Your Guide to Visiting Anderson Valley Wine Country

Your Guide to: Visiting Anderson Valley
Wine Country

Nestled just a short drive away from the bustling city of San Francisco lies a hidden gem: Anderson Valley Wine Country. This picturesque region boasts rolling vineyards, charming wineries, and a plethora of activities for every season. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, a foodie, or an outdoor adventurer, Anderson Valley has something to offer year-round. Let’s explore how to make the most of your visit to this enchanting destination.

Getting to Anderson Valley is a breeze, making it the perfect weekend getaway from San Francisco or a longer vacation destination. From the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s just a scenic two-hour drive. Alternatively, you can fly into the Santa Rosa airport, only an hour away, for a convenient and hassle-free journey. If you prefer a leisurely road trip, consider taking Highway 128, winding through Napa and Alexander Valley before arriving at Anderson Valley. For those with a pilot’s license, there is a small airport in Boonville or in Little River. The challenge will be lining up a car for day use, but our friends at Tour Mendocino may be able to help.

Where to Stay in Anderson Valley:

Due to its popularity, lodging in Anderson Valley and the nearby Mendocino Coast tends to book up quickly, especially during peak seasons. It’s advisable to book your accommodations in advance to secure your spot. Whether you’re seeking a cozy bed and breakfast, a rustic cabin, or a luxurious boutique hotel, there are plenty of options to suit every taste and budget. View our lodging partners on

Seasonal Highlights in Anderson Valley & Mendocino Coast:

Anderson Valley and Mendocino County offer a diverse range of events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from wine and food to culture and nature. Here are some highlights to consider when planning your visit:

  • JANUARY: Kick off the year with the Seafood & Sips Festival, a 10-day extravaganza showcasing the region’s coastal delicacies and finest wines. Don’t miss the Sparkling Wine Festival at Saracina in Hopland for a taste of bubbly bliss.
  • FEBRUARY: Embrace the winter season with the Winter White Wine Festival Weekend, celebrating white wine, sparkling, and rosé in Anderson Valley. It’s a delightful way to indulge in the lighter side of wine during the colder months.
  • MARCH: Experience off-season events at the wineries, including library tastings and artisan cheese celebrations. Take a tractor ride through the orchards at Gowan’s Cider or join the infamous Bloody Mary Contest at Little River Inn on the coast. Look for whales during the Whale Festival, and discover our wineries scattered around the town of Mendocino during an annual wine walk.
  • APRIL: Beer lovers won’t miss the Boonville Beer Festival, a lively event bringing together craft breweries and camping enthusiasts. It’s the perfect way to toast springtime in the valley.
  • MAY: Indulge in the ultimate wine lover’s experience at the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. With three days of tastings and events, it’s a must-visit for anyone eager to explore Mendocino County’s renowned wine scene.
  • JUNE: Enjoy a diverse range of cultural events, from the Mendocino Film Festival to the Urchin Festival on the coast. June is a relaxed month in wine country, perfect for those seeking a quieter getaway.
  • JULY: Several wineries in the region come together and host barrel tastings in their cellars and sell futures of the vintage. Foursight Wines is a leader in this annual event, however others who often participate include Meyer Family & Lichen Estate. Celebrate Bastille Day with festivities at Roederer Estate, Elk Cove Inn, and Ledford House, or groove to the sounds of the Mendocino Music Festival in the charming town of Mendocino.
  • AUGUST-SEPTEMBER: As harvest season approaches, things quiet down in Anderson Valley, making it an ideal time to savor the tranquil beauty of the region. Don’t miss Winesong!, a benefit event supporting the Coastal Clinic of Fort Bragg, and the Mendocino County Apple Fair for a taste of old-timey charm.
  • OCTOBER: Cinema in the Vineyard, hosted by the Mendocino Film Festival, offers outdoor screenings at wineries in the Valley.
  • NOVEMBER: Wrap up the year with the Harvest Tidrick Celebration, a quirky harvest event celebrating the uniqueness of Anderson Valley wine and community culture.  Experience the region’s wine and food in a laid-back, unpretentious atmosphere that embodies the spirit of the valley.

Year Round Adventures When You Visit Anderson Valley

While Anderson Valley Wine Country is renowned for its vineyards and wineries, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures and family-friendly activities to enjoy year-round. Whether you’re seeking more engaged excursions or tranquil moments surrounded by nature, Anderson Valley has something for everyone.

Family-Friendly Activities in Anderson Valley:

Anderson Valley isn’t just for adults – it’s also a fantastic destination for families with children. Pay a visit to Pennyroyal Farm creamery and winery, where tours of the farm include a delightful visit to the goat barn. Learn about the cheese-making process and interact with friendly goats, making it a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Across the street at Foursight Wines, you’ll find Mendocino Lavender Farm, the county’s first lavender farm. Wander through fields of fragrant lavender, taking in the vibrant colors and soothing scents that fill the air.

For an educational and immersive experience, head to the B. Bryan Preserve, a refuge on the coast for endangered animals. Take a guided tour to learn about conservation efforts and observe majestic creatures such as giraffes, zebras, and antelopes up close.

Why Outdoor Enthusiasts Love Anderson Valley:

ride bikes on railroad

For a unique outdoor experience, embark on a one-of-a-kind rail bike tour through the forest with the Skunk Train. Operating two or four-hour tours, these rail bikes offer a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the breathtaking scenery of Mendocino County. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, the Skunk Train also offers traditional train tours, including evening adventures and seasonal-themed rides like the Pumpkin Express and Magical Christmas Train.

If hiking is more your style, lace up your boots and venture into the redwood forests of Hendy Woods or Montgomery Woods. These majestic groves offer peaceful trails surrounded by towering trees and fairy ring circles, providing the perfect backdrop for a scenic stroll and mild hike. Trail bike riders can enjoy Hendy Woods or nearby Big River Trail.

For those in need of relaxation, immerse yourself in the healing waters of Orr Hot Springs or Vichy Hot Springs. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil soak or a rejuvenating spa experience, these natural hot springs offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

For some time on the coast, enjoy a casual activity at the Point Arena Lighthouse or immerse yourself in entertainment at the Arena Theater. Built-in 1929, this vintage vaudeville playhouse and motion picture theater have been lovingly restored to an Art Deco style, offering state-of-the-art performances and screenings for the whole family to enjoy.

No matter your age or interests, Anderson Valley offers a wealth of year-round adventures and activities to discover. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on an unforgettable journey to this enchanting destination where you’re guaranteed to be greeted with warm hospitality, breathtaking scenery, and unforgettable experiences. Cheers to adventure!