by , SmarterTravel Staff
California: Mendocino (Photo: Thinkstock/Jupiterimages)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on November 14, 2010. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, Alitalia, Bing Travel, Bulgaria, destination, Expedia, family travel, Go-today, hotel, Italy, Jaclyn Liechti, Lonely Planet, low season, Marrakech, Mendocino, Morocco, Orbitz, Philadelphia, Rome, Sofia, Travelocity, vacation package, winter.

Temperate weather and days by the sea bring visitors to Mendocino throughout the summer, but oenophiles and food enthusiasts can expect only slightly cooler temperatures (with more rain) during the winter. This coastal California county packs in plenty of activities throughout the seasons, and the off-peak can be the best time to grab affordable prices.

I compared hotel prices in Mendocino during high and low seasons and found savings of up to $110.

Hotel Off-Peak Rate Peak Rate
Seabird Lodge $88 $139
Hill House Inn, Deluxe Oceanview $186 $296
Emerald Dolphin Inn, Queen $75 $115

Off-peak rates are based on weekend stays between January and April; peak travel prices are based on weekend stays in July and August. All prices were found using individual hotel websites and do not include taxes and fees.

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Mendocino stands out this year as a Bing Travel Top Destination for 2010 (along with Philly) for its under-the-radar wineries and beautiful scenery. Hotels are offering packages throughout the winter months, especially for festivals such as the Crab and Wine Days in January. For instance, Sea Rock Inn has special midweek rates through February 3 starting at $169 per night (without taxes and fees). At Alegria Oceanfront Inn & Cottages, guests can take $50 off each night for two-night midweek stays or $80 off each night for three- or four-night midweek stays through March, and $20 off each night for two-night weekend stays through January. The property also offers a Winter Nirvana Package that includes two nights' accommodations, an in-room massage, breakfast, and chocolates starting at $275 through January 31. A wine tour package at the Brewery Gulch Inn through December 19 includes 10 percent off midweek rates and 10 percent off the Anderson Valley Wine Tour when you book a two-night stay.

For more information, specials, and packages, check out the Visit Mendocino County website.

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