Solar Living Center

Hipcamp host SLIHosted by Sli

About Solar Living Center

Our site is 12 acres of permaculture gardens. It is an active education site for locals and travelers to learn sustainable living practices, solar and alternative energy. We border the seasonal Feliz Creek, and share space with the wonderfully unique town of Hopland, CA.

Our story started in 1978 with the founding of Real Goods by John Schaeffer. The company was founded to serve the needs of the local community that was interested in getting " Back to The Land" and living more sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyles. Providing everything from lanterns to solar panels, the company grew as a mail order operation. We began offering sustainable living workshops in the mid-1990s. At some point, the employee concern was that Real Goods was not "walking the talk" and John began toying with the idea of creating a site that could be home to Real Goods while also working to display the ideals that the company promoted and teaching the public about sustainability -This site is a manifestation of that vision. The property, which we opened in 1996, was originally a dumping ground for Cal-Trans and is now an actively evolving permaculture oasis. The non-profit Solar Living Institute was founded in 1998 to further the mission of promoting sustainability through environmental education. Today, our goal is fighting global climate change though system change on an individual and community basis.

Campgrounds in Solar Living Center

Mendo Permaculture Oasis
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1. Mendo Permaculture Oasis

80% Recommend (5 Campers)

The Solar Living Center is unique! We are a 12 acre Permaculture and Sustainable Living demonstration site and the home of the Solar Living...

Pierre
Pierre: The Solar Living Institute has nice shade areas with picnic tables, fountains, a pond, a tree house, a store, a rustic outdoor...
53 Saves
Mendo Oasis Tent Cabin
Direct book

2. Mendo Oasis Tent Cabin

75% Recommend (4 Campers)

Located in the campground of a 12-acre "permaculture oasis", home to Real Goods Store & the Solar Living Institute, this campsite features a...

Jay
Jay: I had a great time staying at SLI! Everyone at SLI was super friendly and helpful during my stay. The campsite is conveniently...
39 Saves
Mendo Oasis  R V, Trailer
Direct book

3. Mendo Oasis R V, Trailer

The Solar Living Center is unique! We are a 12 acre Permaculture and Sustainable Living demonstration site and the home of the Solar Living...

Jay
Jay: “The RV Trailer area is conveniently located right in front of the main area in the parking lot. There aren’t any RV hook ups...
30 Saves

Photos

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Solar Living Center
hipcamper
July 11th, 2016
Solar Living Center
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November 6th, 2016
Solar Living Center
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November 6th, 2016
Solar Living Center
hipcamper
November 6th, 2016
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Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Eoin M.'s photo at Solar Living Center
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Pierre A.'s photo at Solar Living Center
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Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
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Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
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Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center
Jay K.'s photo at Solar Living Center

10 Reviews

This property has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Pierre

The Solar Living Institute has nice shade areas with picnic tables, fountains, a pond, a tree house, a store, a rustic outdoor kitchen, and more importantly, an amazing and hot outdoor shower. You won't get the best camping experience at Mendo Permaculture Oasis as sites are quite close to the road. But it's definitely a beautiful place to pitch your tent for a night when driving to or from NorCal. I recommend it for the shower and the fun activities at the Institute. If you're driving an electric car, plug it in for the night!

Helpful 10
Helpful 10
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Hipcamper Jay

I had a great time staying at SLI! Everyone at SLI was super friendly and helpful during my stay. The campsite is conveniently located in the front entrance. The tent sites are a little close to the road so you may hear cars whizz by during the night if you're a light sleeper. Just pack some ear plugs and you're good to go. The property itself is super interesting with lots of really cool things to explore. You can take a map and do a self guided tour as there are lots of signs with information to learn from. My favorite area on the property was probably by the pond where there are lots of picnic tables to have lunch on and relax. There are lots of art structures around the property like the giant metal dragon and decorated egg pieces. The property is very beautiful, well kept and is just fun to walk around and explore. It is also dog friendly so you can take your pup along as well. It's a very peaceful environment and would make a great getaway from the city. I would highly recommend visiting if you're in the area regardless if you're camping or not!

Helpful 9
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Hipcamper Jay

“The MPO camp was great! It was super easy to find and is a convenient 5 minute walk to the main area/facilities. The camp has several different sites and has nicely kept grounds. It’s just across from the big pond so it’s easy to take a little stroll and enjoy breakfast in front of the water. The only con would be that it is close enough to the 101 to hear cars whizz by during the night. It didn’t bother me but light sleepers may want to bring some ear plugs.
The Solar Living Center, itself, is beautiful and has so many cool features to explore while you’re there. Be sure to check out the Real Goods store too!”

Helpful 8
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Hipcamper Jay

“The RV Trailer area is conveniently located right in front of the main area in the parking lot. There aren’t any RV hook ups but you’ll find charging stations for Tesla cars and electric vehicles (with outlets to charge your phone if you need to). The bathroom/outdoor kitchen area is short walk away but you can also use the main building restrooms during the day. The SLC grounds are beautifully decorated and well kept to stroll through and explore. There are so many cool features here to check out and you can even do a self-guided tour. SLC isn’t a typical area to camp but definitely more a destination campground that has clean facilities and hosts a wide variety of entertainment. It’s also conveniently located right off the 101 so it’s very easy to get back on the road.”

Helpful 7
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Hipcamper Leslie

A beautiful Oasis! Bring a picnic dinner and sit at the tables next to the pond. Great breakfast is a short walk away at the Blue Bird Cafe. This is a very special spot.

Hipcamper marta

We loved the solar living center and the staff. the camping area is close to the road and it was really loud. The highway sounds were like a cannonball going off because of the highway bridge. It may have been so busy due to labor day traffic.
The bathrooms were a little far from the campsite for late night runs. I would still recommended it anyway, the solar center is doing fantastic work in the world through education of kids and adults.

Hipcamper Whitney

The grounds are a few blocks in from the highway so you can hear the cars go by. They aren't quite set up for campers just yet but the grounds are beautiful and their offerings are fun. Hopland isn't the most exciting place but there are adventures nearby and good people to meet.

Hipcamper Brittany

What a unique place to stay! The camping area is pretty bar bones and so is the cabin we stayed in. But it comes with two twin foam mattresses and a little side table. So no fussing with setting up your tent, just bring your sleeping bags and some camp lights. Didn't use the shared kitchen area, though we did check it out and it wasn't kept. We did stay in the heart of the winter season, so it was a bit cold and not much happening on the property or in town (Hopland). But I'm betting in the summer months it feels a bit more lively all around.

Hipcamper D

Great times! You have to be self sufficient, of course, but everything is awesome!

Hipcamper Meagan

Great quirky spot- tent cabin kept us dry in a downpour!