ROOM to ROAM
FROM FOREST BATHING TO A LONG ROMP IN THE REDWOODS, MENDOCINO COUNTY IS THE IDEAL RX FOR UNPLUGGING: FRESH AIR, FRAGRANT WILDFLOWERS AND A TAPESTRY OF 24 STATE
AND NATIONAL PARKS STAND READY FOR THE CALL OF THE WILD
-Tap into Ancient Redwoods, Stately Waterfalls and 90 Miles of Pristine Pacific Coast-
MENDOCINO COUNTY, CALIF. – The Japanese have known for years that spending mindful time in the woods is beneficial for both mind and body. In today’s times, the practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing, couldn’t be more important. Northern California’s crown gem sits ready for a spring escape, be it a forest immersion program, yoga breathing in the ancient redwoods or a silent canoe float up Big River. A variety of hotel properties are also offering spring savings and third night free promotions including the award-winning Brewery Gulch Inn, seaside Little River Inn, the Madrones, Elk Cove Inn & Spa, Noyo Harbor Inn & Spa and The Heritage House Resort and Spa. https://visitmendocino.com/see-do/deals-and-special-o
ROMP IN THE REDWOODS
Just two hours north of San Francisco Bay Area, Mendocino County offers a playground steeped in seclusion. From 24 state and national parks to 90 miles of prime Pacific coastline, the options for escape are endless. Families can tamp down steam with a leisurely walk through Russian Gulch State Park, waterfall included, or break away with a coastal jaunt to the tide pools, Glass Beach or a trek to the more isolated Ten Mile Beach up the coast.
Gain perspective with a Jurassic-style jaunt to Montgomery Woods State Reserve, one of California’s most magnificent virgin redwood groves. Step into nature’s cathedral for a mind-blowing mix of gigantic spires shooting high in the canopy, past flying buttresses and enormous treetops soaring more than 350 feet. The eye-popping fern forest, flush with a sea of giant green fronds reaching for the sky, taps the imagination. Enjoy a moderate hike then hit Orr Hot Springs next door for the ultimate soak. www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=434.
As the tide pulls out, a surreal setting unfolds just south of Point Arena on scenic Highway 1. Rare and wonderful, Bowling Ball Beach has caused speculation for centuries given the mass of almost perfectly spherical stones. Hidden like the Terracotta Army, the geological phenomena known as “concretions” are rare and picture-ready, formed by a natural process of sedimentary rock binding to minerals and/or stone. These surreal stones, paired with a sizzling Mendocino sunset, finish the frame. Located at Schooner Gulch State Beach, visitors can access the site via a short hike across the bluffs and moderate scramble down a dirt path. Note: Low tide access only. www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=446.
LOST & FOUND
Raw, rugged and ready for its close up, the Lost Coast – straddling Mendocino and Humboldt counties – is the call for outback enthusiasts seeking a final frontier. Named “One of the Top 10 American Adventures” by National Geographic Traveler, this 80-mile stretch of pristine green comprises King Range National Conservation Area, Sinkyone Wilderness State Park and a stretch of legendary surf breaks for those who can haul a board out. Resident Roosevelt Elk are Instagram ready, as are a host of odd candelabra trees marking the entrance route. https://visitmendocino.com/hidden-hikes-of-mendocino-county/
FOREST BATHING WITH THE GIANTS
Shinrin-Yoku is not your typical romp in the redwoods. A session might take three hours, including sensory exercises to provide the body with a chance to slow down, touch the trees, study colors and patterns, breathe deeply and relax under the canopy while peering up through the branches. New at Glendeven Inn & Lodge is a half-day forest bathing package designed to realign the chakras. Begin with a two-hour walk with the “Barefoot Botanist” among the pristine forest that surrounds the inn followed by a soak in one of the private forest-side hot tubs. Complete the experience with a full one-hour massage employing aromatherapy products sourced from the trees, ferns and woodland plants themselves. For a full immersion, check into Brewery Gulch Inn and dive into a personal Dipping Your Toes session with a wellness guide; $175.00. https://www.glendeven.com/forest-bathing-package; https://www.brewerygulchinn.com/the-view-from-the-gulch/what-is-shinrin-yoku.
A ZEN THING
Long known as an ideal urban escape, Mendocino County now offers a twist on traditional wellness programs. Trek to Gualala, the coast’s southern outpost for a meet up with Unbeaten Path Tours. Visitors can tap into a new guided BreathWalk, backed with wildflowers and wide open spaces. The two-hour part-meditation/part-yoga walk through the woods is designed to realign one’s sense of place and deep connection to nature. Another option is a quiet float up Big River via Catch-a-Canoe or a half-day nature experience on Liquid Fusion Kayak‘s Forest Immersion tour on Noyo River in Fort Bragg, where the only sounds are the gentle slap of paddles in the water, the calls of the river birds and the occasional curious seal or otter; www.unbeatenpathtours.com; www.catchacanoe.com; https://liquidfusionkayak.com/forest-immersion-tour.
SPRING STEALS & DEALS
Spring savings are at the forefront in Mendocino County, with a variety of coastal hotels, vintage inns and retro-style lodgings offering promotions. Now is the ideal time to plan an escape, solo or with the family, to reboot and recharge. All spring packages are based on availability, black out periods apply. https://visitmendocino.com/see-do/deals-and-special-offers/.
Mendocino County welcomes nearly 1.8 million visitors annually who explore its 90 miles of prime Pacific coastline, 90+ wineries and 10 diverse AVAs (earning the highest percentage of organic and biodynamic vineyards in the United States), 24 state/national parklands and 450+ unique accommodations. Straddling scenic Highways 1 and 101, “The Redwood Corridor,” the County delivers an ideal vortex of waves, wines and redwoods laced with historic villages and outback adventures. Located 114 mi./184 km. north of San Francisco, the region’s gateway airports are San Francisco International (SFO), Oakland International (OAK), Sacramento International Airport (SMF), and Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS). Visit Mendocino County is a non-profit destination marketing organization designed to enhance the economic vitality of the community by increasing tourism revenue. For more information, go to www.visitmendocino.com.
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