Perched on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean, Mendocino Grove (mendocinogrove.com) offers visitors a chance to sleep beneath towering redwoods, and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer. But this isn’t your standard pitch a tent and sleep on the ground type of camping — camping at Mendocino Grove is definitely an upscale glamping affair. That’s because the grove is peppered with luxury tents housed on wooden platforms, that are furnished with more than a few creature comforts. And since the folks at this Northern California property took the inclusive approach from the get-go, Mendocino Grove is also an excellent choice for wheelchair-users and slow walkers.
Glamping Done Right
Located right off Highway 1, Mendocino Grove is just a half-mile from downtown Mendocino. There’s accessible parking on a level cement pad in front of the office, with barrier-free access over to the registration desk. The tents are spread out in the grove, with communal BBQ areas, fire pits and a bathhouse in between. There are three types of accessible tents at Mendocino Grove — family tents, bluff-view tents and meadow tents.
The 16′ x 20′ family tents are the most popular choice, and tent L5 is an accessible model. There’s parking in a level area next to the tent and ramp access up to the front porch. And to make the tent flap easier to open, there’s also a wand attachment to hook on to the zipper. Inside, there’s plenty of room to maneuver a wheelchair or scooter.
Furnishings include two 23-inch high open-frame twin beds, and one queen-sized bed. And for those chilly nights, the beds are equipped with heated mattress pads. Other furnishings include a desk, two directors chairs, two night tables, a trunk and a clothing rack. There are also two bedside lamps and two lanterns for plenty of a light, and even a basket of towels. Add in some comfy leather butterfly-chairs on the front porch, and a nearby accessible picnic table and fire ring, and you have everything you need to glamp in style.
Tent P2 is an accessible bluff-view tent. It has all the same access features as tent L5, except since it’s a classic tent it measures 12′ x 14′. This tent features two doors. The front door, which offers level access, is located near the parking area, while the back door opens up to an accessible deck with a sweeping bluff view. It includes the same basic furnishings and amenities as the other accessible tents, except that it has a queen-sized bed. As an added bonus, you can even hear the ocean from this tent.
Last but not least, tent M1 is an accessible meadow tent. This classic tent has the same creature comforts and access features as the other accessible tents, except that it’s furnished with a king-sized bed, that can be converted into two beds if desired. This is also the most convenient accessible tent, as it’s located closest to the bathhouse, office and the meadow commons.
There’s also good access to the public areas at Mendocino Grove, including the meadow commons which features ramp access. A light breakfast is available there in the mornings, while tea fixings and water are set out the rest of the day. And if you just want a comfy place to lounge, then you can do that there too.
The bathhouse is located between the meadow commons and the office. The restrooms have a huge accessible stall and a roll-under sink, and there’s another roll-under sink located outside of the bathhouse. The private roll-in shower is also oversized, and it includes grab bars, a hand-held showerhead and a fold-down shower bench. Bath towels and organic bath products are also provided.
Additionally, some slow walkers may be able to use the standard facilities, which include low-step (three-inch) showers.
Before You Go
Although Mendocino Grove provides a good number of amenities there are still a few things you’ll need to bring from home. At the top of the list is an ice chest, food and your camping box. And don’t forget grilling utensils for the gas grills. If however you want to travel light – or don’t have a camping box — you can also rent one on site. It includes plates, drinking glasses, mugs, bowls, utensils, paper towels, pots, and a table cloth. And if you’d like to buy a s’mores kit, they have those in the office too.
There’s a nice collection of books and games in the office that are available for loan. The office has firewood bundles for sale as well. And although Mendocino Grove is an excellent place to unplug, if you absolutely have to connect to the real world, there’s Wi-Fi reception near the office.
Mendocino Grove is open from May through October, but it’s best to plan ahead, especially in the peak summer season. It’s a good idea to make summer reservations six months out, especially for the popular family tents. During the rest of the year, a two-month lead time should be sufficient. Either way, make plans now to enjoy this accessible redwood retreat.