12 July, 2021

From Art in the Redwoods to Grateful Dead Redux

From the wonderful 
The great escape is on in Northern California’s crown jewel: Mendocino County. The season for renewal delivers a creative lineup of lively diversions from the annual Flynn Creek Circus to the salty Harbor & Seafood Festival and a swipe through Hopland’s top wine stops. Set in small towns with big personalities, the 2021 lineup of events provides the perfect escape hatch for travellers seeking a reboot, Mendo style. www.visitmendocino.com/events.


From Point Arena to Boonville, Mendocino County’s bandwidth is the size of three small states, providing plenty of room to roam for visitors seeking a getaway steeped in the great outdoors. Strikeout to 24 state and national parklands, scout 90 miles of prime Pacific surf or belly up to the tasting bar with 10 distinct AVA’s spanning the county. Tie in a key event and the reasons for romping to true North are crystal clear.

July 22-25, September 3-6; Flynn Creek Circus

It’s eye candy with enchanting backdrops as aerial stunts and dynamic feats blend with an enchanted “Fairytale” circus production under the vintage big top. The world-class crew of high calibre artists, daredevil acrobatics and powerful imagery produce a circus that is both edgy and hilarious. Performances set in Ukiah and Gualala; www.flynncreekcircus.com.

July 16-25; Mendocino Music Festival

Get set for a rousing line-up of entertainment, served in one-hour bites at the annual Mendocino Music Festival. On tap for 2021 are numerous acts ranging from renowned Kim Nally and the Festival Big Band, four-time Grammy-nominated Creole/Swamp Bop/Zydeco group, the Pine Leaf Boys, and the Festival String Orchestra. Fort Bragg; www.mendocinomusic.org.

Also worth reading is 8 of the most unique things to do in Mendocino from Whiskey Tango 

August 6-8; 28th Annual Art in the Gardens

Set in the seductive seaside Botanical Gardens of Mendocino with 47 acres of budding bliss, this is the stop for a day of play with food, wine, entertainment and more than 80 artists showcasing all mediums throughout the sanctuary. The event supports the nonprofit gardens, known for its elaborate rhododendron collection. Fort Bragg; https://www.gardenbythesea.org/calendar/aig/.

August 7-8; The Days Between

Head true north to Laytonville for a laidback under-the-stars safari celebrating all things Grateful Dead. This intimate, family-friendly music festival is set in the beautiful Black Oak Ranch where oak woodlands and majestic meadows provide a magical setting. On tap is the Dark Star Orchestra, Dave Nelson Band, Whiskey Family Band and Grateful Bluegrass Boys. Laytonville; www.daysbetweenfest.com.

August 19-22; 60th Annual Art in the Redwoods

Fresh ocean breezes backed with mystical music and a variety of 350+ select pieces of art, the 60th Annual Art in the Redwoods is a serene stop for visitors plying up scenic Highway 1. Back by popular demand is the Boxed Hat/Top Hat Dinner, an afternoon champagne preview and plenty of wide-open space showcasing various art installations throughout the grounds. Gualala; https://gualalaarts.org/2021/08/60th-annual-art-in-the-redwoods/.

August 21-11; 38th Annual Round Valley Blackberry Festival

It’s all things blackberry this August in northern Mendocino County. The festival features arts and crafts booths, a wealth of local blackberry delicacies, Mendocino County wine tasting and children’s games. Free. Covelo; www.roundvalleyblackberryfestival.com.

September 5; Annual Harbor & Seafood Festival

Amazing local seafood, craft beer, spectacular Mendocino County wines and the salty sea vibe of Point Arena await visitors on Labor Day weekend. Dive into fish tacos, albacore kabobs and fresh seafood salads backed with live entertainment and pirates, matey! Free. Point Arena; www.pointarena.net/events.

September 17-19; Mendocino County Fair & Apple Show

Set in wine-centric Anderson Valley, the annual fair is a great time to tap the region’s top wine tasting venues, quaint inns and a visit to Gowan’s Apple Farm. Finish the day at the County Fair & Apple Show, rife with farm artefacts, carnival games, floral displays, children's activities, food and a rodeo.

 Boonville; https://mendocountyfair.com/county-fair/.

September 18-19; Taste of Hopland

In a town once known for its hops, today Hopland is a hot little wine destination offering a tasting trek along Highway 101 and beyond. Perched at the gateway to Mendocino’s interior, this hub is the call for a weekend wine getaway with a laidback vibe and plenty of local character. Top producers will be pouring their stash of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, late harvest Rieslings, sparkling and Pinot Noir paired with seasonal bites. Hopland; www.destinationhopland.com.

September 25; Mendocino County Homebrew Festival

Set in the newly-designed 30-acre beer park (2021) at Anderson Valley Brewing Company, the afternoon features brewers from around Northern California competing for the people’s choice and/or the brewer’s choice winner. A round-up of local ciders and other fermented beverages will be on tap, backed with plenty of entertainment. The winning Brewer’s Choice will get to assist on brew day, learn about scaling their recipe and use a commercial brew system. Boonville; www.mendohomebrewfest.com.

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