A fun way to explore Mendocino County is to ditch the car once you've arrived and get around by bus, bike, and hike! Here are a few suggestions for a new way of seeing the county.
Thanks to Suzanne Pletcher for the idea and words!
Anderson Valley Bus ‘n’ Bike Winery Tour
Overview: This daytrip for active wine-lovers offers the best of Mendocino’s wine region and features tastings of world-class wines from Scharffenberger, Goldeneye, Husch, Handley, Navarro Vineyards, and many smaller family-owned boutique vineyards. Most tastings are free, and when paired with a leisurely bike ride through one of the prettiest valleys anywhere, it’s a great way to spend a day.
Bike Note: Each MTA bus has a rack for 2 bikes on front and drivers will accommodate several more inside, space permitting. Call 800-696-4MTA (4682) for more info.
Out and Back Roundtrip Starts at: Any lodging establishment in the Town of Mendocino
Trip Description: Ride your bikes a few blocks to the redwood shelter at Main Street and Lansing in Mendocino and meet the southbound 8:17 a.m. MTA Route 60 bus. Ride the bus to the Navarro River Junction stop where you’ll transfer to the 8:50 a.m. Route 75 bus that will transport you north on highway 128 to your destination town of Boonville. Along the way, you’ll pass through a splendid redwood forest and preview the picturesque wineries and farms that host tastings you can indulge in during on your bicycle ride back toward the coast. The bus will unload you and your bikes in Boonville at 9:55. In Boonville, stock up on baked goodies and specialty coffees at Lauren’s, Mosswood Market, Boonville General Store, or any other of the great eateries in town. Then hop on your bikes for the ride back to Navarro, first along bucolic Anderson Valley Way (first left after Mountain View Road) and then on highway 128’s broad shoulder, stopping at any winery or farm of your choice. Catch the 4:15 p.m. bus back to Mendocino from the Navarro General Store.
Total Bike Mileage: 14.4 miles without side trips, average flat to slightly downhill.
Map of Anderson Valley wineries
MTA Online Bus Schedule and Route Map
Total Roundtrip Transportation Cost (bikes are free): About $8/pp; $4/pp over age 62.
Coastal Points of Interest Tour
Overview: Visit Mendocino coast parks and attractions without the hassle and expense (Russian Gulch State Park) of parking a car. Just hop on the MTA Route 5 BraggAbout bus and the MTA Route 60 Coaster bus and ask the driver to drop you off at your choice of the following destinations: Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Caspar Beach, Russian Gulch State Park, Jughandle State Park, and Town of Mendocino.
Out and Back Roundtrip Starts at: Any lodging establishment in historic Fort Bragg
Trip Description: From any Fort Bragg hotel, catch the MTA Route 5 BraggAbout bus heading south to the Boatyard stop at Harvest Market in time to catch the MTA Route 60 bus leaving at either 7:40 a.m. or 11:57 a.m. Ask the driver to drop you off at the destination of your choice. Walkers enjoy lower entry fees to some parks. Catch a return MTA Route 60 bus heading north from Mendocino back to Fort Bragg at 12:32, 3:32 and 5:07 p.m.
MTA Route Map: http://mendocinotransit.org/routes/routes-5-and-60/
Total Transportation Cost: $6/pp; $3/pp over age 62