Wellness, Sustainability + Style in a Weekend in Mendocino

While breakneck tourism has turned Napa and Sonoma from humble farmlands into playgrounds for the wealthy, Mendocino County is charting a different path.

With a focus on locally grown and harvested food, organic wine and cannabis, and outdoor wellness experiences, Mendo enhances its ecological good fortune with modern sustainability and style.


Explore the best of crisp county, from the Art Deco design of Bohemian Chemist’s estate-grown grass to the plant-based splendor of the Stanford Inn & Resort and elegant Café Beaujolais. Our Mendocino County weekend itinerary will help you do just that.

Friday Afternoon – Road Trip Through Anderson Valley

The Bohemian Chemist cannabis shop in Madrones on Philo.

(Shoshi Parks)

12:00: disco ranch

After a couple of hours in the car, the first order of business in Mendo is to fuel up with local delicacies. Neither a ranch nor a nightclub at Disco Ranch (for a fun story, ask owner Wendy Lamer how the name came to be), the shelves are packed to the brim with bottles, cheeses, charcuterie, preserves, and cultured snacks. in Mendo. , and much more. If you’re hungry, order some freshly prepared dishes of tasty tapas like piquillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese, dolmas and burgers to eat on the spacious outdoor patio. When you’ve cleared your plate, prepare for a proper picnic under the apple trees at Gowan’s (see below) and whatever else the weekend throws at you. // 14025 Highway 128 (Boonville), discorancho.com

13:00: The Strawberry Trees

Tucked away within Madrones, a Mediterranean village west of Boonville, are two tasting rooms and a vintage-charm cannabis apothecary worth stopping by. At Bohemian Chemist, organically grown flowers and concentrates grown on the estate and in Anderson Valley, along with other healing lotions, potions and edibles, are displayed in Art Deco style. Grab some “laughing smokes” for later, and then visit Mendo’s outpost of Napa Farm and Vineyards at Long Meadow Ranch to sample the pinot noirs, chardonnays, and pinot gris they sustainably produce on 69 acres near the Navarre river. If you have a little more time to spare, consider spending the night in one of the Madrones’ stately guest rooms, especially during their monthly cannabis-infused dinner, a seven-course meal loaded with microdoses of marijuana. // 9000 Hwy 128 (Edge), themadrones.com

3pm: Gowan Heirloom Ciders

A couple miles down the road, kick back at the rustic bar or sit with your Disco Ranch strain at California’s first cider tasting orchard. A sixth-generation family farm nearly 150 years old, Gowan’s distills its heirloom and heirloom apples into multiple award-winning ciders ranging from crisp and refreshing Granstein Apple Wine to Cinnamon & Clove Spiced Apple Cider, which you can heat with a dollop of whipped cream. Do a full tasting or order a couple of bottles to accompany your picnic. And don’t forget the apple chutneys, they are a great way to enhance your cheese and charcuterie. // 6320 CA-128 (Edge), gowansheirloomcider.com

Friday Night: Plant-Based Wellness at Stanford Inn & Resort

An executive king room on the top floor at Stanford Inn.

(Courtesy of Stanford Inn)

five pm: Stanford Inn & Resort

Wrapped on a coastal hillside overlooking the bay is one of Mendocino’s most sustainable gems, the Stanford Inn & Resort. After a day on the road, check into this dog-friendly Shangri-la, just across the river from the city of Mendo, which is known for its flourishing organic gardens, plant-based cuisine, and quiet offering of wellness. Wood paneling and fireplaces warm the cozy rooms, while the pool, dry sauna and jacuzzi are installed under the glass roof of an oversized, light-filled conservatory. Nearly everything at Stanford is designed to reset, restore, and revitalize you inside and out, from daily yoga and Pilates to gardening and cooking classes, nature tours, mushroom walks, and massage treatments. The resort’s mini donkeys, llamas and horses are the icing on the eco-friendly cake. // 44850 Comptche Ukiah Rd. (Mendocino), bannerdinn.com

7:00 p.m.: Ravens Restaurant

Sit down for dinner at Stanford’s Ravens restaurant, which was a plant-based pioneer before plants were a thing. The organic restaurant, which sources some of its produce and herbs from the gardens below, has a menu that expertly weaves together local and global flavors. Cruelty-free dishes like maple tamari glazed tofu, local sea palm and root vegetable strudel in sesame puff pastry, and Thai red curry with kabocha squash are hearty and bursting with flavor. Keep an eye out for special menus that celebrate Mendocino’s seasonal bounty, like the mid-November mushroom-focused four-course meal. // 44850 Comptche Ukiah Rd. (Mendocino), stanfordinn.com

Saturday: Big River + Mendocino Village

Catch Canoe’s dog-friendly outrigger on the Big River.

(Courtesy of @vietmac)

11am: Catch a canoe and bikes too

On the banks of the Big River, at the edge of the Stanford Inn, Catch a Canoe rents outrigger boats to float through Mendocino’s serene turquoise waters. Even if you’ve never canoeed or kayaked before, the sturdy vessels, which are steered by foot rudders rather than oars, are easy to navigate through the channel and around the resident seals and herons. Reserve your outrigger in advance to spend a couple of hours or a full day paddling. Order a breakfast packed lunch to take on the trip and don’t forget your pup, they are welcome to join the trip. Prefer to keep solid ground under your feet? Reserve a bike, instead (free for inn guests). The 10-mile-long Big River Trail is just across the water from the store. // 10051 S. Great River Rd. (Mendocino), catchacanoe.com

7:00 p.m.: Café Beaujolais

It’s tempting not to leave Stanford, but with picturesque Mendocino just across the bridge, it would be criminal not to make a trip into town. Dinner is the perfect opportunity. Inside a historic Victorian farmhouse, you’ll find Cafe Beaujolais. This longtime village favorite serves exquisite dishes showcasing local ingredients (think wild mushroom risotto and eight-hour fettuccine Bolognese) along with a menu of local wines ideal for getting a taste of the regional terroir. The property is also home to two more recent additions: The Brickery, a wood-fired oven pizzeria (open for lunch only) and the Waiting Room, a cozy lounge that wakes you up with coffee and artisan pastries and goes to bed with beer and wine. . // 961 Ukiah Street (Mendocino), cafebeajolais.com

Sunday: Botanical Garden, Wine + Cheese

Mendocino Coastal Botanical Gardens at Ft. Bragg.

(Courtesy of @mendocinocoastbotanicalgardens)

10 a.m.: Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Whether the morning is moody with fog or sunny and bright, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens will take your breath away. Head to the 47-acre conservatory after breakfast (non-members must purchase tickets online in advance) to stroll among ethereal mounds of heather and heather and plump fuchsia, dahlia and begonia blossoms. Since this is Mendocino, the gardens are also home to more than 160 species of mushrooms, which you can learn more about on the weekly mushroom walks. On nights between Thanksgiving and December, the Festival of Lights illuminates the waterfront estate with installations twinkling in vivid color. // 18220 N. Highway 1 (Fort Bragg), gardenbythesea.org

12:30 pm: Pennyroyal Farm

On your way back to the bay, stop at Pennyroyal Farms in Boonville. Cap off your weekend with a final pinot and sauv blanc tasting at Navarro Vineyards’ sister winery. At the farm shop, you can pick up cheese wedges made at the on-site dairy, along with olive oil, dulce de leche, and some pre-made frozen meals that will thaw enough along the way to pop into the oven. when you get home. Don’t leave without saying hello to the goats! // 14930 Highway 128 (Boonville), pennyroyalfarm.com

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