15 Best Things to Do in Boonville, CA

Boonville, CA
Straitel / iStock.com

Boonville is in southern Mendocino County within Anderson Valley, California, home to historical arts and culture.

In 1862, John Bregartes built a hotel in the area, which effectively founded the small town, first named the Corners.

In 1864, Alonzo Kendall built another hotel.

He then changed the name The Corners to Kendall's City.

However, W.W. Boone bought a store and settled in the area, changing its name to Boonville.

The community is also the source of the folk language called Boontling, now considered extinct as there are only a few living natives who speak the dialect.

The small town is also home to the famous Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and some beer and wine festivals, including Pinot Noir Festival.

Picnicking, hiking, and kayaking are among the top activities to look forward to in this beautiful community.

Whenever you’re ready, here are the best things to do in Boonville, California.

Visit Little Red Schoolhouse

Exterior of the Little Red Schoolhouse
Frank Schulenburg, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the highlights of Boonville and Anderson Valley is the Little Red Schoolhouse, also known as Con Creek Schoolhouse.

It’s a one-room schoolhouse building where the kids of the early settlers attended for almost 90 years, or at least until 1979.

J. D. Ball built the schoolhouse in 1891, following the Greek Revival Style.

This historical one-room school is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Little Red Schoolhouse is located only two miles from the heart of Boonville.

Stay at Boonville Hotel

It’s always relaxing to stay at a place where you can hardly hear the buzzing city, and Boonville Hotel doesn’t disappoint.

This rural roadhouse is worth staying, thanks to its clean and comfortable beds, a gorgeous garden, and freshly prepared food.

On Sundays, the hotel restaurant offers the best paella in town alongside their housemade ice cream and several baked goods.

Built in the 1860s, the Boonville Hotel continues to serve the community.

Learn Boontling at Anderson Valley Historical Museum

Located northwest of Boonville, Anderson Valley Historical Museum showcases the rich culture of the small town.

It has several artifacts and exhibits, especially the world-renowned folk dialect Boontling.

At the museum, you will learn a few Boontling words such as bahl gorms (good food), harp (to talk or speak), horn of zeese (cup of coffee), and Boont (Boonville), among others.

The museum also highlights the early lives of the first settlers in Anderson Valley.

This includes a display of ranching, farming, and fruit-growing tools.

Founded in 1979, Anderson Valley Historical Museum continues to educate the community.

Taste Boonville Wine at Seebass Vineyards

In the heart of Boonville in Anderson Valley, Seebass Vineyards grows the finest grapes and crafts world-class wines.

In the mid-80s, Michelle Myrenne’s family started the vineyard more than a decade after emigrating to the U.S. from Germany.

Since then, the business has continued to grow, featuring its award-winning wines.

The Merlot, Chardonnays, Syrahs, Zinfandel, Rosé of Grenache, and more are amazing.

Try their wines by the glass and enjoy the scenic view of the vineyard on their veranda.

Otherwise, you can sit on their patio and by their cozy fireplace.

The Seebass Vineyards also offer tours around their beautiful premises to see their growing grapes.

Buy Vintage Items at Fish Rock Farm Girls

Visiting shops and galleries that highlight vintage and antique items is easy if you’re in Boonville.

Located downtown, Fish Rock Farm Girls houses beautiful antiques, vintage stuff, handcrafted items, collectibles, and more.

Check out the reasonably priced items that won’t break the bank.

The shop welcomes you with its airy ambiance and a friendly owner.

Bring your friends and family to Fish Rock Farm Girls and buy some unique items to show them the town's rich culture.

Taste Handmade Cheese at Pennyroyal Farm

Wine tasting at Pennyroyal Farm
Missvain, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You might not often get the chance to taste excellent handmade cheese, but it’s cheese-possible at Pennyroyal Farm!

Established in 1973, the farm only started making cheese and wine in 2006.

You can taste their handmade cheeses, named in the Boontling language.

Their cheeses, though, are seasonal to give their goats and sheep time for a healthy reproductive cycle and lactation.

They also offer a cheese-making tour where you can see how they make the cheeses from outside the windows of their creamery.

Unfortunately, guests are not allowed inside the creamery for sanitation purposes.

You can taste their cheese and fine wines on their patio.

Pennyroyal Farm is at the entrance to Anderson Valley in Boonville.

If there’s anything that interests a traveler wherever he goes, it’s art.

If you’re visiting Boonville, don’t miss the John Hanes Fine Art Gallery on the north side of Highway 128.

The owner, John Hanes, is a sculptor who displays his works at the shop alongside other national and local artists.

At the John Hanes Fine Art Gallery, you will also find photography and paintings that you can also buy if they interest you.

John Hanes established the Fine Art Gallery in 2009.

Eat Organic Breakfast at Boonville General Store

Your visit to Boonville isn’t complete if you don’t eat at Boonville General Store, established in 2001.

It’s a lovely country store offering seasonal and organic breakfast, lunch, baked goods, wines, coffee, cheeses, handmade bread, and more.

They have unique dishes on the menu daily, including pizza, soup, salads, and sandwiches.

It’s also close to Seebass Vineyards, where you can taste their award-winning wines.

If you go to Boonville General Store earlier, you can try Darius’ famous sourdough loaves.

You may also enjoy your meal outside on a fine day and get a scenic view around Anderson Valley.

Boonville General Store is on Highway 128.

Grab a Beer or Two at Anderson Valley Brewing Co

Boonville is not just about wines, cheese, or delicious foods but also about beers—award-winning ales.

Kim, Ken Allen, and David Norfleet founded the Anderson Valley Brewing Company in 1987.

They craft beers named after the Boontling language.

This includes Boont Amber Ale, Hop Hyzer, Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, and Poleeko Pale Ale, among others.

AVBC is the world’s first solar-powered brewery; it also recycles its organic waste.

These practices make the business sustainable and environment-friendly.

The brewery has hosted the famous Boonville Beer Festival since 1997.

Likewise, the brewery donates its proceeds to local charities.

AVBC has a tasting room and a beer garden where you can enjoy your favorite ales.

You can find Anderson Valley Brewing Co at Boonville Road.

Book a Restorative Stay at the Bell Valley Retreat

Whether traveling solo or with a group, Bell Valley Retreat on the historic Toll House in Boonville lets you experience a majestic stay.

You can choose from their creekside cottage, barn, cabin, bell tent, bunkhouse, and toll house.

You can also hike around their well-maintained and private trails and enjoy a swim at their pond.

If you have a well-behaved pet, you can take him with you too, but you will need to pay an additional pet fee.

Experience traditional and contemporary accommodation at Bell Valley Retreats with your friends and family.

The sweet, fresh air filling your nostrils is incomparable.

Go for it!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Boonville prides itself in offering rich history and culture to visitors and the like, but its neighborhood also does the same.

With only a few minutes' drive from the town, there are a lot of activities and fun things to do too.

Enjoy Swimming and Camping at Navarro River Redwoods State Park

The road of Navarro River Redwoods State Park
Faina Gurevich / Shutterstock.com

Navarro River Redwoods State Park stretches on Navarro River banks from the beautiful town of Navarro.

It’s in Elk, California, 31 minutes away from Boonville.

You can access the park from State Route 128 and go swimming, picnicking, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.

View of Navarro River Redwoods State Park's forest
MightyPix / Shutterstock.com

The park has two campgrounds, such as the Navarro Beach Campground, where you can camp with picnic tables, pit toilets, and grills.

Another campground is the inland Paul M. Dimmick Campground, amid second-growth redwood trees.

However, the winter can bring floods to the area.

Enjoy the fresh air and the gorgeous redwoods while stargazing on your camping night.

They founded the area surrounding the Navarro River Redwoods State Park in 1851.

Buy Fresh and Organic Produce at Petit Teton Farm

Near Boonville, you can find a small family farm that grows a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables.

Drive six minutes to Yorkville, California, to reach the Petit Teton Farm.

Petit Teton Farm also raises animals like pigs, pigeons, rabbits, chickens, and cows.

Nikki and Steve purchased the five-acre farm in 2004 to produce fresh, organic, and local fruits, eggs, and vegetables.

They built a commercial kitchen on the farm to preserve unsold organic produce, turning them into jams, jellies, pastes, butter, and other preserves.

Though uncertified, the farm is proud of its organic produce, free from pesticides.

If you’re a vegan or living a healthy life traveling to Bonville, Petit Teton Farm is worth the visit!

Bring the Kids to Todd Grove Park

Traveling with kids in tow is never as difficult as you expect when you’re near parks perfect for small children.

If you’re in Boonville and you want to visit Todd Grove Park, drive 34 minutes to nearby Ukiah, California.

Your kids can have fun on the rocket slide at the park while enjoying the gorgeous view of the redwoods.

Don’t forget to bring food for a picnic; if you’re there in the summer, you may catch some free concerts.

Established in the early  1900s, Todd Grove Park is also a historic place.

It’s on 600 Live Oak Avenue.

Explore the Great Redwood Trail - End

If you’re already in Ukiah, don’t miss exploring the Great Redwood Trail - End.

The locals also call it “The Ukiah Rail Trail” because it follows some railroad tracks.

The trail is only a 30-minute drive from Boonville via Highway 253 in Ukiah.

It offers around 3.2 miles of biking, hiking, and jogging trails, which you will find fun and exciting.

Enjoy the gorgeous redwoods while exploring The Great Redwood Trail - End!

Go Hiking and Camping at Hendy Woods State Park

Aerial view of Hendy Woods State Park
funkifizzle / Shutterstock.com

One of the best places near Boonville is Hendy Woods State Park on Philo Greenwood Road.

You can find it in Philo, California, 12 minutes from Boonville.

The state park is proud of its towering old-growth coast redwoods which you can enjoy on a relaxing walk with friends and family.

Established in 1958, the park gets its name from its former owner, Joshua Hendy.

The hiking trails are also clearly marked with a few wheelchair-accessible ones to give everyone a chance to explore.

If you go by Big Hendy, there are several options where you can try the easy loops as well as bigger loops.

Little Hendy is more difficult to access, but it’s more peaceful and quieter.

If you’re there during lunchtime, you can have a picnic in the park with tables and benches.

Public restrooms are also in the area, and you can bring your pets as long as they’re on a leash.

Enjoy the gorgeous redwood forest at Hendy Woods State Park, and breath some fresh air while having your picnic lunch!

Final Thoughts

Boonville, California, helps you take a change of pace from the buzzing city to a peaceful, gorgeous, and breath of fresh air stay.

Your trip should include checking out antique shops, wineries and vineyards, beautiful redwoods, delicious cheeses, and more.

Book your trip today and experience the many things to do in the city!

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.