The charming seaside town of Elk is remote and idyllic– a place that can be easily overlooked when inlanders look to escape to the California coast. With only a few inns and places to eat (The Harbor House Inn being the first and only Michelin Star restaurant in Mendocino County), it is hard to imagine that the whimsical seaside town used to have as many as 10,000 residents during the logging boom around the turn of the last century. Remnants of the era can be seen by logs and driftwood that sweep onto the beach.
Nothing Beats An Uncrowded Beach
The public beach is Greenwood State Beach, which feels like a private cove laced in a patchwork of wildflowers, coastal succulents and piles of driftwood that lead out to the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. There are a few picnic areas, both on the beach and perched higher on the cliff, shaded by coastal trees.
Locals know to grab a gourmet artisan sandwich from The Elk Store as part of the beach excursion, as the store is directly in front of the beach access parking area.
The Best Way to Fall Asleep is With Crashing Waves
Sitting high above on the bluff above the Greenwood Beach sits the Elk Cove Inn & Spa. The main building is bright white and splattered with various shapes and styles of windows that glisten from the ocean reflection. It nestles the cove and has direct beach access down the cliff, inviting leisurely strolls to clear the mind. At the base of the cliff are vibrant succulents, tall grasses and coastal plants that design a beautiful tapestry, which can also be enjoyed from up above.
The Elk and Anderson Valley Connection
It is not uncommon to see familiar faces from Anderson Valley, often gathered around a small beach fire. Two of our wine producers have bonded wineries in Elk and produce Anderson Valley and Mendocino Coast appellation wines. Both of their tasting rooms located in the valley and off of Highway 128.
Drew Family Wines
Jason & Molly Drew arrived to the area via airstream a few decades ago. They built a home and established their estate vineyard and apple orchard high upon the hillside of the Mendocino Coastline. Jason takes a very traditional approach to his craft, managing both the vineyard, orchard and winemaking.
Phil & Claire Baxter met in Europe while Phil was studying winemaking in Burgundy. He is a second-generation winemaker from Napa Valley, and makes wines inspired by the old world. They focus on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Nebbiolo. Phil is also a consulting winemaker for several local wine brands.
Elk Cove Inn
Escape the Norm and Enjoy Mendocino!
With stunning west coast sunsets, ocean view rooms, a diversity of culinary options, and friendly hospitality staff, the Mendocino Coast has no shortage of lodging boutique establishments, many still harboring the Victorian bed and breakfast ambiance of time past. This is true to the Mendo charm that so many are attracted to – the step back in time mentality that feels different from the rest of the world. Elk is just one of the beloved MendoLand escapes you can have!
~ Courtney DeGraff, Executive Director of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers
Phone: (707) 895-WINE