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Festival of Lights begins this week!


Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, 47 acres of botanical bliss fronting the Pacific Ocean


Media Kit – Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens


As a nonprofit botanical garden, our mission is to engage and enrich lives by displaying and conserving plants in harmony with our Northern California coastal ecosystems and to preserve public access to the coast. 


The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens (MCBG) showcases the best of the remarkable natural beauty that draws visitors to Mendocino County from around the world. It is a gift to our community and to the 86,000 visitors who stroll our pathways each year. The Gardens is a place filled with botanical wonders and simple pleasures. This special place has a long history of talented individuals who have contributed their creativity and skills to make the Gardens a memorable place. Gardens’ founders, Ernest and Betty Schoefer (founded in 1961) created a garden of spectacular flowering beauty. Early pictures show gardens full of color. Our Gardens are a living museum of plants and ecosystems. Like a museum, we must preserve and protect our specimens for purposes of education, research, conservation, historic preservation, and of course beauty. Through the years, gifted staff, board members, and volunteers have together created this remarkable place. It is a place of community for kindred spirits who enjoy nature and the botanical wonders in these 47 acres to the sea. 

Map of the Gardens



Rhododendrons: California’s North Coast is one of the few places on earth in which every type of rhododendron thrives. As of 2018, the MCBG collection includes over 124 species of rhododendrons and 315 taxa. More than 1,000 rhododendrons can be seen blooming throughout the Gardens during peak bloom in April and May. Each year, the Noyo Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society partners with the Gardens to host California's largest Rhododendron Show.

Dahlias: The Dahlia Garden is one of the most favored locations at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. The Gardens' collection of dahlias consists of more than 400 individual plants representing 150 varieties. The riotous blooms of mid to late-summer provide an exquisite palette for artists and a glorious backdrop for weddings

Conifers: Our collection contains nearly 200 different varieties of conifers and has been designated an American Conifer Society Reference Garden because of the breadth of our collection. 

Heaths and Heathers: In 1982, the first trial plantings of heather cultivars were added to our garden. In 2010, the American Public Gardens Association recognized the Heath and Heather Collection at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens as a Collection of National Significance. It includes 143 species of naturally occurring hybrids and cultivars of Calluna, Daboecia, and Erica

CamelliasMCBG's collection includes approximately 11 cultivars, interspecific hybrids, and numerous species. In fact, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has the largest species collection on the West Coast! Our collection is a part of the American Camellia Society's American Camellia Trial Gardens.

Native Upland and Riparian Areas:– More than half of the Gardens 47 acres is managed to protect native ecosystems. These areas consist of closed-cone pine forests, fern canyons, and coastal bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Other Attractions: Magnolias, Roses, Begonias, Fuchsias, Succulents, Perennial Garden, Staghorn Fern, Wild Mushrooms, and an organic demonstration Vegetable Garden


Forbes magazineTen Ultra-Romantic Road Trips By Car Or Recreation Vehicle—Safe, Scenic, Sensual, Lea Lane

NBC Bay Area News "Worth the Trip"A Pacific-Close Garden Takes Its Holiday Lights Online, Alysia Gray Painter

Los Angeles TimesWhere to see the best holiday lights in the West, April Orcutt

ForbesMushrooms Are Having A Moment In Mendocino County, Leslie Kelly

The American GardenerRAP Gardens in Focus: Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Viveka Neveln

Better Homes & Gardens8 Most Instagram-Worthy Botanical Gardens in the U.S., Emily VanSchmus

NBC Bay Area News "Worth the Trip"Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens to Gorgeously Glimmer, Alysia Gray Painter

Pacific Horticulture SocietyGiant Staghorn Fern Finds New Home at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Roxanne Perkins

Via MagazineBest Pet Destinations

San Francisco ChronicleThe 10 best things to do in Mendocino County, Robert Earle Howells 


History: Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens was founded in 1961 by Ernest and Betty Schoefer. The Grand Opening of the Gardens was in 1966. By 1992, the Gardens' property had been purchased with grants from the California Coastal Conservancy and transferred to the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District (MCRPD). The property and the botanical gardens have since been under the care of Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens Preservation Corporation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization.

SettingLocated on 47 acres running from California Highway 1 to the Pacific Ocean, this magnificent site includes manicured gardens, canyons, coastal bluffs, wetlands, and a closed-cone pine forest. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is one of only a few public gardens with direct ocean frontage. Our mild maritime climate allows us to grow a wide range of tender species that cannot survive the cold or heat of more northern, southern, or inland locations. MCBG is located approximately 4 hours north of the San Francisco Bay Area and 3.5 to 4 hours northwest of the Sacramento region. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is located on the west side of State Highway One at 18220 North Highway 1 near Fort Bragg, California.

Governance: Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is governed by an eleven-member Board of Directors that is elected annually by its members. 

Staff: The Gardens has 10 full-time employees, 18 part-time or seasonal employees, a 9-member board, and 150 active volunteers. 

Botanical Significance: The proximity of the Pacific Ocean provides a temperate climate where frosts rarely occur. Combined with a lack of summer heat, this produces a unique climate, enabling the Gardens to grow a wide variety of tender species from around the world. The Gardens also contain several native plant communities and various rare species, including the Mendocino Paintbrush, Castilleja mendocinensis. We are an American Conifer Society Reference Garden, and our Heath & Heather Garden is an  American Public Gardens Association Collection of National Significance. 

Regional Significance: Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is the most visited cultural institution on the North Coast. With more than 85,500 visitors per year, the Gardens has a significant and positive economic impact on the region. 

Cultural-Historical Significance: The Gardens contain a Native American shell mound, a pioneer graveyard dating to the turn of the 20th century, and a historic farmhouse associated with early agricultural use of the coastal bluffs. 

2021 Major Events

To be announced...

Press inquiry contact:
Roxanne Perkins
Marketing Manager
707 964-4352 ext. 22

Requests for press passes:
Requests must be submitted a minimum of 72 hours in advance of your visit. A limited number of media passes are available for the Gardens' major events. Written or emailed requests must include credentials, complete contact information, and a proposal for your piece,  including target audience and how the piece will be disseminated (online, social media, print, etc.). We ask that you provide follow-up by emailing links or sending a print copy. 

Photo/video requests:
Please email our Marketing Manager for high-resolution images and additional information about the Gardens. 

Filming/Photography Guidelines:
We welcome amateur and professional videographers/photographers to visually document our 47-acre garden by the sea. Please read Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens' Commercial Film/Photography Guidelines prior to planning your session. 

Regular admission and entry procedures apply for non-commercial filming/photography that is intended for private use as long as the session does not impact the grounds or visitors. Examples include but are not limited to garden/nature photography, weddings and other private events, engagements, and proms.

Commercial filming/photography includes amateur or professional images that will be sold or used in promotional material. Commercial sessions must be scheduled in advance and a representative must read and sign the MCBG Commercial Film/Photography Agreement. Email our Marketing Manager for details.