Kelley House Museum ~ Walking Tours
Discover the charm and history of Mendocino on one of our walking tours, which have been described as “fun, engaging, and informative.” We offer both live and self-guided tours.
Our most popular tour, the Historic District Tour below, takes about 2 hours and can be booked online through Airbnb or by emailing us in advance. We offer several other specialty tours by request only, with a minimum of 2 people. Scroll down for more information on these tours.
HISTORIC DISTRICT TOUR
$20 per person, 2 hours
Visit New England-style pioneer homes, learn why Mendocino was known as the city of water towers, and discover the secrets of the iconic “Time and the Maiden” statue. Enjoy Mendocino’s rich cultural heritage, from the Pomo tribes that lived here for thousands of years, to the European and Chinese immigrants who built the town you see today. Drop-ins welcome.
All tours meet by the flagpole on the Kelley House lawn. If you choose to book online you will be taken to the Airbnb site. You may also request your date by emailing us in advance.
Narrated, self-guided tours cover some of the same topics as our live tours and are a great way to tour the town at your convenience. The “Taste of Mendocino” is a free tour that gives you a broad overview of Mendocino’s history in four stops, along with recommended food to try along your route. Additional in-depth tours are available for $9.99.
On every self-guided tour, stops are accompanied by historic photos, a map to orient you, and the option to have the tour read aloud to you while you walk or drive.
Simply search for “Kelley House Tour” in the App store and download onto your phone or tablet, or click on the desired link below:
We are happy to take you on any of the following specialty tours. Simply call or email us with your requested dates.
Water Towers of Mendocino
$20 / 2 hours
Discover why Mendocino was once known as “The Town of Water Towers.” This tour will illuminate the mechanics and history of a dozen different iconic water towers from Mendocino’s logging era. Admire the oldest, tallest, and prettiest, and find out where you can spend the night in one. Two person minimum.
$20 / 2 hours
Some of the best views in Mendocino are enjoyed by the dearly departed. Hear the stories of some of the most colorful residents of this 19th Century logging town, including Mendocino’s pre-eminent builder, who also happened to be the undertaker, and Cinderella, who lived near the cemetery and played a very mischievous prank on a local drunkard. Two person minimum.
Murder, She Wrote Tour
$20/ 1.5 hours
Murder, She Wrote fans will enjoy this tour of the landmarks that appeared in the hit TV show starring Angela Lansbury, including the 1888 Victorian residence of her mystery-solving character Jessica Fletcher. From 1984-1996, over 264 episodes of Murder, She Wrote were broadcast on TV, and you can still watch it on most streaming platforms.
$20 / 2 hours
Interested in local history but can’t walk through town? Local historian Katy Tahja will lead this tour from a comfortable chair in the Kelley House parlor and will cover roughly the same information you’d get on a walking tour, only you won’t be walking, you’ll be listening to stories and looking at photos while seated. She can customize the tour to provide information specific to your particular areas of interest. One person minimum.
Here’s what Walking Tour participants are saying!
A truly wonderful two hours exploring – and understanding – the history of this remarkable gem of a village.
This infusion of enthusiasm made the 2 hours fly by.
A wonderful and informative tour of Mendocino filled with anecdotes of the founding families, and fascinating details of the architectural design and planning of the town.
Learned so much about the town’s rise from a logger town to an eventual artist community. Too cool!
Sarah’s style of storytelling was casual and jovial which made the tour a lot pleasurable.
A superb walking tour. Jane tells the history of Mendocino with enthusiasm and a twinkle in her eye.
Anne was an excellent guide. Her knowledge was great and her anecdotes very funny.
Juliet does a masterful job of weaving stories with facts and a dash of fun. Great insights with tidbits of interesting side notes.
Dave was so informative and approachable, and the experience was incredibly relaxing.