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Mushroom Madness Descends on Mendocino

Jenna Scatena | October 27, 2014 | Story Weekend Escapes

The end of harvest means something a little different in Mendocino: the commencement of mushroom season. Around the end of October, when the coastal chill and damp fog settle in Mendocino’s steep mountains, the annual crop of chanterelles, porcinis—3,000 mushroom varieties in all—begin to sprout. Honor the all-mighty fungi with foraging excursions, cookouts, and restaurant specials. Here’s what not to miss:

Forage

By bike: In Fort Bragg, Mendo Bike Sprite offers daily bike tours that take you through the redwoods in search of elusive mushrooms.

By foot: Follow local mycologist Adrienne Long from the Stanford Inn to nearby forests and meadows for an immersive tour of mushroom varieties.

Taste

Mushroom prix fixe: On November 7, MacCallum House Inn & Restaurant serves a seasonal six-course menu at its annual winemaker dinner, which—you guessed it—highlights mushrooms. A local ‘shroom expert will entertain you with fungi stories.

Magical mystery mushroom train: On November 8, the charmingly rustic Skunk Train departs Willits and Fort Bragg at 10 a.m., hauling people to a covert location deep in the Mendocino redwoods for a cook-off with local chefs, paired with local wine and beer.

‘Shrooms and brews: Boonville’s Aquarelle CafĂ© and Wine Bar hosts a five-course mushroom dinner paired with crisp Anderson Valley beers on November 13.

Stay

A handful of Mendocino’s iconic bed and breakfasts are offering mushroom month deals. Check out our picks: Little River Inn’s Mushroom Mania package, $159. Elk Cove Inn and Spa’s 50 percent off with champagne and mushroom brunch. Brewery Gulch Inn’s 15 percent off with local mushroom breakfast.

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