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HomeLifestyleTravelUnique outdoor experiences from Mendocino Coast

Unique outdoor experiences from Mendocino Coast

From luxury picnic to family stargazing are some of a few outdoor fun offerings from these three charming inns in Mendocino Coast.  

Big River Beach Bonfire from Brewery Gulch Inn

Brewery Gulch Inn Bonfire
Brewery Gulch Inn Bonfire

Included in this package are all the fixin’s for s’mores; beach chairs; a beach blanket; a Bluetooth speaker; and Northern California’s version of the Map to the Stars.  If the night is clear and moonless, you may be rewarded by a picture-perfect view of the Milky Way.  The property encompasses three acres of mature pines and redwoods, wooded glens, wetland ponds, and gardens for strolling.  Inside there are arts and crafts furniture and a four-sided glass and steel fireplace. In the rooms there are feather beds cloaked in Sferra linens, Molton Brown products, Himalayan bath salts and thick Abyss towels. Their full-time executive chef prepares complimentary cooked-to-order breakfasts and nightly dinner with wine that highlights locally-sourced, organic ingredients. For an additional $75, you can add the Big River Bonfire Package to any room.  This will be available year-round.

Brewery Gulch Inn , 9401 N. Highway One, Mendocino, CA 95460, (707) 937-4752, www.brewerygulchinn.com.

Kayaking Excursion down Noyo River from Noyo Harbor Inn

Noyo Harbor Inn Exterior
Noyo Harbor Inn Exterior

Noyo Harbor Inn & Restaurant, a hilltop property with sweeping views over the harbor, offers a complimentary Noyo Meander Experience for two (via Liquid Fusion Kayaking) and a bottle of local wine with any three-night stay. It’s a dry and comfortable 90-minute ride – no special clothes, previous experience or equipment are required. You can relax with a guided float in a two-person tandem kayak on Noyo River. Many rooms here have fireplaces, stacking bathtubs and private balconies to relax with your family. The inn itself has refurbished and updated rooms while retaining its features left by the Norwegian shipbuilders who designed the inn. As for dining, their restaurant is offering outdoor dining overlooking the river and boat docks. Highlights from the menu are fresh wild-caught fish from the harbor, herbs, and vegetables gathered from the Chef’s garden.

The Noyo Meander Experience special offer is available now through Labor Day weekend. Noyo Harbor Inn, Restaurant & Tavern, 500 Casa Del Noyo, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, 707-961-8000, noyoharborinn.com.

  • $60/person for daytime tours Memorial Day through Labor Day
  • $75/person for evening tours
  • $299 Private Custom Tour for up to 6 people
  • ***Children under the age of 5 are permitted only on private tours.  
  • $60/person for daytime tours Memorial Day through Labor Day
  • $75/person for evening tours
  • $299 Private Custom Tour for up to 6 people
  • ***Children under the age of 5 are permitted only on private tours.  

Family Stargazing Outing from Little River Inn

The Stargazing Family Fun Package comes complete with a blanket and hot cocoa to enjoy the nightly display. The inn is surrounded by gardens and steps away from the hikeable Van Damme State Park and the scenic Van Damme State Beach. All 65 rooms have ocean views. There are also an Audubon-certified golf course, regulation tennis courts, a spa and an award-winning restaurant. Ocean-view picnics tables are set up for dining in front of the property. Stargazing Family Fun Package includes two nights lodging in a Traditional Ocean View Room with two queen beds; a Little River Inn travel blanket; the loan of their stargazing kit (including special binoculars and a star map, star guide and flashlight); hot chocolate to enjoy while stargazing; and information on stargazing for the area. The Stargazing Family Fun Package for four starts at $438 for a two-night stay, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Available year-round. Little River Inn, 7901 N. Highway One, Little River, CA 95456, (707) 937-5942, www.littleriverinn.com.

Railbikes experience from Skunk Train

Beginning on June 20, the Skunk Train reintroduced the Pudding Creek Express train out of Fort Bragg. This 7-mile round-trip journey to Glen Blair Junction snakes along the Pudding Creek Estuary, and over some of the first tracks laid down by the California Western Railroad in 1885. Or take the Wolf Tree Turn train out of Willits. This 2-hour round-trip train from Willits climbs up to the highest point of the line (elevation 1,740 feet), through Tunnel #2, and down into the Noyo River Canyon.

  • Adult: $41.95 (Ages 13 and up)
  • Child: $25.95 (Ages 2-12)
  • Infant: $10.95 (Under the age of 2)
  • Dog: $10.95

The Electric-powered Railbikes run in-between trains and sit securely on the tracks, allowing passengers to enjoy the redwoods, scenic Pudding Creek, crossing over wooden trestle bridges and into the ancient redwoods of Mendocino County.  The Railbikes run out of the Fort Bragg station and cost $250 per bike, with room for two riders.  There is a luxury picnic package that includes a picnic basket with an assortment of charcuterie for two, a picnic blanket, two go-anywhere wine glasses, and a beverage of choice for $395 for two.  The first ride of the day at 8:30 am is offered at an early-bird rate of $195 per bike.

  • Facial coverings are mandatory 
  • You must arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time.
  • Single Riders must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Not suitable for small children. All riders must be able to walk and should be at least 6 years old.

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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