I’m going to tell you all quite the little secret…
Mendocino is the new wine country and weekend escape. I mean, of course it’s always been there, but this little slice of heaven is becoming more and more talked about. While it’s still nowhere near as popular as Sonoma or Napa, it should be! The wine is flowing, the views are stunning, and the hospitality is inviting.
Mendocino is a little less than three hours north of San Francisco. It’s a straight shot on the 101, until you get about 50 miles from town, where you’ll pass through the most incredible redwoods, wineries in Anderson Valley, and gorgeous coastal views.
While this post isn’t dedicated to Healdsburg, I thought it was notable enough to add, since it was the perfect break in driving for a leisurely brunch at Shed, a gorgeous cafe, specialty shop, and restaurant all in one. If you’re passing by on a Saturday, the local farmers market is right across the street.
We made another stop at Lula Cellars in Anderson Valley. Set in a gorgeous setting, with a casual tasting room. I thought the wine was mediocre, but well worth the $5 (!!) tasting. Take that, Napa!
We followed up our tasting with lunch in Fort Bragg at North Coast Brewing Co., where we definitely aren’t strangers to their beer, it’s a staple in our fridge. Then, headed to see the famous Glass Sand Beach, right across the way from the brewery.
Late afternoon, we checked into The Blue Door Inn, owned by the famous boutique hotel group, Lark Hotels. I had my eye on this place for years, immediately adding it to my “must-stay” list when I came across it. They own three different houses, transformed into a few separate hotel rooms in each, a few blocks away from each other. We enjoyed staying at their Packard House, with views of the the water, and a cozy living room for guests to lounge and socialize. The hotel offers a complimentary wine and cheese hour, and breakfast delivered right to your room in cute little picnic basket, talk about hospitality! Did I mention the chocolate chip cookies waiting in the lobby? Let’s just say I had one too many..
We popped in Patterson’s Pub pre-dinner, and ended up meeting a couple from SF who we became fast friends with, love when that happens! Patterson’s is basically the only “bar” in town, and it was packed with all ages of people, so fun! We had dinner at Luna Trattoria, where we had a romantic meal sipping red wine, eating the best pesto pasta, and listening to a live local band. This place was popular, so don’t be like us and make reservations beforehand ;).
Waking up to breakfast delivered to our door, with the ocean crashing outside our window on a crisp Sunday morning was a dream!
After getting a few steps in walking the trail along the water next to town, we popped in a few shops (Honey & Ro was a favorite), and settled into lunch at Trillium Cafe. The grilled cheese was the perfect gooey treat!
We decided to head back to the city post lunch, but didn’t make it too far. We stopped again in Anderson Valley at Goldeneye, where they have an impressive red tasting and gorgeous vineyard views. We made our last stop at Pennyroyal Farm in Boonville for a wine and cheese pairing. They sell their cheese at our local farmers market, and we’re big fans.