A few month ago, Thomas and I made a quick two day, one night trip up to Mendocino County. We left early in the morning from SF, reaching the town of Mendocino around 9am. For being only 3 hours away from San Francisco it’s surprising that we’ve never visited Mendocino together before. I’d only been once before a few years ago when my sister and I took our mom for her birthday (it’s her favorite place) and had such a wonderful, peaceful weekend there.
Upon arrival, we stopped for coffee and an early morning pick-me-up treat at GoodLife Cafe & Bakery. Next, we were on to exploring the neighborhoods of this small, charming coastal town. If you’ve never been before, Mendocino town is a great place for a relaxing weekend, regardless of the weather. It’s sprinkled with adorable Bed and Breakfast’s (I’ve stayed at Brewery Gulch Inn a few years back and loved it). There is a 1960’s vibe still alive and well in Mendocino town, evident by some of the small, artsy shops and whimsical decor.
As we pulled into town we noticed a beautiful view along the coastline with the town of Mendocino in the background. We turned off onto Brewery Gulch Road to take these pictures (above on the right). We drove back to Mendocino town and decided to keep exploring despite the drizzle of rain that hard started. We found this beautiful spot at the tip of the Mendocino peninsula near Goat Island (above on the left). Half way through our day, we were hit with a small rainstorm that didn’t seem to want to blow off, so we we drove a bit more up the coast to Fort Bragg in search of fish and chips at a place in the harbor to find shelter from the rain.
After lunch, we back tracked from our drive earlier that day, heading to the Anderson Valley. The coastline in Mendocino County is striking, but just as beautiful is the Anderson Valley. Rolling hills of vineyards with sheep dotting the landscape. While not as famous as neighboring Sonoma and Napa Valley, the wines that come out of this region are fantastic, especially the Pinot Noirs and White Wine varieties.
As I mentioned, we spent one night in Mendocino. This time, we stayed in Philo, near Boonville, at a working farm called, Philo Apple Farm. The Farm was a breath of fresh air from the city. Guests are free to walk around the farm as long as they’re not in anyone’s way. They provide you with maps of trails to follow along through the property and into the woods. We hung out with the chickens, walked through the bare apple tree orchard (I wanted to go back during apple season!) and played with the dogs on the property.
Breakfast was simple – a spread of toast or granola and juice or coffee available for guests during a two hour window. While in for breakfast, you’re bound to run into the owner of the farm. She bought the property years ago after moving from Napa. She says she likes the speed and authenticity that the Mendocino area has been able to maintain over the years. We are planning on returning in the future for one of their cooking weekends and hopefully their apple trees will be full of apples ripe for picking! I know it’s not even summer yet, but it makes me already wish for autumn.