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Mendocino County's largest city, Ukiah, has always had an intoxicating effect on the people who enter her boundaries. With rich soil that has enabled the sprouting of plentiful hops and wine grapes, she has lured many to plant their own roots and enjoy small town living. This old gal (she's nearly 150 years old) draws hot springs soakers, spiritual seekers, redwood tree explorers, wine tasters and organic food devotees. Stroll along North School Street to spot the century old Victorian houses (now a small collection of eateries and galleries). Take off up the mountains to hike through the redwoods. Head over to Jack London's favorite soaking ...

Mendocino County's largest city, Ukiah, has always had an intoxicating effect on the people who enter her boundaries. With rich soil that has enabled the sprouting of plentiful hops and wine grapes, she has lured many to plant their own roots and enjoy small town living. This old gal (she's nearly 150 years old) draws hot springs soakers, spiritual seekers, redwood tree explorers, wine tasters and organic food devotees. Stroll along North School Street to spot the century old Victorian houses (now a small collection of eateries and galleries). Take off up the mountains to hike through the redwoods. Head over to Jack London's favorite soaking spot, Vichy Hot Springs Resort, "the only carbonated hot springs in the U.S." Dine at the nation's first organic brewpub while listening to local musicians strum guitars. Or learn about Buddhism at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. While the area used to be a major logging hub, now residents have returned to the soil, making agriculture the most important economic activity. For travelers, that means fresh produce, great wines, and a glimpse of a simpler life.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, fall, spring