The Ultimate Canna-Tourist’s Road Guide to the Top 5 Experiences in Mendocino County, California
Are you the kind of person that has always dreamed of finally jumping on the road and taking that, possibly, once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the places that grow some of the finest cannabis known throughout the world? Have you always wanted to wander through the great beauty you have always heard of reverently written or spoken about in Northern California? Near the City of San Francisco, across the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, past the low lying hills that launched the historic wine country, lay the land the idealistic hippies escaped to in the 1960’s. Away from the Law, and Judgement and the Man, lay the hidden Land of The Emerald Triangle.
As you can imagine, the spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay begin just as you’re leaving the city of San Francisco. The most inspiring drive along the waterfront, along the northern shore towards the Golden Gate, are some of the most written and sung about the world over. As you cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, you can choose to park your ride at the scenic lookout of the North Vista Point, first exit on the right, giving you the opportunity to witness a phenomenal view of the city of San Francisco, if the infamous bay fog is not too thick that day. This is also an opportunity to use the public restroom before launching on your 1 hour and 40 min drive to the starting point of your Mendocino County adventure in Hopland, CA.
- VISIT A CANNABIS FARM
As you cross the green trestle bridge, Hwy 101 narrows and for the first time the posted speed limits slow down traffic to become the main road through the quaint and idyllic town of Hopland. Meet up with a Mendocino Experience Cannabis Farm Tour guide alongside the road at the center of town, just outside one of the counties top-tier cannabis dispensaries. After a wake and bake and a brief lunch, follow your knowledgeable and seasoned grower guide on a unique guided tour of a professional and legal working cannabis farm. Learn how the pros grow and get a higher perspective on Northern California’s cannabis culture.
- RIDE THE SKUNK TRAIN
What better a way to enjoy the freedom to consume cannabis in California than to take a ride on an actual Skunk Train. Although the name screams “I am super high right now”, this particular train got its nickname from the smell the trains had made as they thundered through the Redwoods during the height of California’s past big lumber era. These days, these rails serve up the perfect adventure to any traveler that wants to take a magical ride through the Mendocino Redwoods. Consider an edible or two to make this afternoon railroad excursion Highly enjoyable.
- TREK AMONGST THE COASTAL REDWOODS IN HENDY WOODS
It’s no secret that being outside amongst the solemn majesty of the Redwoods has a soothing effect. Anyone who has looked up through the branches of a massive tree or enjoyed a river’s babble knows this to be true. Japanese scientists started studying this enigmatic phenomenon and found that natural immersion in a forest has many health benefits—including lowering blood pressure, improving mood, and reducing stress. The practice of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, was born.
Forest bathing isn’t a hike, picnic, or jog. And there is no actual body of water required—it’s simply about surrounding yourself in nature and allowing its sounds and rhythms to wash over you. And while in Mendocino, there are Redwoods all over the coast, and one of the easiest and most accessible is Hendy Woods. Take a wander elevated amongst these ancient giants, and feel the healing vibe of the Redwoods wash over you.
- DRIVE THROUGH THE CHANDELIER REDWOOD TREE
One of the great freedoms about driving yourself on a weekend road trip is the ability to stop at places that most people just zoom blindly past on their way to their next destination. On this occasion, you may not even want to get out of your car to fully experience this one of California’s more unique attractions. It’s been said that Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world, and that the Giant Sequoias are the biggest, however Redwoods are still massively BIG – big enough to drive through, as a matter of fact. There are just a mere handful of living trees that you can actually drive through in California, and one of the very coolest is just off Hwy 101 in Leggett. Just a side note, anything larger than a small pickup truck, and you may just have to park your ride and walk through.
- BEFUDDLE YOUR BRAIN AT CONFUSION HILL
Is it an illusion or is gravity actually behaving differently here? One of the most impressive roadside attractions one can find in Mendocino County, and sure to win the wonder-filled heart of your inner child, is Confusion Hill. Indulge in the joy of confusing your very perceptions at the Gravity House, where even water runs uphill. Bring a friend so that you can seemingly appear much larger or much smaller, depending only on where you stand on a level surface. Plus, you’ll need that friend to take photos of you engaging in seemingly gravity defying feats. You really have to see and feel it to believe it. What better reason to get packing for that road trip this very weekend?