Greenwood State Beach is located in Elk, about 20 miles south of Mendocino Village and 10 miles south of the Navarro River and Highway 128. Visitor Center open March-October 11 am-1 pm, 707-937-5804
This is a small beach–a hundred yards wide–you access down a wide, easy switchback. There are no picnic benches, but usually plenty of big logs to sit on. I say “usually” because big winter storms give and they take away. One day the beach will be barren of wood and following a storm you might see a section of a giant redwood there. That’s how powerful the waves are.
You can also sit on picnic benches on the bluff above the beach and look down at the ocean.
If you aren’t picnicking, I recommend you walk across the street and have breakfast or lunch at Queenie’s Roadhouse, the best breakfast place on the coast. It’s closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It’s a locals hangout. But tourists love it, too.