

3. Grace Hudson Museum

Another one of the California points of historical interest is the Grace Hudson Museum! This creative place features work with talented artists, all maintaining close ties our area and have lived here at one time or another like the famous Grace Hudson. Her local art focused our coastal community and the Pomo Indians. You’ll also discover 30,000 artifacts that tell the story of her life and inspirations behind her masterpieces. Sign up for a tour of the Sun House, the Craftsman bungalow where she and her family lived.

4. Mendocino Headlands State Park

On your tour of historic places in California, explore the Mendocino Headlands State Park. One of the most wonderful California natural landmarks, we recommend this park to any of our guests who love exploring the outdoors or who just want to learn more about our natural history. While you’re there, stop in the Historic Ford House, the park’s visitor center. There are also several trails surrounding the Mendocino Headlands State Park and take you to the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean!

5. Temple of Kwan Tai

Nestled in Mendocino, CA, we urge you to visit the Temple of Kwan Tai. This building is a Taoist symbol of integrity and loyalty. In the 19th century, a group of settlers constructed the original Chinese establishment and dedicated to the generations of their ancestors and descendants. This Historic Landmark teaches you and celebrates the Chinese community and the diversity of our town.

6. Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Historical Society

Grace Hudson Museum is one of the places to experience Mendocino history!

Another Northern California historical landmarks, visit the Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Historical Society. This organization is composed of dedicated people who love both teaching visitors about our history and our local culture. If you’re traveling to Northern California during the spring and summer months, enjoy walks around downtown Fort Bragg on Fridays and Saturdays. Paired with temperate weather, it’s the idyllic time to observe California historical landmarks.

7. The Mendocino Presbyterian Church  

Nestled on the cliffs overlooking the mighty Pacific ocean, visit the stunning Mendocino Presbyterian Church. This charming establishment was originally constructed 1858 and continues to stand the test of time. Today, this place is presided over by Peter Kelly and offers a glimpse into the local culture of our community. If you’re visiting during the week, marvel at the vibrant colors, marvelous architecture, and the breathtaking vistas!

8. The Time & Maiden Statue

Situated on the top of the old Mendocino Bank, the Time & Maiden Statue towers over the scenic townscape. Constructed in the 1860s, it displays a scene with a lonely maiden sitting next to the seemingly powerful Father Time. Still a mystery to its meaning today, it’s believed to be a symbol of the Freemasons of Mendocino and carved out from a redwood by Erik Jensen Albertson. If you wish to learn more, ask a local Mason!

Plan Your Getaway to Sea Rock Inn

For all the history buffs and nature lovers, the historical places in Northern California are simply wonderful to visit. Once you’ve completed your tour, head back to your luxurious accommodation at Sea Rock Inn. Our charming bed and breakfast is nestled on the cliffs of the Golden Coast. We invite you to browse our gorgeous selection of guest rooms and reserve the ideal one for your getaway. Each of our stunning suites showcases unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean and is the perfect hideaway for you and your beloved. The perfect vacation to Northern California awaits this year in Northern California!