Who Will Be This Year’s Abalone Cook-Off World Champion?

Who doesn’t love a good cook-off?

The smells, sights, and sounds of an abalone cook-off in particular are simply unbeatable. So which of the cooks registered for the challenge will win this year’s Abalone Cook-Off? You’ll have to stop by Fort Bragg, CA and see for yourself!

The World Championship Abalone Cook-Off participants will go head-to-head on Saturday, October 8, 2016 for their chance to take home the big trophy and/or another grand prize.

We’re eager to see which of the cooks has what it takes to compete! The challenge is almost underway and we don’t know about you, but we’re ready to take serious part in the sampling portion of this amazing festival.

Before we get too carried away with this fun and exciting event, we want to give you an idea of what it entails and why it’s held each year. The World Champion Abalone Cook-Off helps raise money for the nonprofit organization, Mendocino Area Parks Association , which works to support the state parks of California. The cook-off portion honors Ken Tallman, late owner of Sub-Surface Progression Dive Shop, who was a friendly and familiar face to divers from all over the U.S.

Bringing the community together to enjoy good fun, music, drinks, and a nail-biting competition in the name of a great cause is what this grand event is all about.

If this sounds right up your alley, stop by in just a few weeks during your visit to the Mendocino Coast! The judging tickets may already be sold out, but you can still enjoy wine tastings, beer from North American Brewing Company, food booths with clam chowder, silent auctions, a craft fair and much more!

If you’re visiting the Fort Bragg area the weekend of October 8th, this is one event that you want to mark down on your itinerary!

Book your stay at the Cleon Gardens Inn and make your way down to Noyo Harbor where all the fun will be held – just a quick 15 minute drive from us!

Tourism Is Everyone’s Business in California

Road in CaliforniaIt would be an understatement saying that California has been in rough shape the last few years, but we’re slowly building up the positivity and potential, which is dutifully carried by California’s tourism industry. When isn’t the state’s tourism industry buzzing?

We mean who doesn’t want to go to California at least once in their lives? It’s like the American Dream, the realization of it, a rite of passage that everyone (and we mean everyone) should have to go through. Remember that Americans had to go from to from east to west to realize their deepest dreams.

At Cleone Gardens Inn, we believe in that 100%. To really get California shooting skyward again, we have to continue to educate the public on the tourism industry, was recently covered by Fox & Hounds.

They report, “Tourism is everyone’s business in California. As the nation’s largest tourism economy, the industry is a major pillar of California’s success with more than $117.5 billion in direct travel spending last year. This supports more than 1 million jobs and generates nearly $9.4 billion in state and local tax revenues.”

That’s the thing about the tourism industry in California, it’s a democratic process that helps all of us, which means each of us has to play a role so that it thrives. Not only does it support the economy with jobs and revenue, it also gets the state’s message in the hearts and minds of the American people. At Cleone Gardens Inn, we are proud to be a cog that is part of this beautiful system. Contact us today and get going on your vacation.

Crab, Wine and Beer: What More Could You Need?


Here in Mendocino County, we have a lot to be thankful for – and that includes fresh, succulent crab, rich wines and smooth brews. So in honor of all the great things that come along with living right on the California coast, come on out this way to celebrate the 15th Annual FUNdraiser for Community Health Care: Crab, Wine & Beer Days 2014!


Crab, Wine and Beer: What More Could You Need?

Sounds amazing, right? Well we couldn’t agree more! The big event will be held in a week and a half on Friday, January 24th and Saturday, January 25, 2014, so be sure to come on out and join us in the fun! The festivities will start on Friday at the Historic Pentecost Hall for the Cioppino Dinner with ticket prices ranging from $35/adult and $15/kids between the ages of 6 and 12, while children under 6 years old eat free!


Dinner will be held at 4:30, 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. and will include a wide assortment of everyone’s favorites! From hundreds of pounds of perfectly seasoned, fresh Dungeness crab and tossed salad, to Café Beaujolais bread for dipping, tons of dessert and locally roasted Thanksgiving Coffee, you’ll be sure to walk away more than satisfied! Just don’t forget to stop by the Crabby Bar for some North Coast Brewing Company beer and Mendocino Country wine!


But that’s not all – Saturday brings along the main event: the Crab Cake Cook-Off & Wine Tasting Competition! Seriously, how could you miss this? Held in the Big White Tent from noon until 3:00 p.m., $85 will get you general admission as you sample deliciously hand-crafted crab cakes prepared by Mendocino chefs while you sip on that tasty Mendocino wines. What’s even more, you’ll get the chance to bid on private dinners, collector wines, lodging, gifts and much more in the live, silent auctions, and buy raffle tickets for a chance to win a week-long getaway to a Costa Rican villa!


We don’t know about you, but this sounds like the perfect weekend trip to Mendocino County! Check out the official event page right now to learn more about purchasing your tickets and then head back here to the Cleone Gardens Inn to reserve your room! We can’t wait to see you!


(Posted by: Paula Christensen of Cleone Gardens Inn)


Take a Trip On The Skunk Train When You’re In Cleone, CA


The Skunk Train is a great attraction to check out when you’re visiting Cleone, California. The train runs from Fort Bragg to Willits, CA, much farther inland. There’s also a midway point in Northspur, California. The Skunk Train is a true trip back in time. Everything about the train is relevant to the century old tradition of travel. People can bring their cell phones, cameras and modern clothing, but aside from that, everything resembles a trip back to the olden days of traveling by rail.


Here’s a description from the Skunk Train website. “The view from the restored rail cars is pretty much unchanged: towering trees, deer drinking from the Noyo River, an isolated fisherman’s cabin peeking from the forest. With occasional whistles as it chugs through tunnels, over bridges and past open meadows, the train follows the coastal “Redwood Route” as it has since 1885.”


“Moving at a leisurely pace, the trains pull covered cars as well as open observation cars—perfect for capturing photographs of this truly exhilarating journey.”


Right now is the perfect time to get on the train and take a trip through Northern California’s forest. You can ride the Christmas train, a 90- minute train ride including a visit from Santa and the Elves, music, cocoa and cookies. It departs from both ends in Fort Bragg and Willits.

Image Courtesy Of: Skunktrain.com

There are other trips throughout the rest of the year and you can check it out on their site here. Fort Bragg is just south of the Cleone Gardens Inn. After a relaxing night in our bed and breakfast, you can take a day trip checking out all the beautiful landscapes of Northern California then come back to Cleone for great fishing or relaxation.




Season For Dungeness Crab Is Open


Season For Dungeness Crab Is OpenNorthern California has some of the best crab in the country and Dungeness crab season is now open.  It is the perfect time to take a trip to Mendocino County and start catching the crab.  “Crab populations appear to be strong coming off another record-setting year in the commercial fishery,” said Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Senior Environmental Scientist Pete Kalvass, who oversees the Invertebrate Management Project.


Catching crabs does have regulations to follow.  Carsonnow.org mentions them as, “There is no limit to the number of pots or nets that can be fished recreationally, except when fishing from a public fishing pier where only two fishing appliances may be used. Recreational crabbers may keep up to ten Dungeness crabs per day, or six crabs if fishing from a party boat south of Mendocino County. No one may possess more than one daily bag limit, and no Dungeness crab taken from San Francisco or San Pablo bays, which are important crab nursery areas.”


“Dungeness crabs generally prefer cooler northern and central California waters and are uncommon south of Point Conception. They are usually found on sandy or sand-mud bottoms at depths of less than 300 feet, although they can be found in almost any sea floor habitat, and have been documented down to 750 feet. For more information regarding recreational Dungeness crab fishing regulations and other crab species, please visit the DFG Marine Region website at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/invertebrate/crabs.asp


Cleone Gardens Inn is located about a quarter mile from the beach, MacKerricher State Park, and Ten-Mile Dune Preserve, just north of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County.  Being located so close to the shore makes us a perfect spot to quietly enjoy some fishing and crabbing on the Northern California Coast. People who are looking for a nice spot to go out and crab can stay with us and enjoy private bathrooms in a comfortable atmosphere.