panoramic shot of the ocean cliffs and the inn at newport ranch buildings in the distance

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The Newport Perspective

We’ve got some secrets about our hometown, and we want to share them with you. Read our blog, discover our staff’s favorite facts and attractions, and see California like a Californian.

Sip on a Newport Sunset

There are so many ways to refresh yourself at Newport Ranch—but we’ve come up with a concoction that really captures the spirit of this one-of-a-kind coastal retreat. This month’s special cocktail is reflective of those scarlet skies lit by an orange sunset just above the sea foam froth of high tide.

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Sip on a Newport Sunset

There are so many ways to refresh yourself at Newport Ranch—but we’ve come up with a concoction that really captures the spirit of this one-of-a-kind coastal retreat. This month’s special cocktail is reflective of those scarlet skies lit by an orange sunset just above the sea foam froth of high tide.
The "Newport Sunset" starts with an inspired coalescence: Kentucky barrel proof rye mixed with Meyer lemon juice from nearby Anderson Valley. We add in some locally made absinthe and a splash of Italian Morlacco cherry liqueur for a complex, lip-smacking flavor. It makes for a memorable start to the evening, reminiscent of sunsets over the Pacific from our scenic decks. To mix up the "Newport Sunset" just right, follow the recipe below, and toast to the Mendocino Coast at your next at-home happy hour.
Beyond our own craft cocktails, there are a number of distilleries and wineries in Mendocino County that are worth a visit. The options go beyond wine: go for brandy at the Germain-Robin Distillery, or try vodka and gin at Rapscallion Spirits.

Newport SunsetRecipe:

  • 2 oz. James E. Pepper, 1776, Barrel Proof Rye (57.3%)
  • 1 oz. Meyer Lemon Juice from Ferrington Ranch in Anderson Valley
  • 1/2 oz. Luxardo Morlacco Cherry Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. Demerara Simple Syrup
  • 1/4 oz. Germain-Robin Absinthe
  • 3 Shakes of Scrappy's Aromatic Bitters
Served up in a chilled coupe, garnished with Lemon Wheel
cocktail

A Time to Reflect

In uncertain times, we look to the past for inspiration. Mendocino County is an area replete with natural splendor, and it’s easy to imagine how people in the past would have found serenity in the local ecology.

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A Time to Reflect

In uncertain times, we look to the past for inspiration. Mendocino County is an area replete with natural splendor, and it’s easy to imagine how people in the past would have found serenity in the local ecology. While much has changed since Fort Bragg was a thriving logging town at the turn of the last century, there are some elements of the Mendocino Coast that remain the same, to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Our area continues to take joy in the presence of towering redwood forests, in great part thanks to the efforts of sustainable logging with a conservationist approach—thousands of trees are planted every year.

The ocean also remains a magnetic force for Mendocino County—and sailing and fishing are pastimes and tourist attractions today just as they were a century ago. Getting out on the water is a refreshing way to witness the natural beauty of the Pacific Coastline. If it’s a quieter, more serene moment you seek, look to the local hiking trails. With a variety of micro-climates found across the Inn at Newport Ranch alone, you can easily wander your way to solitude for a moment of reflection. 

Redwood forrest with the sun shining through the trees

The March Migration

When it comes to whale watching, we’re at the peak of the season. Starting in November, California gray whales make an incredible annual migration southward from their feeding grounds in Alaska to the warm coastal lagoons of Baja, Mexico, where they mate and give birth. From February through April, the whales return to their feeding grounds—and pass very close to the Mendocino coastline.

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The March Migration

When it comes to whale watching, we’re at the peak of the season. Starting in November, California gray whales make an incredible annual migration southward from their feeding grounds in Alaska to the warm coastal lagoons of Baja, Mexico, where they mate and give birth. From February through April, the whales return to their feeding grounds—and pass very close to the Mendocino coastline.

An early spring visit to The Inn at Newport Ranch provides an unforgettable opportunity to see these peaceful giants as they spout, breach, and dive along their journey. Sightings are common, and there are many ways to catch a glimpse of these Pacific Ocean voyagers, from booking a spot on a whale-watching charter to exploring on kayaks when waters are calm. You can also spot the spectacle from our own bluffs, or from the Coastal Trail in Fort Bragg.

The month of March is dedicated to the return of the whales, and here in Mendocino County, we celebrate with lectures, guided walks, special boat charters, and even the Fort Bragg Whale Festival. On Saturday, March 21, grab tickets to taste wine, chowder, or beer at the City Hall gymnasium.

whale tail

Local History and Wildlife on a UTV

A century ago, Newport was a prosperous logging town with a population of just over 2,000 people. The nearby redwood forests were harvested by local loggers to help build the city of San Francisco, just a few hundred miles away. Large sailing schooners would edge up to the cliffs and a lumber chute would deposit the trees from land to sea. These same schooners rigged precarious trapezes in order to carry people from the ships to the land. It was quite an effort, and this work defined an era for this area of Mendocino County. Today, the nearby forests are owned by the Jackson Family. As conservationists, they planted 3,000 trees last year, and only utilize fallen or damaged trees.

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Local History and Wildlife on a UTV

A century ago, Newport was a prosperous logging town with a population of just over 2,000 people. The nearby redwood forests were harvested to help build the city of San Francisco. Large sailing schooners would edge up to the cliffs and a lumber chute would deposit the trees from land to sea. These same schooners rigged precarious trapezes in order to carry people from the ships to the land. It was quite an effort, and this work defined an era for this area of Mendocino County. Today, the nearby forests are owned by the Jackson Family. As conservationists, they planted 3,000 trees last year, and only utilize fallen or damaged trees.

To dig deeper into this fascinating local history, opt for a UTV tour led by staff member Otis Brown, an authority on local history and an expert on forestry, environmental regulations, and agriculture. Suitable for all ages and abilities, a UTV tour (on a four-wheel drive, off-road utility vehicle) is a comfortable way to see evidence of the logging era on the grounds of the Inn at Newport Ranch.

Your guide can also elaborate on the era when the Yuki Native American tribe established communities in the area. Witness present-day wildlife, from whales that approach the cliffs to wild eagles in the sky and elk in the forest. If you opt for a ride in February, you’ll get to see recently born baby calves from the 300-head herd of cattle that live on the ranch. Later in spring, enjoy the gorgeous spread of wildflowers that bloom in May and June.

A UTV tour allows you to traverse multiple ecosystems and microclimates in a day: redwood forests including old-growth redwood, meadows, prairies, and 1.5 miles of ocean bluff. Let us prepare a delicious picnic lunch for your adventure, hop on-board and enjoy the ride.

blackandwhitephotoofcoast

Getting Here is Half the Fun

The Inn at Newport Ranch is located in the heart of the Mendocino County coastline. The journey to this enchanting destination is as much a part of the getaway as your relaxing stay on the Mendocino coast near the town of Fort Bragg.

The most likely landing point for travelers from out of state or abroad is either Oakland, Sacramento or San Francisco International Airports, and between here and there, you’ll find no shortage of memorable stops along the way.

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Getting Here is Half the Fun

The Inn at Newport Ranch is located in the heart of the Mendocino County coastline. The journey to this enchanting destination is as much a part of the getaway as your relaxing stay on the Mendocino coast near the town of Fort Bragg.

The most likely landing point for travelers from out of state or abroad is either Oakland, Sacramento, or San Francisco International Airports, and between here and there, you’ll find no shortage of memorable stops along the way.

You may cross the Golden Gate Bridge and drive through the charming towns of Marin County on the 10—the inland and faster route—and find yourself in the foothills of Sonoma. It’s here that the Russian River starts, where you can meander through the cozy town of Guerneville (or Stumptown as it used to be called), which leads all the way into Mendocino County. Stop in "Big Bottom Market" for a quick snack or coffee before you continue on your journey. Then you can take your pick between two playgrounds: the tasting rooms of Wine Country, or the shores of the river, known for excellent outdoor recreation during the right time of year. Highway One is winding and slow-going but the expansive views of the hills and the Pacific Ocean are majestic and unlike any other. Keep an eye out for crossing cattle as they tend to cross the roads in the area with little regard for approaching cars!

If you opt for the epic coastal detour along the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll traverse Point Reyes National Seashore and Bodega Bay before crossing the Mendocino County line. Point Arena Lighthouse is on your way and scenic views of the Pacific abound.

norcalscenicroad

Natural and Architectural Splendor

The architectural features here at the Inn are unique and tend to trigger an avalanche of inspiration for design-minded travelers. While fans of architecture flock to historic homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, there’s nothing quite like being able to experience unique, historic architecture and spend the night. Here at the Inn, you can experience the melding of natural and human history through both the structures and the property itself.

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Natural and Architectural Splendor

The architectural features here at the Inn are unique and tend to trigger an avalanche of inspiration for design-minded travelers. While fans of architecture flock to historic homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, there’s nothing quite like being able to experience unique, historic architecture and spend the night. Here at the Inn, you can experience the melding of natural and human history through both the structures and the property itself.

Located on a 2000 acre private ranch, The Inn at Newport Ranch is situated where a thriving logging mill town was set overlooking miles of oceanfront acreage. Around the turn of the century, the nearby redwood forest was harvested, milled, and shipped by boat to aid in the building of the city of San Francisco. The land use pattern of the town is still visible along Route 1 and the ocean’s edge, where lighthouses, sawmills, and farms were located in a cluster. You can still witness one of the old lumber chutes that were anchored by cable to the bluff, which lowered the timber onto schooners that were sailed to San Francisco.

Following the footsteps of the leaders of the Arts and Craft movement in California, our own designers repurposed some of the original redwood resources in order to create the structures, walls, tables, and even beds here at the Inn at Newport Ranch. All 40 doors onsite are derived from one giant piece of thick redwood, the end of our main dining room has a slice of a 14-foot diameter tree truck embedded into the floor, and one of our cottages has smaller diameter redwoods built into the structure, with the bark left on for a uniquely rustic feel.

Wander to the library to check out the 20-panel frieze running around the top of the walls, in the tradition of the Greene brothers. Most of the custom craftwork at the Inn was created by Vermont artisans. Over the course of four years, we even set up a craft shop on site with local artisans. From tree trunks as supporting columns to a fireplace you can actually sit in, the Inn comprises an architectural phenomenon. Buffered by the spectacular horizons of the Pacific Ocean and dense Redwood forests, experience an extraordinary combination of natural beauty and bespoke architectural design deeply rooted in place.

eating area in a guest accommodation

Glitter in the Garden

Tree lightings, holiday parades, gift shows, and light displays abound in Mendocino County this month—but there is one dazzling spectacle that shouldn’t be missed. Head down the coast from the ranch for about 25 minutes and you’ll arrive at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.

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Glitter in the Garden

Tree lightings, holiday parades, gift shows, and light displays abound in Mendocino County this month—but there is one dazzling spectacle that shouldn’t be missed. Head down the coast from the ranch for about 25 minutes and you’ll arrive at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.

These 47 acres in Fort Bragg are a delight at any time of the year, but particularly glittering this time of year. Tucked between Highway One and the Pacific Ocean, the property includes canyons, wetlands, coastal bluffs, and a closed-cone pine forest—a visit will acquaint you with microcosms of various California ecosystems.

In December, the gardens transform into a majestic show of glitter and color. This year marks the 10th annual "Festival of Lights". The gardens will be bedecked with holiday lights, comprising a magical atmosphere. Rain or shine, you can witness the eye candy every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening through December 22.

christmas tree with gold ornaments and lights

Marvelous Mendocino Mushrooms

Mendocino County is brimming with rich fall flavors during the month of November. Visiting at this time of year allows you to savor the harvest from local vineyards, breweries, and farms, but it may be the wild-grown bounty that's most impressive.

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Marvelous Mendocino Mushrooms

Mendocino County is brimming with rich fall flavors during the month of November. Visiting at this time of year allows you to savor the harvest from local vineyards, breweries, and farms, but it may be the wild-grown bounty that's most impressive.

Mendocino mushrooms have a reputation for being marvelous. With thousands of square miles of live oak and redwood forests, the region is a natural hotspot for around 3,000 varieties of mushrooms. In the autumn, the coveted candy cap, chanterelle, and porcini mushrooms are ripe for the picking, and there is more than one event that lets you sample some hearty mushroom soup. Throughout the month, edible opportunities abound from Ukiah to Point Arena. The foraged fungus can also make a one-of-a-kind holiday gift for the foodie in the family.

If you want to dig deeper, you can join the mycologically minded for a full foray into the world of fungus. On November 8-10, the Mycological Society of San Francisco hosts the annual north coast fungal rite of fall. Join the society in order to participate in guided forays, presentations, meals, and more. For a more introductory immersion, head to the Mendocino County Museum in Willits on November 16 for a free class demonstrating how to grow edible mushrooms on wooden logs.

wild edible mushrooms

Drink in Some Craft Beer History at Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Anderson Valley may be known for its wines, but one company put it on the map for a different reason—its beer. The Anderson Valley Brewing Company emerged in 1987. At the time, artisanal beers had yet to catch on; when it was founded, the business was one of just 20 craft breweries across the country.

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Drink in Some Craft Beer History at Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Anderson Valley may be known for its wines, but one company put it on the map for a different reason—its beer. The Anderson Valley Brewing Company emerged in 1987. At the time, artisanal beers had yet to catch on; when it was founded, the business was one of just 20 craft breweries across the country.

Eventually, though, people took notice. Working out of a 10-barrel brewhouse in Boonville, the company racked up awards and accolades. They quickly outgrew their original home, and in 1996, moved down the road to a 100-barrel brewhouse on 26 acres of land.

Befitting their status as craft beer pioneers, Anderson Valley Brewing Company continues to push the envelope. They adhere to sustainable brewing practices, generating 40 percent of their electricity through solar panels and reusing all of their wastewater to irrigate their hop fields. They even resurrected a near-extinct style of beer—German Gose.

At 60 miles from our inn, a trip to this seminal brewery makes for a fun excursion. And if you fancy yourself a craft beer aficionado, we highly recommend visiting.

person pouring tap beer into a glass