Celebrate the Summer Solstice at Trail Landmark Plantshop in Mendocino County

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and it has long been a time of sacred celebration. Solstice means “the sun stands still” because for three days the sun sets at its northern most point on the horizon, before beginning its journey south. During this time we are also blessed with the longest sunsets of the year.

Ancient cultures around the world have long worshiped the sun as a deity, attributing its movements in the sky to divine powers. The Ancient Egyptians, for example, celebrated the sun god Ra during the summer solstice, while in Mesopotamia the Babylonians held festivals to honor Shamash. The Midsummer festival, as it’s called in Scandinavia, features crowns made of flowers and extravagant feasts. In various places throughout Europe bonfires are lit on the eve of summer solstice to symbolize the power of the sun and to ward off evil spirits.

The California cannabis scene today is unlocking a new kind of travel experience for visitors and tourists to the Golden State, including hyper local summer and winter solstice experiences. As legalization matures, the subculture of the famous Emerald Triangle is weaving into mainstream tourism and it’s quickly becoming a draw for culture seekers and seasoned travelers alike. Those looking for new and unique adventures are now able to now access the beautiful earth centered culture that was once hidden behind the redwood curtain during the era of cannabis prohibition.

This June, the summer solstice is a standout experience for travelers to consider. To experience a summer solstice celebration and ceremony in the Emerald Triangle is to experience the local culture, cannabis included. Like a luau in Hawaii, or a green tea ceremony in Japan, or a kava ceremony in Fiji, the Emerald Triangle summer solstice now invites visitors to come join in on the festivities and in this region, cannabis is often at the center of the solstice ceremony experience.

This year the solstice spotlight is on Mendocino County, one of the three counties that make up the famous award-winning Emerald Triangle legacy cannabis region. A short drive from the Bay Area, Mendocino County’s outdoor cannabis lounges are now becoming the go-to gathering places to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and celebrate the summer solstice in nature. A place where local growers, herbalists and community members can connect with visitors and travelers around a cultural ceremony and celebration.  

For those travelers seeking a one-of-a-kind cannabis-infused solstice cultural experience, you are invited to escape to Plantshop Cannabis Lounge in Ukiah on June 21st, 2024. This celebration will include a Summer Solstice ceremony, mocktail social hour, and a silent auction to benefit the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance.

June 21st Summer Solstice Event Schedule

  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm – “Mocktail Hour” and Silent Auction benefiting Mendocino Cannabis Alliance opens
  • 6:30 – 7:00 pm – History / Education about Summer Solstice 
  • 7 – 8 pm – Summer Solstice ceremony led by Wendy Read
  • 8 – 8:30 pm – Final relaxation and integration in the outdoor lounge
  • 8:15 PM – Silent Auction closes
  • 8:30 pm – Plantshop Closes 
The beautiful Plantshop lounge, host of the Summer Solstice celebration and Cannabis Trail landmark.

Your Mendocino Adventure Itinerary

While at Plantshop, be sure to find the Cannabis Trail signage to dive into the story of the back-to-the-land movement and the nearby intentional communities that planted the seeds for this unique cannabis cultural experience. 

In addition to exploring the selection of locally grown cannabis products on sale at Plantshop and enjoying the Solstice festivities in the lovely backyard lounge space, why not turn your visit into a weekend getaway? There are many excellent restaurants in Ukiah to enjoy after the Solstice ceremony, including Left Coast Seafood, Oco Time sushi, and Ukiah Brewing Company

About 10 miles further west of Plantshop is Orr Hot Springs, a beautiful and rustic inn and bath house where you can unplug from it all and soak your worries away in the soothing natural waters. Be sure to stock up at the Ukiah Co-op on supplies to cook meals in the community kitchen at Orr, and pack your hiking boots for a hike in the nearby old growth redwood preserve down the road, Montgomery Woods. Orr Hot Springs has a beautiful smoking area and zen garden where you can enjoy cannabis onsite, and the bath house area is clothing optional. Reservations at least 30-60 days ahead of time are recommended, and the bath house is also available for day use by reservation. 

Alternatively, you could head north from Ukiah and take Highway 128 west into Anderson Valley. Full of organic wineries and breweries, farm to table dining experiences, and during the Summer Solstice, the annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, Anderson Valley is a great place to continue your Mendocino weekend. 

The perfect stay for those looking for something cannabis friendly in Anderson Valley would definitely be The Madrones, a charming inn in Philo with an onsite apothecary style dispensary carrying products grown nearby, The Bohemian Chemist, complete with a lovely outdoor patio consumption lounge. As you may notice, The Bohemian Chemist is a Cannabis Trail landmark honoring landrace cultivars, the local terroir, and the cannabis cultural heritage of Mendocino County. 

You’ll find some delicious places to eat in Boonville, as well as a variety of places to sample local wine, beer, cheeses and other culinary delights grown in abundance in this hidden gem of a region. One local favorite restaurant is Lauren’s, currently located at The Buckhorn in Boonville. 

And no visit to Anderson Valley would be complete without a walk in the redwoods at Hendy Woods State Park – one of very few old growth stands left in Mendocino County after much of it was logged by the early twentieth century. These ancient giants transport you to a tranquil state of bliss as you seep in their quiet beauty and perhaps enjoy some goodies from your travels as you walk.

Just a quick drive north from the Bay Area, Mendocino County is one of the area’s most accessible hidden gems of cannabis culture and hospitality experiences. Time slows down and the beauty of nature shines through and the coastal fog and redwood shade makes for the perfect cooling summer escape from the city. 

Happy Summer Solstice and safe travels!

The Bohemian Chemist in Mendocino County - a cultural landmark on The Cannabis Trail.

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