The Mendocino Coast is Haute Hippie Heaven

Join me on a journey to the California coast, and discover five great reasons to visit.


Dinner at Ravens Restaurant

On day two, after I settled in and finished hugging the trees (hey, I live in New York City and climate change is real, so don’t judge me for being a tree hugger–you know you are too), Mike and I peel ourselves away for dinner. I had heard of a great little restaurant over at the Stanford Inn, a gorgeous eco-resort that uses the energy of Mendocino’s native habitat to provide cleansing and healing food, treatments, and rest, to over-worked urban souls and a litany of artists who would love to call it home.

The Mendocino Coast is Haute Hippie Heaven

As we arrived, we were greeted by one the Stanford Inn’s founders, Jeff Stanford. (The Inn was co-founded by his Canadian wife, Joan Stanford, in 1988 on a $22k loan.) As he gave us a tour of their organic gardens and animal sanctuary, it started to sprinkle rain, and he stopped to pick up a stranded worm on the walkway, and gently placed in back in the grass (something I used to do as a child walking to school). We talked about meditation and health, and he told us about how they use potato chip oil as fuel for their trucks, and how their research garden is doing experiments with carbon, energy and calorie farming.

The Mendocino Coast is Haute Hippie Heaven

The Stanford Inn’s resident pooch

Inside the Inn, I browsed through their impressive collection of books before sitting down for wining and dining at Ravens, the Stanford Inn’s vegan eatery. And it did not disappoint.

The Mendocino Coast is Haute Hippie Heaven

The lobby /library at The Stanford Inn

The menu was sublime, with food and ingredients picked from Raven’s carefully curated on-site organic garden. Even if you’re not a vegan, the freshness of the produce and the serenity of the surroundings is enough to allure you into this meatless enclave.

The Mendocino Coast is Haute Hippie Heaven

Yup, that’s my half-polished Canadian martini

It’s hard to pick a favorite dish, even though I tried about six! Definitely try the mouth-watering Portobello Sliders, served up with delicious grilled portobello mushrooms, house-made focaccia, pickled red onion, avocado, arugula, tomatoes, roasted fingerling potatoes, and pan-seared snap peas. OH – and the vegan sushi. So yum.

The Mendocino Coast is Haute Hippie Heaven

Vegan sushi — so yummy!

And let me not forget: the wine, stocked exclusively from Mendocino and named one of the best wines in the world. And their cocktails are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Seriously. I choose The Canadian (obvi!) martini, which is made of honeysuckle, melon, kiwi, and caramel should be on every girl’s to-drink list. In fact, I convinced them to give me the recipe, so I could share it with you:

Ravens Canadian Martini

1 1/2 oz. organic vodka
1/2 oz. Disaronno (Amaretto)
1/2 oz. Chambord
Splash cranberry juice
Place all ingredients in a mixing cup, add ice, stir gently for 18 – 20 seconds.
Strain into a chilled martini glass over a cherry garnish.

While you’re sipping on that, I’ll tell you about a few more amazing reasons to visit the area:

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 52 Comments

  1. Well, staying at an inn, beside a cliff, with miles of forest at the back. Sure it looks good when you get there. BUT! Is it that safe? This is a perfect place for a serial murderer to just pop up and terrorize all clients and staff alike.

  2. Meghan Ryan

    Wow! It has It all. The sea, Forest, Mountains and great view. I wish I’ve seen this post earlier when I went to California. I badly needed a side track from work back then. oh well, I can always come back.

  3. Judy

    Let’s not forget Fort Bragg is home to the World Famous Skunk Train.

  4. Monika Smith

    Great! Amazing article and photos are just fantastic . After reading this article i can’t wait to visit this place

  5. Jennifer McSween

    Your photos blow me away. Great shots! And I’m trying not to be envious, but oh my god… You’re totally living my dream. I wish I could travel so often just like you.

  6. Sabrina Grattidge

    Articles likes this the reason why I keep coming back to your site.
    I’ve never read such an honesy and well detailed review like this before on any blog. Thank you!

  7. Sasha Rosswell

    Oh my god, this all looks absolutely amazing!I have got to get up there! Have you been to Temecula, CA down south? Just went there this past weekend and did an off-roading Jeep Winery Tour. SO much fun.

  8. Evelyn Sandler

    Everything looks great! Your articles represent a reason enough to make me want to visit The Mendocino Coast. I miss California even more now after reading this post.

  9. Christina Norelli

    I’ve just emailed this article to my sister. She’s an adventure travel, and it’s just the kind of place she will be crazy about. 🙂

  10. Felicia Stewart

    Another one for the bucket list. Thanks to Hilary and the Urbanette Magazine my bucket list keep growing haha! I love it. 🙂

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