Just as the chill breezes into Nor Cal, the collection of fun events and festivals kicks it up a notch. Here are some of my favorite fun and quirky November festivals in Northern California. As well as a couple plugs for my upcoming book parties.
November 1-10: Mendocino Mushroom Festival pays homage to everything fungi with ten days of fun. Highlights of the festival include a mushroom themed ride on the Skunk Train, guided foraging treks, kayak tours, mountain bike rides, and an introduction to mushroom spotting at Mendocino Botanical Gardens. Throw in the world’s best mushroom ice cream, deals on hotels, and yummy fungi themed dinners and you’ll be singing the praises of the magic of mushrooms.
November 1-3: Lodi’s Sandhill Crane Festival honors the winged inhabitants of the surrounding wetlands. Sign up for guided tours to see the wetlands, then head over to Hutchins Street Square to view art, eat and sip vino in honor of the region’s iconic cranes. While you’re there be sure to check out the awesome wine scene in town.
November 2: Day of the Dead is a San Francisco holiday worth experiencing. The Festival of the Altars takes over Garfield Park on Harrison and 26th Street in the Mission District from 4-11pm. Bring flowers and art to honor the dead. And be sure to experience the lively and beautiful procession heads from 22nd and Bryant through the Mission at 7pm. This musical celebration is not to be missed.
November 2-3: Wine and Food Affair is one rocking party! 107 Sonoma County wineries open their doors for tastings, food, and fun. A ticket gets you a day of drinking along with a free cookbook. Some of my favorite wineries are participating, including Bella, Claypool Cellars, and Gustafson. If you need hotel information, pick up a copy of my Northern California: An Explorer’s Guide.
November 3: Backroads and Byways of Hawaii book release party. I know, it’s a shameless plug, but hey, a gals gotta do what a gals gotta do. Join me in enjoying the music of ukulele player Ray Akahi, and the yummy food of Pacific Catch from 4-6pm at San Francisco’s Badger Books. There will be wine, free travel advice and surprise guests.
November 11-December 5: Autumn weekends in Yosemite are all about wine. Pay the big bucks to attend the two-day Vintners’ Holiday. Winemakers offer tastings and a paired five-course gourmet dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel.
November 17: Come celebrate a life lived outdoors at Los Gatos’s McGill Patio. I’ll be on hand to offer free travel advice. The Santa Cruz Hula School is on the bill. Plus there will be music and discounts on outdoor furniture. The party is from 3-5pm.
November 20-24: Flavor! Napa Valley brings together the foodies of Napa Valley with local culinary heroes like Michael Chiarello, Mario Carbone, Cindy Pawlcyn, and Masaharu Morimoto. There are a slew of ticketed events throughout the long weekend, including the Napa Culinary Stroll, culinary demonstrations by some of the world’s best chefs and the Wine Boot camp.
For more information on Northern California events, pick up a copy of Northern California: An Explorer’s Guide.