Festival of Lights
at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
This Holiday Season, Enjoy a Coastal Getaway to One of California’s Best Kept Secrets
The Mendocino Coast is a beautiful area to visit during the holiday season. Quaint neighborhoods and main streets are drenched in aromatic garlands and sparkling lights. Cozy festive inns move at a slower pace during the winter months, offering a relaxing and affordable escape along the coast. A warm feeling and sense of tradition washes over each small shop, diner and local watering hole. Perhaps best of all, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens transforms into a luminescent winter wonderland for its annual Festival of Lights.
An unbelievable show of glittering color draws people into the Gardens for a stroll along the twinkling pathways lined with inventive displays. After dark, the Succulent Garden morphs into a fantastic underwater scene of seaweed and floating jellyfish. A sailing brig that struck nearby reefs back in 1850 is reanimated with dazzling lights amidst the Gardens’ nationally recognized Heath and Heather Collection. A beautifully decorated tent offers visitors a place to warm up and wind down. Each night the tent comes to life with live music, hot cocoa, cider, sweet treats, craft brews and some of the best wine Mendocino County has to offer.
This year’s event will run rain or shine each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening from November 24 through December 17. Adult tickets are $10 and children age 16 and under are free, thanks to the funds raised by an annual benefit gala.
If wedded bliss is in your future, the Gardens offers a one-of-a-kind holiday wedding experience set amidst the Festival of Lights. The Winter Wonderland Wedding Package gives exclusive use of the festively decorated tent and spectacularly lit Gardens.
A visit to Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in the daytime reveals 47 acres of natural beauty with manicured gardens, fern-ringed ponds, hidden pocket gardens, coastal pine forests and wildflower-strewn bluffs at ocean’s edge. The Garden Store and Nursery on the Plaza are open year-round, offering a great place to browse for notable gifts.
Make a break for the coast this winter, where crisp air and crashing waves mix with good cheer for a unique experience you won’t soon forget.
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is a unique natural treasure located at 18220 North Highway 1, just two miles south of Fort Bragg and seven miles north of Mendocino. Their mission is to engage and enrich lives by displaying and conserving plants in harmony with our Northern California coastal ecosystems. This magnificent 47 acre site is one of the few public gardens located directly on the ocean’s shore. The unique environment on the Mendocino Coast makes the Gardens a wonder year-round; each changing season brings new flora and fauna. We welcome visitors and our local community to experience the rugged beauty of the Mendocino Coast mixed with the peaceful tranquility of their garden by the sea. For more information, visit www.gardenbythesea.org
Summer Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (March–October)
Winter Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (November–February)
(closed the Saturday after Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas)
The Garden Store and Nursery on the Plaza are open year-round. Rhody’s Garden Café is open April–September. There is no admission fee to visit the Store, Nursery, or Café.
Admission: $15 General (15 and older), $12 Seniors (65 and older), $8 Juniors (aged 6 to 14), Children aged 5 and under are free, $10 MCRPD Resident (Gualala to Westport), $12/person Groups of 12 or more people, Members are free, $10 Member’s Guests, Free to American Horticulture Society Reciprocal Admissions Program Members.
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