Our Mendocino County Guide

Our Mendocino County Guide

Located two hours from San Francisco and sandwiched between Sonoma and Humboldt counties, Mendocino County is a true North Coast gem. Expect views to range from redwood tree forests and rugged coastline to organic vineyards and fields dotted with sheep. The vibe here is relaxed and rustic, a mix of "hippies and cowboys." If you're looking for a Mendocino Coast-specific guide, click here. We highly recommend taking a drive to the coast, even if it's just for the day to get a full sense of our county! This list includes all things Ukiah:

  • Cultivo: Our go-to for farm-to-table food in a casual setting right in historic Downtown Ukiah. Start with an order of the bastones and all the dipping sauces for the table (you can thank us later). Other delicious shareables include their Fritto Misto or oysters on the half shell. Their entrees change with the seasons, making us come back again and again. Think braised short ribs atop blue cheese polenta, grilled salmon with risotto and broccolini, and hangar steak with potato puree and roasted garlic sauce. Their beer and wine selection is local and delicious!
  • La Cocina: Located on Airport Boulevard and sandwiched between a Starbucks and a Verizon store, this Mexican restaurant is somewhat of a newcomer to our small town, but has quickly become a favorite lunch spot of ours. We love their beer battered fish tacos, enchiladas verdes, and al pastor tacos. But, the best-kept secret is their breakfast. Come in for cafe de olla and a chorizo breakfast burrito or chilaquiles.
  • Left Coast Seafood & Marketplace: Here you'll find incredible seafood dishes from the freshest, local caught, sustainable & wild seafood in a buzzy atmosphere. This spot is almost always packed, so make a reservation beforehand if you can. Not to be missed are the "Poseidon fries," which are their version of In-&-Out's "animal fries," but with seafood. Lots of delicious cocktails here, too!
  • Oco Time: This intimate sushi spot calls itself a "California-Japanese restaurant" and it's known for some of the coolest dishes in town. Every time we bring an out-of-towner, they're shocked by the sheer size of some of these rolls. Their Oco is worth trying if you've never had it before, but we usually go the sushi route and order a few of their rolls for the table. 
  • Black Oak Coffee: Whether you're looking for a buzzy place to work during the day or wanting a specialty latte on your way out of town, this North State Street spot is the place to be. 
  • Schat's Bakery: Our local bakery is a great downtown option if you're looking for a pastry or sandwich with a side of people watching. This location features a courthouse-inspired menu of sandwiches like 'The Verdict' and 'The Snitch.' Clever, right?

More recommendations on our Coast guide here.

  • Yokayo Ranch: A hidden gem in Ukiah, this gorgeous 40-acre property has two large houses and two cabins - perfect for large groups looking for a retreat from fast-paced life. Rachel has done an incredible job breathing new life into this venue, complete with tasteful interior design that feels cozy yet elevated and totally California-cool. The pool is an added bonus and the property isn't far from the historic Downtown. Very close to our ranch, too!
  • Thatcher Hotel: South of Ukiah in the small town of Hopland, the Thatcher Hotel offers historic charm in a modern, updated hotel space. Amenities include pool access, the downstairs Bar Thatcher and Cafe Poppy, complimentary wi-fi, and close proximity to Hopland eateries like The Golden Pig. About 20 minutes from our ranch.
  • Boonville Hotel: Only fifteen rooms at this Anderson Valley hotel and you'll feel really special to have nabbed one of them! Each space is super unique and varies in size, from the cottages to the upstairs rooms. Best part is the close proximity to valley wineries and the hotel's fabulous restaurant that feels like you were invited to a local dinner party with newfound friends. About 35 minutes from our ranch.
  • Brewery Gulch Inn: This eco-salvaged redwood inn reveals itself after a short, scenic drive off the coastal highway and instantly welcomes travelers with its charm. With only 10 rooms and views of Smuggler's Cove, your stay is sure to feel special. The property is surrounded by 48,000 acres of unoccupied meadows and redwoods of the Jackson Demonstration State Forest, so you'll feel immersed in nature. The village of Mendocino is a short drive from the inn, but you'll find the common spaces and grounds here so enchanting, you may never want to leave.
  • Mendocino Grove: Forget the pre-conceived notions you may have about "glamping" because there's no frilly tents to be found here. This coastal campground feels like an adult summer camp we'd love to attend all season long. Canvas tents sit atop redwood decks and provide the perfect place to retire to after socializing in the common area with other campers. Bonus: the actual bathrooms beat "roughing it" in the woods.
  • Grace Hudson Museum & Sun House: Grace Hudson (1865-1937) was not only a Ukiah native, but a nationally-admired artist whose lifeworks are worth seeing. The museum highlights her artwork, as well as regional art, culture, and natural history. The Native American influence is really special here. Next door is the Sun House, which is Grace and her husband's former craftsman home, which you can also tour. 
  • Ridgewood Ranch (a.k.a. the Seabiscuit Ranch): This Willits ranch is home to Seabiscuit, one of the greatest racehorses that ever lived. Though Seabiscuit passed away a while ago, his spirit lives on and walking tours begin again on June 19th.
  • Vichy Springs: Established in 1854, this resort and day spa has naturally carbonated "Vichy baths" that flow from 30,000 feet below the surface into the adjacent spring source and directly into 154-year old tubs. There's also an olympic-size swimming pool, a hot pool, and the Chemisal Falls Pool if you're looking for a secluded spot that's about a 30-minute hike.
  • Montgomery Woods: If you're looking to get your fern forest and Redwoods fix, head to this state natural reserve! There's a two-mile loop trail that is steep to start, but rewarding. Montgomery Woods is about 13 miles NW of Ukiah on the twisty Orr Springs Road.
  • Ukiah Valley Golf Course: Play 9 or 18 holes at Ukiah's municipal golf course, which is located close to local eateries and shopping so you can reward yourself after a great round.
  • Mendocino Coast: Our coast, which is about an hour (or a little longer if going through Anderson Valley) from Ukiah, is loved by locals and tourists alike. If you can even just spend the day on the coast here, we highly recommend making it a part of your travel plans. Our full coast guide is here.
      • Westside Renaissance Market: Westside Ukiah's charming market that's packed to the brim with an excellent beer selection, ice cream sandwiches, and unique, homemade food to-go.
      • Forks Ranch Market: Awesome family-owned spot just down the road from Cox Vineyards; perfect for grabbing quick sandwiches and old-fashioned soda pop. 
      • Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op: Our town's natural food store is well-curated with lots of grab-and-go food, local packaged goods, and a nice wine selection. Perfect for a picnic day!
      • Ukiah Farmers Market (Saturdays): Small but sweet, our town's farmers market takes place in the historic downtown district on School Street.
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