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Exploring The Anderson Valley

Updated: Jun 10

The drive out to the Mendocino Coast is invariably long, twisty, and beautiful, but there is no route more stunning than the gnarled oaks, vineyards, and redwoods of 128. Route 128 truly rolls out the red carpet to the Mendocino Coast, and with gorgeous natural sights around each bend in the road, you may find yourself looking for the right stop or wishing you had more time to explore along the way. Well, we have a few recommendations for you!

Redwoods, 128, Anderson valley, mendocino coast, wine country, wine region, wine tasting, getting here, things to do, wineries, Pinot noir, California wines, valley, taste wines,
Highway 128, California

In the heart of Anderson Valley, Boonville is the hot spot on the road to The Coast. This small outpost has fun local lore like its own local language, “Boontling.” Boonville is also home to various snack and coffee stops, as well as winery tasting rooms. If you’re thirsty for some local beer, pull in to Anderson Valley Brewing Company where you can drink a pint, play disc golf, or take a tour. And if you find yourself in Boonville for dinner, don't miss a visit to the Boonville Hotel for a special meal out in their artsy garden.

A bit further west, just outside Philo, you will find Hendy Woods, The Apple Farm and a local’s favorite swimming hole. To find all three, take Philo-Greenwood Road towards Elk of 128. First, you will see the Apple Farm on your left with its farm stand and on-your-honor fridge with the best fresh-pressed apple juice around. Stock up on some of the local goodies and enjoy the darling property with its small cottages, event greenhouse space, and a heritage apple press that is still in regular use today. Hendy Woods is just a bit further up the road. The park offers a host of wonderful and easy loops to enjoy a wander among the redwoods through some of the loveliest groves in the area. If you work up a sweat, park at the bridge on the way back to 128 and jump in the Navarro River. It’s clean, refreshing, and a locals' fave!

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Anderson Valley

Now, most visitors who dream of a day in The Valley, crave two things – sunshine and wine! California is world renowned for its wine and stunning vineyards. Wine tourism has become so popular, in fact, that it can be hard to find the charming and personal tasting experience that once made Napa famous. Anderson Valley tasting opportunities harken back to a slower paced world with a personal touch. You may even taste with the winemaker themselves! No matter where you stop, the region’s award-winning Pinot Noirs and aromatic white wines shine (not to mention the excellent bubbles and rosé). Plus, many tasting rooms will waive their fee if you buy a bottle.

Some of our favorite AV tasting experiences:

  • Pennyroyal – best for families, goat lovers & cheese-heads

  • Disco Ranch – best for a larger wine selection & snacking

  • Breggo – best for a quaint & historic space

  • Goldeneye – best valley floor patio & garden view

  • Domaine Anderson – best for a rainy day (they have a turntable!)

  • Roederer Estate – best for bubble brains

  • Toulouse – best view overlooking the valley

  • Navarro – best for a large varietal selection

  • Husch – best for a family-operated vineyard story

  • Twomey – best for charm & privacy, tucked away

  • Lula – best for final tasting & banter

Tip for the Wine Enthusiast: Make a day of it! Spend a full day enjoying Anderson Valley with Mendocino Wine Tour. Professional chauffeur Alex is knowledgeable, fun, and can drive up to 6 passengers in his tricked-out SUV.

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