While it’s never a bad time to visit California wine country, there’s something special about taking a trip to the Golden State’s premier wine-growing region during the summertime. While fine wines are an undeniable draw year-round, favorable temperatures, stunning surroundings and ample opportunities for recreation make the summer months an especially opportune time to visit Anderson Valley.
If you’re planning a visit of your own and looking for fun things to do in the summer in Northern California, here are some of our favorite ways to spend the day.
Wining & dining at top destinations
After a day spent exploring California Wine Country, you’re going to need something in your stomach.
Cruise over to Elk, a charming nearby seaside town, and enjoy French-inspired fare paired alongside fine wines from throughout the region at the Elk Cove Inn. Or, pop over to the Harbor House Inn, Mendocino County’s only Michelin Star restaurant, for stunning seaside views and a gourmet menu featuring seasonally and regionally inspired proteins, produce and flavors. Don’t overlook The Elk Store who is famed for its gourmet take on the casual sandwich.
Taking a trip to Henry Woods State Park
Earn your wine by making your way through Hendy Woods State Park first. The park’s towering redwoods create a lush, thick canopy that keeps you cool, regardless of outside temps – and there are more than five miles of trails (some of which are wheelchair accessible!) to explore throughout the park in addition to opportunities for swimming, kayaking and canoeing on the Navarro River access (bring your own though).
Look for indicators to learn more about the ‘Hendy Hermit’ who made this park his home for 18 years.
Getting back to nature at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Each year, more than 86,000 people visit the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens to tour the grounds, immerse themselves in nature and get a glimpse of the striking, fragrant rhododendrons that dot so much of the seaside landscape. A great stop for visitors of all ages, the ‘garden by the sea’ showcases the natural beauty of the region and offer plenty of opportunities for picture-taking, too.
This venue has been the home of Winesong!, the county’s most famous wine auction happening every September. Anderson Valley wineries attend the Pinot Celebration annually on the second Friday in September.