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2020 Holiday Getaways – Mendocino County

Here are some fun and unique activities for your holiday getaways at Mendocino County.  The Inn at Newport Ranch offers an interactive mushrooming expedition, complete with a mushroom-themed picnic.  Little River Inn has created a package that teaches the whole family about botany, geology, sea life, astronomy and history and runs the gamut from tide pooling to kissing a giraffe.  Noyo Harbor Inn, Restaurant & Tavern introduces a delicious package that includes crabbing and fishing excursions.

Noyo Harbor Inn Winter Ocean Catch Adventure
Noyo Harbor Inn Winter Ocean Catch Adventure

Noyo Harbor Inn, Restaurant & Tavern offers Winter Ocean Catch Adventure package. This is a fun opportunity to harvest some Dungeness crab. Also on offer, fishing for coveted Rock Cod, also known as Pacific Snapper. This package allows families to choose from among three experiences, all of which depart Noyo Harbor at 7:00 A.M. During the half-day crabbing excursion, anglers bait the crab pots and drop them in the ocean. On the way home, they pick up the pots and retrieve the crabs. Once back at the dock, All Aboard Adventures’ crew can cook the crab in their big picnic area while families listen to music and enjoy the atmosphere of Noyo Harbor.

The 2nd half-day excursion offered features deep-water Rock Cod fishing in remote waters. Rod, reel, tackle, and bait are included. Or a whole leisurely day can be spent both fishing and crabbing, with crab cooked afterwards in the big picnic area. Crab cleaned and/or cooked for $10 per bag. Fish cleaned for $10 per bag. (Cleaning/cooking is an additional fee and is not included in the package price.) Ice is provided. The half-day fishing or crabbing package is $750 and includes two nights at the inn and an excursion for two. Each additional person is $150 and each additional night is $250.

The full day crabbing and fishing combo package is $900 and includes two nights and an excursion for two. Each additional person is $200 and each additional night is $275. The ½ day fishing excursion is available now through December 23 (excluding holidays), and the ½ day crabbing excursion and combo crabbing/fishing excursion will be available beginning December 1 through December 23 (excluding holidays). 

There is a two-night minimum and seven days’ notice is required for reservations. Bad weather or heavy seas cancel excursions (full refund for excursion will be provided). Room type based on availability.

Noyo Harbor Inn, Restaurant & Tavern, 500 Casa Del Noyo, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, 707-961-8000, noyoharborinn.com.


The Inn at Newport Ranch

The Inn at Newport Ranch
The Inn at Newport Ranch. Photo courtesy of The Inn at Newport Ranch
Freshly Picked Wild Mushrooms at the Inn at Newport Ranch
Freshly Picked Wild Mushrooms at the Inn at Newport Ranch

Starting in December, the Inn at Newport Ranch offers a new package called Forage for Incredible Edibles.  This tasty new package that focuses on mushrooms, one of the edibles for which Mendocino is renowned. Included in this romp: a half-day tour of a 2000-acre timber preserve with resident guides, a Mushroom-themed picnic lunch, complete with sweet Candy Cap mushroom ice cream, a fireside tea and informative lecture on the medicinal properties of mushrooms, and a mushroom-infused dinner. All materials are provided. Availability depends on presence of mushrooms. Cost is $350 per person. 

Accommodations not included. 

The Inn at Newport Ranch

31502 North Highway One, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, 707-962-4818, https://www.theinnatnewportranch.com


Brewery Gulch Inn

Brewery Gulch Inn Mendo Boxes
Brewery Gulch Inn Mendo Boxes

Now if you are staying at Brewery Gulch Inn, each stay is included with daily cooked-to-order breakfast, and an evening Wine Hour with sleek redwood Mendo Boxes showcasing an array of delectable appetizers.  Depending on the day, you will discover a collection of delicacies from Chef James Hardenburg, who cooks exclusively for guests. There may be ahi tuna with wasabi tobiko one night, crispy duck breast and cinnamon blue corn crackers the next, or chicken souvlaki with mouthwatering tzatziki sauce another. The Mendo Boxes make it easy for guests to savor each evening’s offering on the large outdoor deck, around the firepit, or in the privacy of their own rooms. 

Brewery Gulch Inn aerial view
Brewery Gulch Inn aerial view. Photo courtesy of Brewery Gulch Inn

Brewery Gulch Inn

9401 N. Highway One, Mendocino, CA 95460, 707-937-4752, www.brewerygulchinn.com


The Little River Inn Distance Learning Family Package

The Little River Inn has 65 rooms that range from affordable to luxury, all offer ocean views. The new Distance Learning Family Package offers families with classroom and outdoor activities. The experience includes a private guided walk with local Naturalist Sue “Magoo,” a B Bryan Preserve Safari Tour with giraffes and zebras, plant and mushroom identification guides for Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and Van Damme State Park, stargazing complete with hot chocolate, and more. The price of the package includes all tickets and materials – including four educational books for families to keep. The package starts at $325 for four nights for two adults and two children, plus the cost of the room.

Little River Inn, 7901 N. Highway One, Little River, CA 95456, 707-937-5942, www.littleriverinn.com.


Magical Christmas Train from Skunk Train

Skunk Train Magical Christmas Train
Skunk Train Magical Christmas Train

The California Western Railroad’s Skunk Train is a 135-year-old heritage train line that takes visitors deep into ancient Redwood forests.  Beginning in late November, kids and kids-at-heart can take a ride on the Magical Christmas Train, a festive jaunt with holiday music playing in the background. Author Shellie Hart reads her classic, “Skippy the TrainDeer,” Santa makes a socially-distanced appearance, and everyone goes home with a goody bag. 

Christmas trains run on weekends starting on November 27 out of Willits and December 5 out of Fort Bragg, with daily holiday trains running December 18 through 23. 

Departing Fort Bragg

Adult: $49.95 (Ages 13 and up)
Child: $39.95 (Ages 2-12)
Infant: $10.95 (Under the age of 2)
Dog: $10.95

Skippy the Train Deer Book: $6.95

Departing Willits

Adult: $52.95 (Ages 13 and up)
Child: $42.95 (Ages 2-12)
Infant: $10.95 (Under the age of 2)
Dog: $10.95

Skippy the Train Deer Book: $6.95

Skunk Train

100 W. Laurel Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, 707-964-6371 (Fort Bragg Depot) and 299 E Commercial St, Willits, CA 95490, 707-964-6371 (Willits Depot), www.skunktrain.com.

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