Summer Guide to Exploring Mendocino County
While Northern California spoils us through every season of the year, summertime is truly where it shines—and we’re taking in every second! Whether you’re adventuring out in the Anderson Valley, making memories in Mendocino, or tasting the flavors of Philo, there is an abundance of summer fun to be had and we’re here to share a few ideas to help you get started.
Get your Beauty Sleep
*Photo via Instagram @mendocino_grove
The most important thing to establish for days packed with food and adventure is your rest. Fortunately, Mendocino County offers a variety of lodging options to best fit your comfort and travel needs. If you’re a camping adventurer, explore the coast for breathtaking beach views at KOA Campgrounds Manchester Beach or have a serene experience within the trees at Hendy Woods State Park. Need more comfort but still seeking the outdoors? Check out the amazing and super stylish amenities at Mendocino Grove for the ultimate glamping experience.
For those looking for a more standard lodging experience, the county also has some amazing unique hotel options. Just off of Highway 128, you’ll find The Indian Creek Inn—a remote and quiet inn with home-style lodging and easy access to wineries, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Another picturesque, country-side stay is the Farm Stay Inn at Blackbird Farm, which will allow you to indulge in homemade farm meals and coffee in their 100-year-old farmhouse, followed by a stroll through the neighboring Redwood forest. Cruising over to the coast, there’s the Point Arena Lighthouse, where you’ll see spectacular ocean views, explore the grounds and museum, and enjoy some local wine and chocolates. Further north along the coast, you’ll come across the Heritage House. A pet-friendly hotel with ocean views right outside your room, an on-site spa, and 37 acres of oceanfront trails, gardens, and forest paths for walking, running, or hiking, you can’t go wrong with a stay there.
Explore Mother Nature
*Photo via Instagram @smilinginsonoma
Nothing says summertime like getting outside! And with perfectly warm weather in Mendocino County, there is so much to do. Trek through one of the many Redwood forests in the area, such as the Navarro River Redwoods State Park, or Van Damme State Park. Or just beach it for the day at any of the coastal beaches along Mendocino County, including Fort Bragg/Glass Beach, Mendocino Headlands, Point Arena, or Gualala.
For those adventure seekers out there, Kayak Mendocino offers professionally guided sea cave tours to get you up close and personal with marine life. Not ready to take on the high seas? Go horseback riding on the shores or through the forests at Ricochet Ridge Ranch. Or ride the rails on Fort Bragg Skunk Train Depot on your choice of a two-person pedal-powered Railbike or the famous 130-year-old rail line by train. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Annual Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show, happening September 17-19, open 9 am to midnight each day. Dating all the way back to 1924 when it first opened, this old-time harvest festival has plenty of fun to offer everyone—young and old!
Feed your Soul
*Photo via Instagram @trilliumcafeandinn
Luckily, for all you foodies out there, you really can’t go wrong no matter where you are in the area, so we recommend going somewhere that fits best with your schedule. If you’re making your way up from the south, stop in Boonville at Lauren’s Good Food for a delicious and locally sourced meal (you can even grab a glass of our very own Lula Cellars wine there!). For those already in the Philo area, a trip to Lemon’s Market is a must! A one-stop shop, you can grab snacks, produce, sandwiches, and daily fresh fish straight from Mr. Lemon’s fishing boat!
Up north in the heart of Mendocino, you’ll find the quaint Trillium Cafe. Enjoy their beautiful locally grown food on-site for some amazing ocean views, or venture out with one of their fully sanitized picnic boxes, which include everything you need for your meal (plus it makes for a totally insta-worthy setup!). Finally, for your fancy fix, drive south of Mendocino to Elk and find Harbor House Inn. As the first restaurant in Mendocino County to receive a Michelin Star in 2019, they offer a decadent 11-course, seafood-focused tasting menu, as well as a more casual option of a la carte snacks on their ocean-view deck.
Satisfy your Thirst
With good food, comes good wine: enter Lula Cellars! We’re located in the revered “Deep End” of the Anderson Valley, with picturesque views and four-legged companions always by your side. For just $10, enjoy a delicious variety of our current release award-winning wines while overlooking our stunning Estate vineyards. As soon as you arrive, you’ll be welcomed by our official Greeter and Barketing Intern Kepler, and during your tasting, you may catch wind of some jokes from Kepler’s dad, Tasting Room Manager Dan Reed!
So, whether you plan on taking to the seas, tickling your taste buds, or just relaxing on a weekend away, you’re bound to have a blast exploring Mendocino County this summer—and we can’t wait to be a part of your adventure with a one-of-a-kind Lula Cellars Tasting!