Mushroom-tacular: Mendocino Festival

Beer, wine, fungi, and a host of get-outside activities dot the annual party's roster.

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DIGGING DEEP INTO MUSHROOM MANIA? Typically that means asking for an extra layer of mushroom toppings on your pizza or dipping your truffle-dusted potato chips in a dip that's also made of truffles. But there are a few times a year when your mushroom mania can go deeper, wider, and Mendocino-ier. The time of year we refer to happens in the fall, one of the most fungi-forward moments on the calendar, and the party, which is indeed set around Mendocino County? It's the Mendocino Mushroom, Wine, and Beer Festival. The festival is such a large and lengthy affair that it lasts for over a week, and the 2017 dates are up: Friday, Nov. 3 through Sunday, Nov. 12. And while digging deep into the soft, earthy, toothsome joys of the mushroom family is a major part of the multi-place, activity-packed bash, there are other to-dos, too, like...

CANOEING, AND HORSEBACK RIDING, and lighthouse tours, and theater, and botanical garden walks, too. But a certain cap-sporting gift of the ground is the star, and the schedule shows it, with a Mushroom Excursion Train (hi, it's the famous Skunk Train you'll be riding), and the tasting of mushroom ice cream, and the enjoying of mushroom-focused photography exhibits, and mushroom exploration tours, and a medicinal mushroom breakfast, just to name a few appetizing must-dos on the roster. So what to do before the mushroomy revelries rev up? Best load up your next pizza with 'shroom-savory flavor, as you await the start of November, and buy an extra bag of those truffle potato chips, too. For mushroom season is returning, and Mendocino County is again at the forefront of the forest-floor-y, appetite-sating festivities.

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