It’s time to revisit our Mendocino County Bucket List and give you some new ideas of what to experience on your next trip to the happy place we call home!
We’re not kidding…
Spring is just about here! The delightful goats and their kids at Pennyroyal Farm are well worth a visit by the entire family. And not just because they’re so darn cute! The cheese made from the milk they produce is unique and truly outstanding in flavor and provenance. Start the day with a tour of the farm hosted by the friendly staff. Meet the goats who each have a name… they are named after world capitals, rivers, constellations, and more. Head back to the tasting room, where Fido can join you on the patio, and enjoy tasty bites served with estate wines. Stick around till the evening and join the Wednesday night supper club, or stay the night and enjoy Sunday brunch.
Tip: Saunter into town and stay at the Boonville Hotel where casual elegance sets the tone. Just across the street, Farmhouse Mercantile tempts the pocketbook with items you didn’t even know you needed!
Paddle Your Own Canoe
Big River is just the place to spend the day exploring. First stake out your mode of transportation: watercraft, bike, or Shank’s pony (that’s walking…!). We love the outrigger canoe rides offered at Catch A Canoe, located on the south side of the river. The locally made canoes are hand crafted from salvaged redwood and are incredibly stable and very easy to control. Call ahead to check on the tides. Bring along your four-legged companion … the canoes are dog-friendly! Be prepared to watch harbor seals snoozing in the sun, see river otters frolic along the banks, and watch the graceful flight of Great Blue Herons as they search for their next meal. CAC also offers bike rentals to explore the area and, of course, there’s always just taking a stroll.
Tip: Rest your weary head at the Stanford Inn where hospitality is the star. This pet-friendly eco-resort provides an escape for the busy mind and weary body with an onsite wellness center, plant-based cuisine and bountiful gardens.
As The Tide Turns
Governed by the moon, the tides flow in and out every day leaving behind myriad life in the pools above the tideline. No… tidepools are not just for the kids! On your next trip, take a detour to another world that lives on the edges of the ocean. Our favorite spots are the Mendocino Headlands and MacKerricher State Park. When the water recedes, we get to see a world that landlubbers rarely encounter. Sea stars and starfish slumber in the salty waters while shy Mr. Octopus changes color every time we sneak a look. Pretty to look at, but not so good for our native abalone, sea urchins thrive while tiny fish play hide and seek among the rocks and seaweed. Take a moment to look out to sea to spy grey whales on their annual voyage.
Tip: Scan the horizon for grey whales as they cruise the coast and check out the Noyo Center for Marine Science exhibit at the Crow’s Nest on the Noyo Headlands Trail. Stay at the Beachcomber Motel for ocean views for miles!
OK, we like wine and we love wine tasting along the Inspiration Highway that stretches from Hopland to the north county. Plan a trip to explore the 15 wineries that dot the area. Stop in at Terra Sávia where you can sample olive oil from their stone press and admire the eclectic art. The Solar Living Center provides a calm central oasis and the chance to pedal some sun power! Stroll the downtown wineries, “Sip and Savor” at The Golden Pig or enjoy la dolce vita on the terrace at Piazza de Campovida. Just up the highway, the Jeriko and Saracina estates offer elegant surroundings for wine aficionados. We love the views at RIVINO where Jason and Susanne have created an idyllic venue for wine and music with food and friends!
Tip: Head to the woods for a night or two at Orr Hot Springs. This clothing-optional resort is deep in the redwood forest west of Ukiah. Old-growth groves at Montgomery Woods are just a short drive away.