Mendocino County, CA

Mendocino County is a special place!

Different from NAPA, different from SONOMA, MENDOCINO is even more laid back than  either of the two. It’s 1950 here and we found that really intriguing. Yet it has its wine districts, fine dining places, art colonies and more. It also has an extensive Redwood preserve, a magical river, and the Pacific Ocean. The Skunk Train from Willets or Fort Bragg takes you through the Redwoods that is accessible only by train. It’s a 2  1/2 hour ride and it’s well worth the time. But if Art is your beat then Mendocino County is the place from January through December. Over 50 galleries and over 30 arts organizations to choose from. The ride time is less than four hours to the San Francisco Bay area.

The wine district was first settled by Italians. Large estates and ranches predominate. Today, the  Parducci Winery in Ukiah, off  Highway 101, is the oldest at 80 years and possibly the largest in Mendocino County.Their Wine Tasting room is charming with wood beams, dark lights, and a fireplace. The winery promotes the Acoustic Cafe Concert Series, Harvest Festival, Holiday Festival and the Death by Chocolate experience.Partrona, a restaurant in Ukiah was a very good bet. We thank them for their recommendation. So was the Super 8 Ukiah, a Wyndam property, and the winner of the 2012 Green Award. And the price was right here.

Mendocino is also quaint and architecturally stunning. Witness many of the sea-side villages and towns. We over-nighted at the Mendocino Hotel & Garden Suites, an ocean front hostelry first opened in 1878 in Mendocino Village, a restored 1850s hamlet styled after a traditional New England town. The property has earned a First Place Award by Lodging Hospitality Magazine and its Cafe Jardin restaurant is a celebrated affair known for its California cuisine. Here is where Murder She Wrote was filmed. The Village is also a National Historic Preservation District. Walking tours are popular in the Village. The Big  River Beach just below the Village is the favorite spot for these and for cycling, horseback riding, kayaking and canoeing. It’s also a good place to do photography.

Mendocino County is made up of dozens of small towns.The best way to experience the county is by driving through the county’s back  roads like 128 and 253. Try Anderson Valley for a tour of the Redwoods. Stop off in Boonville, and old West town favored by upbeat travelers who are out to discover yesteryear. There’s a lot to consider in Mendocino County. All you need is time.

For more info on Mendocino Country go to: www.visitmendocino.com

The Ford House on Main Street serves as the visitors center. You can also get your keyes for the town from the Kelly House Museum on Albion Street.

About The Author

Michael Zufolo, Producer/Co-Host of Let's Travel! Radio

Michael has been an active player in Media Relations and Marketing for the past 30 years with stints at The New York Times, Forbes, WOR Radio, TV Channel 11, Attenzione Magazine, et.al., and with participation in the Caribbean Tourism Org.,/ CTO, the Pacific Travel Assn./ PATA, the Foreign Press Assn./ FPA, and the International Society of Travel Writers/ ISTR. Libra/ America, his latest signature, provides travel opportunities to VIP travelers and groups world-wide. Let’s Travel! Radio is an extension of his experiences.

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Hornblower blows ‘em away!

Thurs., July 4 aboard the Hornblower Esprit, celebrating Macy’s 4th, the nation’s 233rd Independence Day anniversary. What a night!

Hornblower Yachts owns up to having the largest number of luxury vessels in eight U.S. cities, including New York. The company has seven here ranging from the largest, the Infinity, at over 200’, accommodating up to 700, to the smallest, the Esprit, at 90’ , accommodating 80-100. Cruises are set lunch/ brunch and dinner, for a coterie of special events and private parties, corporate meetings, and weddings, of course! They serve both sit-down and buffet menus.. They also do After 5 cocktail cruises, and a host of charitable events. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, Ca. It’s now in its 40th year.

On the night we were on, the 4th, we were seated on the Sky Deck of the Esprit, a restored beauty. There were only seven tables on this top deck facing out and with a nicely appointed bar in front of us manned by Nicholas, a really talented barkeep, and with some soft jazz by DJ Mike, which later turned to Pop, Latin, Disc and Rock for or dancing pleasure. Gabriel was our Maitre’d and Oscar was our chef for the evening. Boy can this guy cook! Dinner started off with a plate of Blinis with Caviar, followed by a nice medley of Little Neck clams and oysters on the ½ shell, with a sampling of jumbo shrimp in the best salsa I’ve ever tasted ( I asked for a second. My apologies ). This was followed by a full serving of Agnolotti served Italian style over freshly baked cherry tomatoes and a very fresh salad of lettuce, celery, cucumber and more cherry tomatoes. The entrée: Lobster and Filet Mignon with a crab filling topped with a wild mushroom sauce. A bottle of Chandon white was offered to each guest complimentary. Ha! You can’t beat that! As for dessert, a chilled freshly baked apple strudel and chocolate dipped strawberries was the finale, with good coffee and an assortment of blended teas for the asking. And, yes, the bar was open for the entire 3 ½ hours we were on board. By the way, the company provides translaters for Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Korean, French, German and Italian guests.

The yachts ail from Pier 15/ 75 South St. adjoining the South St. Seaport and Pier 40 on the West Side/ W. Houston St. and the Hudson River, from March thru-November with 10 daily departures, 7 days-a-week.

In New York they operate the Statue Cruises affiliate to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island State Park from the Battery Park Terminal on the Manhattan side, along with a Liberty Water Taxi service. They also serve the Metro New York area with a round-the-clock ferry service, the city’s first commuter ferry operation to points in Manhattan, Bklyn and Queens. In brief, the company is the world’s leading provider of high-speed ferry services. For more on Hornblower try: info@365ticketsUSA.com or 1-844TKTS, or phone 646-780.9693 or simply: www.Hornblower.com

 

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The Blue Dahlia at Chelsea Market in NYC

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