Why Off-the-Grid, Offbeat Mendocino County Is Worth the Road Trip From SF

Published On 01/20/2017 Published On 01/20/2017
Point Arena Lighthouse
Point Arena Lighthouse | Yuval Helfman/Shutterstock
Flickr/Dustin Blakey
The Inn at Newport Ranch
Solar Living Institute
B Bryan Preserve
The Andiron | Seaside Inn & Cabins
Vichy Springs Resort
Drive-Thru Tree Park
Flickr/Vadim Kurland
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1. Jyun Kang Vegetarian Restaurant 4951 Bodhi Way, Ukiah, CA 95482

Enter the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas -- a tranquil international Buddhist community that’s home to ornate temples, lush courtyards, and even a Buddhist university -- and make your way to its on-site kitchen and dining hall, Jyun Kang Vegetarian Restaurant. It’s a hidden treasure that toasts to your health (hence, the name Jyun Kang, meaning "To Your Health") with vegan and vegetarian Chinese dishes. Offered solely at lunchtime, the menu omits MSG, onions, garlic, scallions, leeks, shallots, and eggs, featuring often-spicy plates like sautéed mushrooms with bamboo shoots and mixed vegetables with Malaysian curry sauce. The modest, cash-only restaurant raises a toast to the environment, too, encouraging customers to bring their own containers for leftovers and take-out orders.

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2. Bluebird Cafe 13340 S Hwy 101, Hopland, CA 95449

A gigantic moose head watches over as you inhale a bison burger and chocolate shake at this Hopland diner, whose old-school decor is boosted by vintage posters and hanging plants. Bluebird Cafe's strong point is breakfast, when chili-cheese omelets, biscuits & gravy, and golden brown pancakes are accompanied by baskets of complimentary scones, cinnamon rolls, and coffee cake, upholding our belief that bread baskets shouldn't be limited to lunch and dinner.