Get Ready for a Whale of a Good Time!

Fort Bragg’s biggest event of the season is almost here and we at Cleone Gardens Inn could not be more excited! Held on March 18 and 19, 2017 the Whale Festival is an event that draws locals and vacationers alike, as it is completely unique and incredibly fun way for families to spend their weekend!

A celebration of the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale from Baja to the Bering Sea, the Whale Festival occurs as 20,000 or so whales pass by Mendocino Coast on their way to their ancestral feeding grounds.

The biggest events of the weekend take place on Saturday, March 18, and there are plenty to choose from depending on what your family is looking to do!

Chowder Tasting Contest

Held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., this event is the perfect one for food connoisseurs and lovers of craft brews alike. Taste-test chowders made by all the best local restaurants and sample some delicious local craft beers before helping to name the contest’s winner.

There is lots of coastal cuisine to indulge in at this oceanic event! Purchase your tickets here.

21st Annual Beer Festival

The 21st Annual Beer Festival takes place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is a great opportunity to enjoy ales, porters and IPAs alike. Hosted by the Fort Bragg Rotary Club, this is a great opportunity to sample some unique brews while enjoying live music and barbecue as the whales return to Mendocino Coast.

MacKerricher State Park  

The perfect location to watch the whale migration from along the coast, MacKerricher State Park is home to a myriad of ocean-themed events throughout the day on Saturday. We recommend starting at the park’s Visitor Center to learn more about whales, make arts and crafts and enjoy some live music.

There is even a free hotdog lunch for children to take part in!

Whichever Whale Festival events you decide to participate in, we at Cleone Gardens Inn look forward to seeing you here!

Book your March 2017 stay by phone at 800-400-2189. 

It’s that Time of Year! The Crab, Wine & Beer Festival is Back!

If you are a regular visitor of the Mendocino Coast area, then you have probably been counting down the weeks until the Crab, Wine & Beer Festival. If you have never stayed with us in Fort Bragg before, you are about to be introduced to one of the country’s Top 10 Seafood & Wine Festivals.  

Happening along the Mendocino Coast from January 20 to 29, this year’s big event has a little bit of something for everyone.

With food and wine tastings, dinner events and more, there are almost endless opportunities to indulge in flavorful seafood creations, local wines and lots of fun.

It’s that Time of Year! The Crab, Wine & Beer Festival is Back!

The week-long celebration begins this Friday, January 20 with the Frey Wines & Crab Bites event in Redwood Valley. Here you can try some locally crafted organic wines, seafood appetizers and live music. Other events we are looking forward to attending include Barrel Tasting 101 and the Crab Cake Cook-Off & Wine Tasting Competition.

Barrel Tasting 101 takes place on Saturday, January 21 and Sunday January 22 and is the perfect event for those who are always looking for a new favorite blend of wine.

All along Highway 101, local winemakers will be opening barrels of brand new wines for guests to sample as they munch on appetizers crafted by some of our favorite local restaurateurs.  

Then, the next Saturday (January 28), the Crab Cake Cook-Off & Wine Tasting Competition gives you another opportunity to sample the best crab cakes of Mendocino County, as well as some of the most incredible wine. Benefiting Mendocino Coast Clinics, this gourmet event is one that no foodie in Fort Bragg should pass up.

All across the county friends and families will be getting together to shake off the winter blues during the Mendocino County Crab, Wine & Beer Festival, and you should too! Click here to view the entire event calendar, then pack up your bags and head to the Northern California Coast to participate in gourmet festivities!

We at Cleone Gardens Inn look forward to seeing you here!

Discover the Hidden Gems of Mendocino Wine Country

In our last post, we told you all about an awesome, local place, perfect for those who enjoy expertly brewed beer in a casual, relaxing setting – North Coast Brewing Company. Well, now we’d like to take you on a written tour of the finest stops to make in Mendocino Wine Country.

Discover the Hidden Gems of Mendocino Wine Country

If you enjoy drinking wine in the comfort of your own home, imagine how much more enjoyable it would be here in beautiful, sunny California!

There are hidden gems all over Mendocino County, but some of the best are scattered across the more than 500 vineyards that are just a car ride away from Cleone Gardens Inn. Each winery has something different to offer any palate!

Take A Tour!

The Pacific Star Winery is a hop, skip and jump way from the Fort Bragg area – just under 15 minutes, to be specific. Here, you can try wines with some of the most unique names out there, such as It’s My Fault, Dad’s Daily Red and Orange Muscat, to name a few. The best part?  You can enjoy a glass while taking in the gorgeous ocean views!

If you make it to the Parducci Wine Cellars, you won’t be sorry.

Family owned and operated for 80 years, Parducci has a history as rich as its wine! We love their dedication to the Mendocino community and their unprecedented passion for sustainable winemaking and farming. Chat it up with the always friendly staff in the tasting room and don’t forget to ask about their amazing water conservation project

Door-to-Door Wine Experience

Looking to taste great wine without worrying about how you’ll get there? Anderson Valley Wine Tour Express is the answer. The service offers pick up in Fort Bragg and travels to at least three premium wineries throughout Mendocino and the Anderson Valley region. Plus, tour riders get more than just shuttle service – guests receive complimentary snacks and water, discounts on wine purchases and a guided tour with drivers who can provide a great discussion of the area’s wineries and sights. Packages are available for couples and small groups up to parties of 18 or more, so plan a tour everyone can enjoy without needing a designated driver with Anderson Valley Wine Tour Express.

When booking a vacation in Mendocino County, make sure you reserve your stay at the Cleone Gardens Inn in Fort Bragg.

There’s no other place like our quaint and comfortable hotel. It’s conveniently located close to many of the Mendocino County wineries – not just the two mentioned here! Call us today at 800-400-2189 to make your reservations today!

Discover the History Brewing on the Mendocino Coast

Planning a trip to the Mendocino Coast?

Are you looking for fun things to do, new places to go, or to give your taste buds something new to explore? Visit Fort Bragg! It’s the premier destination for breathtaking sights, a chance to soak your toes in the water, be adventurous and to try new food. Best of all? Sample glass after glass of some delicious, frothy, local beer!

Mendocino Coast boasts history around every corner, but one place that has brewed its way into the hearts of many is the North Coast Brewing Company.

Here you can enjoy all the stouts, bocks and specialty beers that you want in a rustic, laid back environment! Honestly, is there anything better than the taste of a craft beer brewed to absolute perfection?

If there’s one brewery to visit when exploring the Fort Bragg area, it’s North Coast Brewing Company. Why, you ask? From humble beginnings to its undeniable growth and success as a nationally recognized brand, there’s so much pride and excitement bursting from this place that draws so much inspiration from the coast.

Here’s the breakdown:

In 1988, North Coast Brewing Company opened its doors on the Mendocino Coast in California and ever since, they’ve become one of the leading breweries for out-of-town tourists to visit. Boasting an incredible amount of national and international awards – more than 70 to date – and an impressive selection of beers to discover and fall in love with, there’s no other brewery quite like this one. Today, North Coast Brewing sends beers to 47 states throughout the country, and as far away as Europe and several Pacific Rim countries.

North Coast Brewing Company, like many other companies specializing in craft beer, obviously cares about what their finished product tastes like. More importantly however, they care how each and every batch is made.

Their brewmasters are passionate about the beer that makes its way into your glass and the quality of each sip you taste, leaving you craving more.

Check out the video provided here to learn more about the history of this renowned brewery, then be sure to hop back over to our site to book your next Fort Bragg vacation at Cleone Gardens Inn. We’re a quick 5 minute drive from the North Coast Brewing Company, as well as many other vacation hotspots, making us the ideal place to spend your time exploring this beautiful California region.

To learn more or to book your stay, call us today at 800-400-2189.

The Best Places to Watch Fireworks in Fort Bragg this 4th of July!

We can’t believe that the Fourth of July is just around the corner! It’s that one summer holiday where you can gather with friends and family, enjoy the beautiful weather, have a cookout, and simply relax. Once the sun goes down, it’s time to light up the sky with fireworks, and what better place to see them than along the Mendocino Coast in Fort Bragg!

July 4th 2016 in Mendocino County

In our last blog post, we encouraged you to stay tuned for our list of the greatest places to catch the fireworks this year – and here it is! From the time and place to everything there is to see and do before (and during) the fireworks show, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive fireworks coverage.

Main Post Parade Field

AAFMAA presents the Fourth of July Celebration at the Main Post Parade Field. This free event starts at 3 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. There will be all sorts of entertainments and fun for the whole family, including parachute free-fall demonstrations, musical acts, the popular flag ceremony, food and beverages and, of course, fireworks! There will also be a Kiddieland full of fun activities like rock climbing walls, bounce houses and slides that will be open from 3-8 p.m. Admission is $10 per child, and the last wrist band will be sold at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, click here.

Mendocino Fourth of July Parade

Take in the Mendocino Parade, complete with horses, floats, fire trucks and more! If you want to be in the parade, join Little River Inn’s entry this year: Pups on Parade! Take part in the parade with your favorite four-legged friend. The parade kicks off at noon. Call 707-961-6300 for more information.

Kelley House Museum Lawn Party & BBQ

Listen to free music by Kevin and the Coconuts while watching the Mendocino Parade stroll down Main Street. The lawn party event goes from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be food and beverages available, including hot dogs, sausages, ice cream, beer and wine. For more information, call 707-937-5791.

Annual Celebration at Friendship Park

This year’s largest fundraiser starts right after the Mendocino Parade, so the fun never stops! There will be three bands, food, entertainment and activities for the kids. Contact Ellen Anderson at 707-964-0897 if you are interested in renting a booth, volunteering or wish to donate to the park.

Point Arena Centennial 

This event kicks off the celebration of Point Arena’s centennial (officially July 6) with a weekend full of street dancing, fireworks, a parade and a street fair. To keep the fun going after the Fourth of July celebrations, stop down to Point Arena!

To learn about even more fun things to do in Mendocino for this Fourth of July, visit Mendocino.com and don’t forget to make reservations for your stay to enjoy all there is to enjoy it all! Call Cleone Gardens Inn at 800-400-2189 today. We can’t wait to see you!

It’s Almost Time for the Annual Mendocino Whale Festival!

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting Mendocino, CA, you know firsthand that the town has an absolute whale of a good time this time of year! All kidding aside, we love all of the fun and excitement that floods the coast as the Mendocino Whale Festival makes its annual return – and we know you will, too!

Planning to make your first trip out next month? Allow us to fill you in on the details!

You see, this particular region of the Golden State is notorious for its whale watching excursions from the months of November to April. Why? Well like many others, whales prefer to migrate South during the harsh winter months. As the temperatures continue to rise from now until April, however, we have the pleasure of being in a prime location to witness their return back North to Alaska. So what better way to take in the breathtaking view than with beer and chowder in hand?

Now in its 33rd year, the Mendocino Whale Festival will take place once again this March 5, 2016 at Crown Hall.

If you’re interested in taste-testing some of the best chowder from nVisit Fort Bragg, CAumber of local restaurants (for a mere price of $10), we would highly recommend you make plans to get to the festival as early as possible that day! The pouring begins promptly at 11 a.m. and though the tasting is scheduled to go until 1:30 p.m., that’s only if the vendors don’t run out of chowder before then, so don’t miss out!

Then, of course, you’ll need something to wash it down with! For $12, you’ll be able to sample some of the tastiest craft brews Mendocino has to offer. Have a bit of a finer pallet? Just $35 pre-sale (or $40 day-of) will allow you to fill up your commemorative Mendo Whale wine glass as you walk around to various pouring stations throughout the charming Mendocino village.

All of this with a stunning view of California Gray Whales off in the distance? How could you possibly stay away!

For more information on how to purchase tickets for this exciting festival, visit mendowhale.com, and don’t wait any longer to reserve your stay with us at Cleone Gardens Inn. We can’t wait to see you!

Amazing Adventures Unique to Mendocino County

sea glassNorthern California is unique in and of itself. It offers an environment unlike any other carved from a rugged, virgin, ever evolving earth on the eastern rim of the Pacific Ocean. Mendocino county in particular is full of environmental subtleties all its own, with unmatched fauna, flora and landscape. If ever in the area, there is a laundry list of activities you must enjoy.

The Glass Beach

Probably the most colorful site you’ll see in nature, the Glass Beach by Fort Bragg is the highest concentration of sea glass on earth. Dazzling the senses, the sea glass runs the color spectrum from the deepest of reds to the brightest of yellows. Rounded by the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean, the sea glass is composed of all kinds of elements.

What some may not realize, however, is this sea glass is a product of mankind and their trash from the early 20th century. It consists of everything from bottles to window panes to pottery and is a perfect example of nature reclaiming man’s impressions on earth.

Pygmy Forest

Unusual soil composition and pH combine to stunt the growth of the trees and shrubs in this secluded section of forest. Low growth is thanks to a poor water table, fast drainage and inhospitable naturally occurring chemicals have allowed the foliage to sustain here for hundreds of years but certainly not flourish. And the culmination is much more interesting than a bunch of short trees. Rather, the conditions have created an almost alien landscape thanks to a phenomenon replicated few other places on earth.

Mendocino Headlands

A designated California state park, the Mendocino Headlands is a coastal hiker’s paradise. Completely secluded from the ‘advances’ of civilization, the park is a perfect cross segment to the Northern California landscape. Easy-to-hike yet rugged trails span the coastline to provide perfect vantage points for amazing vistas over the Pacific Ocean and the beaches hugging the shores. And you don’t have to be an expert hiker or climber to traverse the pioneering—yet welcoming—trails.

California North Coast: The Final Frontier

Mendocino When settlers first went west to arrive at the rugged, intimidating Pacific Ocean coastline, they were met with thick, ancient redwood forests and unexplored wilderness. Thick with unspoiled flora and fauna, the thick, humid air hung low with ocean fog, loosely blanketing hillside rainforests abundant with lace ferns and moss as soft as carpet.

 
The population boom subsequent to the gold rush of 1849 and the oil grab soon thereafter was the beginning of the end for the serenity discovered throughout the this western edge of North America. Fast forward through the industrial era and rapid urbanization resulting from ship building in the Bay Area and drilling throughout southern California and that thick ocean fog is replaced with oppressive smog. This is only made worse with the lack of mass transit, massive traffic volume daily and valleys surrounding the Los Angeles area.

 
The final vestige from the madness and population explosion to which most of the state is bearing witness can be found in the furthest reaches. Beyond the hustle, bustle, horns and exhaust lies an oasis where you can get away from the noise and air pollution. You can take a break from the pushing, shoving and yelling and take in California for what it was intended; the land to breathe easy and feel small on the eastern shore of the largest ocean in the world.

 
Technically just north of San Francisco, the North Coast of California stretches up the coast toward Oregon. It is where you can cleanse yourself of all the modern-day burdens and stresses plaguing society. But to truly find yourself, you’re going to want to head about 3 hours north of the Golden Gate Bridge until you find yourself in the small town of Mendocino.

 
With parks throughout the area showcasing the unmatched regional natural wonders, Mendocino is known for its integration with the surrounding rugged natural landscape. So much so, this to where many residence have fled the burdens and ills of society and urban living. And despite the vast wilderness across the northern coastline, the region is still steeped in rich history and culture all its own. From the redwoods forests to the rugged Pacific coastline, Mendocino County is truly a gem to behold.

Experiencing Northern California Nature In The Spring

Cali CoastThe Northern California coast has a lot to offer visitors, especially in the spring. Whether you are interested in seal watching, hiking or spending time at the beach, you can find it here. Only three miles north of Fort Bragg is MacKerricher State Park. Located right on the coast, this park brings forests, wetlands, dunes, bluffs and the beach all together in one place for you to enjoy.

 

 

Upon arrival you can follow the Laguna Point Boardwalk for the best views that the park, and northern California, have to offer. On the ocean-side of the boardwalk, you can see the rocky, wavy coast stretch for miles. And year-round there is a seal watching station for visitors that want to catch a glimpse of seals and their pups in a natural habitat.

 

 

However in the spring, visitors have the added benefit of seeing humpback and gray whales. Breaching every hundred yards or so, these whales make their annual migration right past Laguna Point and its boardwalk. As you continue through the grasslands of the park’s interior, a 1.3-mile loop of the trail surrounds Lake Cleone, a perfect place for a picnic, complete with fire pits and grill.

 

 

This freshwater lake, which provides beautiful views of water and greenery, used to be a tidal lagoon. Today, it is the home or pit stop of more than 90 different species of birds. Keep an eye out while you rest at Lake Cleone for birds you may have never seen before that are only found in Northern California. After a stop at the lake, head north within MacKerricher State Park, to find Inglenook Fen-Ten Mile Dune Preserve.

 

 

The dunes, which might appear desolate and isolated upon first glance, provide the perfect environment for unique eco-systems. Untouched (not unaffected) by human development, these habitats can sustain species of wildlife that are threatened or even currently endangered. Visitors are encouraged to walk along the beach admiring the dunes rather than walking on and through the places where sensitive species are trying to survive.

 

 

Springtime in Northern California brings with it endless nature and wildlife to visitors. From tiny insects to huge humpback whales, explorers can experience it all season long. Quality walking or hiking are a must as the terrain changes between wooden boardwalk, a sandy beach and grass paths. The second most important thing to bring along is your camera. The views and elements of spring along the Northern Coast of California should be captured to maintain memories for years.

March in Mendocino Jam-Packed with Activity

Mendocino CountyIn a country where the things to do never seem to run out, March 2015 in Mendocino County is no different. With extensive family fun and physical activity for those of all ages, Mendocino County is no slouch in the recreation department.

Saturday, March 21st-For the competitive or athletic type, there’s the 30th Annual Whale Run & Walk at Fort Bragg. The starter pistol goes off at 8am for adults to partake in a 10K Run, 5K Run, 5K Competitive Walk and 5K Fun Walk and at 7:30am 1/2 mile Kiddie Race. Not only is this a fun way for a family to spend time and get back in shape, but all proceeds go to a good cause. Proceeds fund high school scholarships and awards female household heads further education.

Weekends until March 22nd- Guided MacKerricher Gray Whale walks not only allow you to take in all the beauty of Pacific Ocean whales off the California coast, but educate you on their ways as well. Starting 11am Saturdays and Sundays at the main entrance to MacKerricher State Park. From Laguna Point, among the most popular vantage points for whale watching in the entire country, your provided binoculars will allow you to enjoy the most spectacular show nature provides.

March 28th-29th- Mendocino County isn’t all just education and hard work; let your hair down, kick back and take in some culture. The Symphony Spring Concert at the Cotton Auditorium features such classics as Tchaikovsky and Swan Lake. A great way to get some culture and enjoy some great music, the Symphony Spring Concert is perfect for the whole family.

March 28th- More of a bluegrass than a classical music fan? Stop by the Hill House right in town to check out the Sweetwater String Band at 7pm. A high energy, cello-driven bluegrass band with soulful lyrics, the band formed in nearby Mammoth Lakes and remind fans of the sounds of Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass and Phish.