mendocino county directory

Mendocino Area Directory: Elk / Greenwood

Sleepy Town with Two Names

S-curves climbing from Greenwood Creek urge you to slow down as you enter Elk. Your first impression is likely to be one of a sleepy town with limited services, but this has to be one of the liveliest, most pleasant little towns hiding along the Mendocino Coast.

This tiny former logging town and doghole port offers a pleasantly diverse mix of lodgings and eating establishments which are among the best on the Mendocino Coast. While the town’s other businesses are few in number, their quality and diversity are also notable. The old-fashioned, small town atmosphere may be the perfect antidote for the stress of modern urban life.

Elk’s dramatic natural setting makes it feel more isolated than it actually is. Mendocino lies just 30 minutes up the road, and Anderson Valley’s wine region nestles amidst the coastal hills to the east, not far away by another short, scenic drive.

Elk provides numerous seasonal events and celebrations. The local Catholic community has celebrated St. Patrick’s Day for more than 100 years. And you can count on the Fourth 0f July to provide traditional local festivities. Other dances and community events revolve around the Greenwood Community Center throughout most of the year. The community’s biggest party falls in the sparkling days of mid-September when Great Day In Elk turns the entire area out for a Saturday filled with home grown festivities culminating in an evening dinner and dance which, while thoroughly modern, also harks back to the isolated town’s golden days when three dance halls and several outdoor platforms provided weekly entertainment. A Christmas Crafts Fair in early December brings many talented residents down from the hills.

When you first arrive in this placid little town, sitting snugly atop its ocean cliffs and looking out upon a dazzling sea bejeweled by immense sea stacks, it is difficult to imagine all the history and changes wrought by the 140 years since its first settlers arrived. But Elk’s history lies close to the surface, perhaps because the town never became too large to forget, but especially because its natural beauty caused some of the settlers to stay on, allowing them to pass the history on to the new arrivals.

Robert Lorentzen, The Mendocino Coast Glovebox Guide


Harbor House Inn

Elegant lodging and dining overlooking the sea in Greenwood/Elk

5600 S. Hwy 1, Elk / Greenwood ; phone: 707-877-3203 or 800-720-7474

Features: beach access | fireplaces | gardens | historic building | ocean view rooms


Three bedroom, two bath vacation rental with ocean views

Elk / Greenwood

Features: ocean view rooms


box 1495, Mendocino, CA 95460

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