Posts Tagged ‘Cloverdale Events’

Scenic Drive Cloverdale, CA – Mendocino, CA

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

This last week I took a scenic drive with my family to the Mendocino Coast from northern Sonoma County, Healdsburg/Cloverdale via Hwy 128.  I always forget how beautiful this drive is through Anderson Valley and the Redwoods and it only takes 1.5 hours to get to Mendocino, however it’s a beautiful day of relaxation and liesure if you treat it gently.

Begin at the Hamburger Ranch and Pasta Farm restaurant, where you can have breakfast to begin your day or a great bbq dinner on their patio to end your day.  It’s a reasonably priced, great place that’s been in business a long time, serving both locals and visitors alike.

Here you begin Hwy 128 East, heading to Yorkville Highlands.  This is a beautiful winding road, dotted with multiple wineries, gorgeous redwoods, apple orchards, vineyards, 2 state parks, a river and…you get it — a variety of settings and attractions.

Yorkville and Yorkville highlands are the first ‘civilization’ that you come to from leaving Cloverdale.  Yorkville consists of a store/deli and several wineries including Maple Creek, and Yorkville Cellars.  The store seems to be closed sometimes more than it’s open, but we’ve found that ‘regular’ hours are 9-3, M-F and longer on weekends.  Standard sandwiches and drinks can be purchased for a great picnic in upcoming Hendy Woods.  Each of these locations is attractive and offers tastings, things to do and can give you a great history of the area:

Events in this area include 2010 Yorkville Highlands Festival on August 14, 2010, Mendocino Music Festival, Yorkville Highlands Wine Festival, Grape Stomp and BBQ on August 29th and the Mendocino County Fair in Booneville in September.

Now you’re moving on to Bonneville, which is a hub of Mendocino County and home to the fair in September.  There is a hotel, several restaurants, market and some great wineries.  My recommendation is the pinot noir,  which this area is known for, however I also love the Guwertzemeiner.   Staying as inexpensive as possible until we reach Mendocino, we like to stop at the Redwood Drive In, good for burgers and tacos, or get a sandwich at the market or deli.

Farmers Market on Saturdays

Located in the parking lot of the Boonville Hotel, in downtown Boonville, this is a good place to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, plants and flowers. The market is open on Saturdays from 9:00 till noon, first part of May till the end of October.

The apple orchards and vineyards begin in ernest once you leave Booneville.  Wineries that I think have beautiful settings in addition to great wine are:

5601 Hwy 128, Philo
707 895-3686

5501 Hwy 128, Philo
707 895-2002

4400 Hwy 128, Philo
707 895-3216

Next is Philo.  A small town in and of itself, historically created for the beautiful redwood lumber in surrounding areas that was available.  Now it is an artsy town with a gallery or two, store, restaurant and wineries.

A great stop north of Philo is the Gowan Oak Tree Fruit stand.

Gowan’s Oak Tree
Philo, Ca
707 895-3353

This roadside garden and orchard is located 2.5 miles north of Philo on Highway 128. Open every day June-March 8 am – 6 pm, December-March 8:30 am – 5:30 pm. The Gowan’s and their ancesters, the Studebaker’s have been growing at this site for 120 years.  Jim and Jo Gowan (pictured above) are now in their mid seventies but you can still see them working at the stand. With the help of their children and grandchildren they farm 250 acres of apples and peaches plus a 25 acre vegetable garden. Here is a list of some of the fresh fruits and vegetables you will see at Gowan’s:

Fruits. Apples sixty varieties, Pears eight varieties, Peaches thirty eight varieties, apricots, berries, cherries, prunes, persimmons and plums.

Vegetables. Peas two kinds, Summer Squash six kinds, Tomatoes fourteen kinds, Cucumbers three kinds, Beans six kinds, Pototoes four kinds, Cabbage, Corn eight kinds, Peppers eight kinds, Eggplant, Winter Squash fifteen kinds, Pumpkins eight kinds.

Other items are: Indian corn, Ornamental Gourds, Strawberry Popcorn, Walnuts.

This is a year-round business but of course not all varieties are available at the same time however, fresh and frozen apple cider, fruit popsicles and dried fruit are available all year.

Now the great redwood trees begin.  There are several good camping spots if that’s your thing.  I love Paul Dimmick Campground for its swimming in the Navarro River, and beautiful campsites in the redwoods.  There’s nothing like the smell of a redwood forest for my money.  Also, beautiful though, especially to walk in, is Hendy Woods.  Nice summer camping, lots of area for kids to bike, hike and swim. This campground is about 1 hour from the coast. When the coast is fogged in lots of abalone divers camp here and commute to the coast. A nice campground in the summer heat because of the redwood canopy. Winter camping is very damp but tranquil and picturesque. The park gets 40 to 100 inches of precipitation per year creating a moist and lush environment. The Navarro River can rise dramatically to the edge of the park. Temps are mostly in the 40s to 50s. Lots of mushrooms and wildflowers.

Paul Dimmick — Located in the Navarro River Redwoods State Park at the 8 mile marker on Highway 128.
The camp has 27 sites in tall redwood trees, not much sun, but cool in the hot summer. The Navarro river is only a few feet away from all sites.
There is catch and release, in the Navarro river, with barbless hooks, during some water levels.
There is no wood gathering and no extra fee for dogs but they must be kept on a leash.
Pickup campers are OK but larger RVs will not make the turns and the parking areas are small. Take it from one who has tried, don’t take a trailer in there unless you are an expert backer and don’t mind getting a few dings in it.
There is some posion oak around so pay attention.
The flush toilets are closed during the winter but there are pit toilets all year.
Campsites are $10 in summer and $5 in winter. This includes two motor vehicles. $5 for additional motor vehicle. There is no day use fee.
This camp sometimes floods big time in wet winters. In fact it is sometimes 10 feet under water. If you plan on camping here during rainy weather keep a ear on the radio and be prepared to move. There are no picnic tables, running water and flush toilets during winter months.

Senior discount is $2 except for hike and bike sites

Next town is Navarro.  Just out of Philo you can see the Navarro River begin.  This river is beautiful!  Refreshing in summer (if you can find it — local secret — there is a great swimming hole off 128 with sandy beach.  The blue water, sand and redwood trees are striking against one another!!), good for fishing, or just sunning on the banks.  The town of Navarro has a store.  Big stands of redwoods continue until just before you reach the  coast and you can see where the big Navarro river exits to the ocean here.

Now you junction Hwy 1 where you can head south and visit Elk, Manchester, Irish Beach and Point Arena, or continue north to Albion, Little River, Mendocino and Fort Bragg.


*8 – 14th annual Boonville Beer Festival sponsored by the Anderson Valley Brewery. 53 or more micro brewies pour beer from 1 to 5 pm at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the gate and $5 for non-drinker. RV and tent camping is available at the fairgrounds, $12 for tents and or $30 for RV’s. For more information click the link or call 707 895-2337.

Anderson Valley Garden VIP tour with Extra Special Bonus Garden and wine reception. 12 pm – 6 pm. See entry below for details on the tour.

No one knows if they are doing it this year! Anderson Valley Garden Tour 10 am – 5 pm. Public tour of 5 gardens, some never before open to the public, located along the 128 corridor between Yorkville Highlands and Philo. The gardens are between 1 and 5 acres in size. They display water features, xeriscape planting, a living roof, a tree house for adults, a Laburnum Walk, a lavender field, vegetable gardens and small orchards including one featuring multi-grafted fruit trees with local heritage varieties, a large rose garden, and several with spectacular vistas. All tickets must be purchase prior to the event. Tickets may be purchased through the Botanical Gardens’ web site or in the Botanical Garden’s store located 18220 North Highway 1, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. Tickets will go on sale the beginning of April. The tour is limited to the first 400 guests. The event has been held since 2004 and always sells out. Saturday Tour: $45 per person or 2 for $80. Friday VIP tickets $125 per person. Box lunches at $15 per person are optional and paid for when purchasing tickets. Lunch ticket holders are invited to eat and visit the garden and vineyard at Goldeneye Winery near Philo. Contact person is Ry Southard 707 964-5352 ext 11

*15-17 – 13th Annual Pinot Noir Festival sponsored by Anderson Valley Winegrowers. More than 40 wineries will pour Pinot at the Boonville Fairgrounds. Local wineries will have open houses for special tastings, seminars, food pairings. Tickets are limited and sells out each year.

*16 – Pinot Party and tasting at Brutocao Cellars, 7000 Highway 128 in Philo. Free pinot testing from the barrel, music, munches and elbow rubbing. 11-4

*23 – Philo Yacht Club Regatta under the bridge on Philo Greenwood Road just off high 128. Build or buy your boat and bring it to the river at high noon. Trophies for best and fastest boats. Bring your lunch and drinks and hang out and watch the boats float or sink. It’s free and fun.

*29 through 31 – The Anderson Valley Artists’ Guild is having it’s 8th annual Artist’s Open Studio Tour all week-end. Visit the studios and workshops of 20 local artist including painters, sculptures, jewelers, funiture makers, glass blowers, letterpress printers, ceramics, photographers, etc. The tour is 3 days 11-5. Studios will be highlighted by signboards on Highway 128 as well as waving yellow banners at each studio entrance. Brochures with maps to the studios will be available at All That Good Stuff in Boonville next to the ice cream store. And of course it’s free. For further information call 707 895-2717.

Memorial Day Flea Market. This is a fund raiser for the Senior Center. In the parking lot in front of the Senior Center.

*30 – Lions Club tri-tip BBQ dinner at the Boonville Fairgrounds. 4-7:30 benefits Anderson Valley Elder Home.

*28-29 – The Anderson Valley Theater Guild’s presents the comedy “Dearly Departed” at the Grange on Highway 128, half way between Boonville and Philo. Tickets are $10 in advance. Tickets at All that good stuff in Boonville and Lemon’s Market in Philo. Tickets at the door $12 and $10 for seniors and students. The play starts at 7 pm both Friday and Saturday nights. For further information call the director Rod Basehore,  707 895-3191. (See June 4-5 for different play dates)


*4-5 – The Anderson Valley Theater Guild’s presents the comedy “Dearly Departed ” at the Grange on Highway 128, half way between Boonville and Philo. Tickets are $10 in advance. Tickets at All that good stuff in Boonville and Lemon’s Market in Philo. Tickets at the door $12 and $10 for seniors and students. The play starts at 7 pm both Friday and Saturday nights. For further information call the director Rod Basehore,  707 895-3191. (See May 28-29 for different play dates)

Farmers Market at the Boonville Hotel 9:45 til Noon every Saturday.

*18-19-20 – Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. A 3 Day Music and Camping Festival Featuring the Best in Reggae and World Music. Mendocino County Fairgrounds in downtown Boonville. Three days of world music. Camping.


Farmers Market at the Boonville Hotel 9:45 til Noon every Saturday.

*4 – Fourth of July Celebration at the Boonville Fairgrounds sponsored by the AV Education Foundation. Kids costume parade, music, food, drink, chili cook-off, huckleberry pie, and clowns.

Woolgrower’s BBQ and Sheep Dog Trails at the fairgrounds in Boonville. BBQ and live music at the Navarro Store located on the Navarro curve west of Philo. The Subdudes, a 5 piece New Orleans light rock and blue grass band will play starting at 5pm. There is a rib, steak, chicken BBQ that starts eariler. For more information call Dave at 707 895-9445

*31 – Winetasting Championships at the Greenwood Ridge Winery in Philo. Wine tasting contest for beginners and professionals. Also chocolate and cheese tasting and munches. Information call 707 895-2002


Farmers Market at the Boonville Hotel 9:45 til Noon every Saturday.

*14 – Boonville Airport fly-in. Mostly old planes. Small and friendly.

Lyons Club BBQ. Tri-tip and silent auction. 4:40-7:30 at the fairgrounds in downtown Boonville. $15/person benifits the Anderson Valley Ambulance.

*29 – Yorkville Highlands Wine Festival – 2 pm-7 pm. Meyer Family Cellars, Highway 128 @ mile marker 34.2 just west of Yorkville. Wine tasting of local wines, boar burgers & lamb BBQ, games, live music, silent auction, grape stomp. Tickets $40 ($50 at the gate). 707-894-9177. Proceeds benefit the Yorkville Fire Station & the Non-profit Yorkville Highlands Growers & Vintners Association.


Labor Day Week-End Flea Market. This is a fund raiser for the Senior Center. Located in the parking lot in front of the Senior Center.

Farmers Market at the Boonville Hotel 9:45 till Noon every Saturday

*6 – Yorkville Ice Cream Social at the Yorkville fire station. 11-4. Ice cream floats, burgers, dogs, cake walk, rummage sale, raffles, BBQed oysters, fun and games. Benefits Yorkville Fire Station and community efforts.

*17-18-19 – Mendocino County Fair, Apple Show, Rodeo, Sheep Dog Trails, Classic Car Show, Carnival, and so on, at the fairgrounds in Boonville. Fri & Sat 8-midnight, Sun 9-midnight.

California Wool and Fiber Festial. Follow the thread from the animal to the fabric. This festival is part of the Mendocino County Fair listed above.

If you’re starting in Sonoma County Wine Country, Healdsburg Property Management/Sonoma County Vacations has several vacation rental homes that begin in Cloverdale, where you can jump off and explore the Anderson Valley.  You can find them on our web site at, click on Vacation Rentals, All Accommodations, or use the search feature on the home page.  The names are Starling’s Rest, Beaux Reves, Jimtown House, Geyerville Vineyard Lake House, and Walden Cottage.  Each of these homes are priced differently and range from budget to moderate, and accommodate from 4-8 guests.

I hope you enjoy this drive as much as I do.  It immediately begins to help with my stress, and the smells and sounds in the redwood forest just can’t be replicated.  For an interesting and very thorough site on Anderson Valley, please see:  — the developer of this site has done an outstanding job.

If you go through to Mendocino, don’t miss the jam and mustard shop all the way at the end of Main Street, eat lunch at the Mendocino Hotel — great and Zagat rated, have coffee and cookies at the bakery (I think on Albion Street), and don’t miss walking or viewing the Mendocino Headlands at the end of Heeser Drive.  Caves, rock formations, and gorgeous colors of the water and waves can keep you occupied forever!  My husband dove here (it needs to be a calm day!) and the water drops to 100 feet offering beautiful walls and pinnacles full of scallops.  I fished here and didn’t caught a capazoni, great eating.  A little north is McKericher State Park, and right now the seals are thick in the cove at the end of the boardwalk and are fun to watch.

Cloverdale Citrus Fair Feb 13-16, 2009

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Want something different in late winter? Try the Cloverdale Citrus Fair. It’s really enjoyable, and a treat for small children or the child within each of us. There’s an orange juice squeezing contest, a beauty contest for small children, carnival rides, music, dancing and Elvin Bishop. Try it!