My husband and I are from Australia and driving along the Pacific Hwy from Portland Oregon to San Diego this September. We have planned to spend 5 days driving to San Francisco from Portland. We wish to stop and explore along the way. We have booked the first night at Coos Bay, then a couple of nights in Trinidad. My question is whether we should stay another night in Trinidad and a night around Mendocino, or two nights in each area? I’m open to all suggestions.
California is in the midst of a terrible fire season. I read that fires are raging near Mendocino. I think you should check the weather maps and forecasts. The fires seem to be widespread.
Hopefully you'll get advice from a local who knows the area, but here are a few things people have said about the area.
The weather is one of the main factors. If it rains a lot, it might affect your drive. Fog is also common, but that may not be an issue.
You may see more ocean near Mendocino, but the forest is more impressive further north.
It's really up to your personal preferences on the pace of the trip. The big question is whether you want to explore inland, in which case you probably want two nights instead of one. Otherwise, you could check out lots of beaches around Trinidad (California).
Mentioned in this answer: