Would you believe more than 1,000 varieties of mushrooms grow beneath Mendocino’s ferns and redwoods? It’s true—and also best to let the experts identify what’s edible and what’s not! You’ll find lots of edible varieties prepared in imaginative ways during Mendocino County’s Mushroom, Wine and Beer Festival. It takes place Nov. 3-12 with activities scheduled all over the county. Some activities are dog-friendly and some aren’t, so be sure to check before you go. A great option for day care if you plan to attend non dog-friendly events is Rover.com.
Festival highlights range from winemaker and brewmaster dinners to guided mushroom forays, identification seminars, tastings, pairings, a homebrew festival, museum exhibits and hikes. Check out what’s scheduled on the coast, in the Anderson Valley or along the Redwood Corridor; there’s sure to be something to suit your interest, itinerary and time frame.
Can’t make the trip during early November? Aim for some winter fun, instead. Your patient pup will have to wait in the car while you stick your nose into some of these events, but we know you’ll make up for it with plenty of togetherness throughout the rest of the day. Some highlights:
Nov. 24-Dec. 17: 8th Annual Festival of Lights: The otherwise dog-friendly Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens transform into a show of glittering color on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Stroll along twinkling paths, be dazzled by otherworldly dioramas and duck into a tent to enjoy live music, hot chocolate, homemade sweets, local wines and brews—and, of course, visits from Santa.
Nov. 24: Festival of Trees: Pop into the Gualala Arts Center to ooh, aah and shop for handmade gifts at decorated booths and admire the “fantasy trees.” Holiday baked goods and festive food and drink are part of the free event.
Nov. 24: Mendocino Art Center 58th Annual Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Fair: In what has become a North Coast tradition, 35 juried artists and craftspeople from throughout Northern California and beyond exhibit original handmade artwork. Free admission!
Dec. 2: Ukiah Parade of Lights: Your dog may enjoy this event as much as you do! The Truckers Light Parade and Downtown Parade of Lights are a small-town tradition that creates a bigger and brighter holiday season. Leash up your dog and put on a smile!
Jan. 19-28: The annual Crab, Beer and Wine Festival is a Really Big Deal in Mendocino County (especially if you love Dungeness crab). The 19th annual fest features everything from casual cioppino dinners to crab feeds, crab-cake cook-offs and lots of other crabby stuff you won’t want to miss!
Photo Credit: @nyeranch