78 South Bay Accent Most certainly. And you can be sure that Snow White would have sent Grumpy and Dopey packing. Mendo is no place for anyone who isn’t Happy, whether a fanciful dwarf or real visitor. Invite your beloved to step into the pages of a storybook of your choosing as you unpack the grandeur of Mendocino County together. Four hours north of the South Bay, Mendo unfurls over 3,800 square miles of pristine coastline and rogue wilderness. Its terrain spans over 20 communities and is home to 90,000 inhabitants, many of whom are independent thinkers, poets, potters and cultivators of clandestine crops. These free spirited locals gravitate to activities that indulge a passion for a close connection to nature and a blissful distance from social media. The zigzag route along Highway 1 from San Francisco draws you past ocean sea stacks, under redwood canopies and up scenic precipices. An alternate route along the Navarro River winds you through the quaint hamlets of Philo, Boonville and Little River. Stop off for sightseeing, even if only for a stroll through the Sequoias or a pint at a local brewery. Early settlers made their mark in this neck of the woods. Only in Mendocino will you find Point Cabrillo Light Station, the tallest lighthouse on the West Coast. And just south of the county, Fort Ross, a former Russian fur-trading outpost attracts visitors with folksy festivities and informative tours that illuminate a little known aspect of Northern California’s cultural past. DOZE AND DINE Bed and breakfasts dot Highway 1 in and around the village of Mendocino, and a few feature fascinating origin stories. Built from 150-year-old timbers dredged from local Big River, the Brewery Gulch Inn stands as testament to the strength of a family bond. In 2007, Taylor Pacurar persuaded her dad, Guy Pacurar, to pursue his dream of opening a B&B. Today the 10 ocean-facing guestrooms are dressed in modern Mendocino elegance with Art and Crafts-style interiors. The inn’s Great Room, anchored by a giant fireplace and a soaring ceiling, offers warm ambiance among the Stickley-inspired fur- Mendocino Coast Whale Festivals BY THE SEASONS Watch whales, taste wines, tour art studios, pick apples and pumpkins—an array of adventures makes every season in Mendocino memorable. WINTER International White Wine Festival, Feb. 25–26. Mendocino County Fairgrounds and Anderson Valley. 707/895.9463; avwines.org Whale Festivals, March. Mendocino Village, March 4–5; Little River, March 11–12; Fort Bragg, March 18–19. 707/961.6300; mendowhale. com SPRING Sonoma Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival, April & May. More than 20 venues. 707/884.1138; whaleandjazzfestival. com 20 Anniversary Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, May 19–21. Conferences, BBQ, Grand Tasting, Winemaker Dinners. Tickets go on sale March 27; avwines.com Anderson Valley Open Studios, Memorial Day Weekend, May 27–29. Tour the studios of local artists. Anderson Valley. andersonvalley-artguild.org Gualala Fine Arts Fair, May 27–28. Gualala Arts Center, Gualala. 707/884.1138; gualalaarts. org Mendocino Coast Garden Tour, May 6. Self-guided tour through Mendocino’s loveliest gardens. 707/937.5818; mendocinoartcenter. org SUMMER Mendocino Film Festival, June 1–4. Locations throughout county. 707/937.0171; mendocinofilmfestival. org. July 4th Parade, July 4. Fireworks at Todd’s Point, Pomo Bluff Park, Fort Bragg. fortbragg.com Mendocino Music Festival, July 8–23. Classical, opera, blues, and world music. Various venues. mendocinomusic. org Art in the Gardens, August 5. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Fort Bragg. 707/964.4352. gardenbythesea. org Redwood Empire Fair, August. Ukiah offers rides and old-fashioned carnival games. 707/462.3884. redwoodempirefair. com FALL Studio Discovery Tour, September. Open art studios along Mendocino coastline. 707/884.5067; studiodiscoverytour. com Winesong, September 8–9. Wine auction and tasting. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Fort Bragg. 707/961.4688; winesong.org Mendocino Country Fair & Apple Show, September 15–17. Animals, kiddie rides and music. Fairgrounds, Boonville. 707/985.3011; mendocountyfair. com Abalone Cook-Off & Festival, October 7. Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg. 707/937.4700; mendoparks. org Ukiah Country PumpkinFest, October. Pumpkins, craft and food booths, and parade. 707/463.6231; cityofukiah.com Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Fair, November 24–25. Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino. 707/937.5818; mendocinoartcenter. org Festival of Trees, November 24–25. Gualala Arts Center, Gualala. 707/884.1138; gualalaarts. org WINTER Festival of Lights, November 24–mid December. The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Fort Bragg. 707/964.4352; gardenbythesea. org Christmas Skunk Train, December. Fort Bragg. 707/964.6371. skunktrain.com celebrate the gentle giants. Sweeping ocean views are one of the amenities at Brewery Gulch Inn’s Cottage at Serenity Point.
South Bay Accent - Feb/Mar 2017
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