Thank God for the art freaks. In the 1950s, Mendocino was falling apart, its tiny New England-style saltbox cottages decaying, the entire 19th-century fishing village nearly abandoned. Enter the bohemians, who fixed up the town and made it what it is today: a storybook village of rose-covered cottages, surrounded by white picket fences, on a rocky headland jutting into the icy-blue Pacific. No place on the California coast conjures the romance of Mendocino. Fog swirls like evanescing ghosts. The scent of jasmine and lavender floats on the salt air, while the ocean roars in the distance. Front-yard gardens explode in a riot of colors and fragrances. Beginning or renewing a love affair? Book a stay in Mendocino to seal the deal.