A Taste of Mendocino

A Taste of Mendocino


Posted 2023-01-22 by Kathleen Messmerfollow

I've only ever been to Mendocino twice in my life. Once on an incredible solo trip to Glass Beach on a New Year's Eve for two glorious days, the other recently when I attended Taste Mendocino, an annual event that attracts hundreds to share in all the flavors, tastes, smells, and fun Mendocino has to offer. An incredible experience.

Mendocino is so much more than craggy, rugged coastlines, redwoods, and gorgeous B&Bs. I was unaware it was also a wine region.

When people think of California wine, their minds automatically go to the Napa or Sonoma areas. Even mine. But, lest you remain uninformed, Mendocino County has plenty of "liquid assets" visitors can experience with just as many winemaking styles. With 50 wineries and growing, you're sure to find at least one that suits you. Guaranteed.

Along the Highway 128 Wine Road and a few other areas like Westport on the coast and the Redwood Valley, you'll have no lack of stops to make. A limo to drive you around or just a designated driver would be a great idea so you can enjoy all that great wine you'll be sampling. Or, you could go back every weekend until you hit them all. It may take a year or so, but Mendocino is worth the time.

But wine isn't all Mendocino can boast about. They have a burgeoning art scene as well. In Fort Bragg, you can see the vibrant murals that are part of the Alleyway Art Project. Then there's the fall Plein Air Festival where you can sit on the cliffs next to the Pacific Ocean and paint like you're Monet or Cezanne, even if you're not. There's also the Dance Project, Sundays in the Park, the Mendocino Film Festival, Open Studios, the Mendocino Music Festival, museums, and galleries galore. All this is without the stuffy attitudes you may find in many larger communities.

Another fun experience is tasting all the varieties of hard ciders at Gowan's Heirloom Cider. Woman-owned and operated by Sharon Gowan, the ciders are so tasty you hardly know you're drinking hard cider. Each has distinct flavor notes, and you'll be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Or so they say.

Want to ride over scenic trestle bridges, through great tunnels, or make your way through old-growth redwood groves? Indulge yourself in the Skunk Train. These were some of the first tracks laid in 1885 and have carried passengers ever since.

There are also Rail Bikes. As you silently breeze through the ancient Redwoods, you'll cross over incredible wooden trestle bridges and journey into a piece of Mendocino County few people can witness. You can also bring your pups, as crates are now available for an extra $30. The weight limit is 150 pounds, and the price includes a complimentary dog bandana and treat - a very cool pet perk for Fido.

Speaking of pet perks, in Mendocino County, "pet friendly" is much more than in other places, where it's just bowls of water on the patio for your fur baby. Outdoor activities, fancy restaurants, wine tasting, and luxury accommodations are all available to your pets. Check out the complete pet-friendly guide. Your fur friends will love you furever.

The people of Mendocino County are what make it one of the coolest, laid-back communities in Northern California. You'll be among friends if you want to go to the symphony in jeans, boots, and a button-up shirt. It's just that kind of place. Listening to good music, drinking exceptional wines or craft beer, and being cultured doesn't mean you have to wear a tux or an evening gown.

The community here seemingly has it all, right there in their very own county, for all to see and experience. A feature a lot of people crave and yearn to find regularly. Give yourself a treat and visit. You deserve it, and you will never be the same again.

Go. You know you want to.

93910 - 2023-06-12 01:04:57


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