The Solar Living Center is unique! We are a 12 acre Permaculture and Sustainable Living demonstration site and the home of the Solar Living Institute and Real Goods Store! This is a public site that hosts: classes, events, volunteers, interns and campers! We are lucky in that we meet many types of amazing visitors from all over the world and our camping guests range fromContinue reading...
The Solar Living Center is unique! We are a 12 acre Permaculture and Sustainable Living demonstration site and the home of the Solar Living Institute and Real Goods Store! This is a public site that hosts: classes, events, volunteers, interns and campers! We are lucky in that we meet many types of amazing visitors from all over the world and our camping guests range from car/van campers and tent set ups to travelling gypsy bands in RVs! Not your typical campground. Camp sites are nestled under a few redwood trees next to a newly developed area with small oak tree plantings. We are restoring to the land what has been taken away due to the many vineyards in the region. Campers are welcome to enjoy the public area which is grassy and next to the ponds, water features and beautiful permaculture gardens. RVs, trailers, and van campers do best in our main parking lot - please note that we do not have hook-ups for RVs. This is a public site that also receives non-camping visitors daily - the camping section is located off of our main driveway and away from the normal activity of the site.
Note: Rather than a "destination" campground, camping here is ideal as a "homebase" from which to explore the Mendocino area attractions (wineries and tasting rooms, Redwood hiking trails, restaurants and events), or as an overnight stop while traveling.
Camping amenities include: A rustic camp kitchen, one indoor and one outdoor shower (with hot running water), well-kept public restrooms that are used by the rest of the site during the day, beautiful grounds to explore (picnic near the ponds) and a certified organic permaculture garden that usually has an intern or two who can give you a tour or answer questions. Inside the Real Goods store you can shop for gifts and books or get advice on solar and alternative energy. Drinks, snacks and ice cream bars are available for purchase from 10-6pm during summer hours, 10-5pm in winter.
What to eat : Though the town of Hopland is small, it still offers quite a few interesting dining options! Check out Steep Coffee (SLC staff favorite) for your morning brew or the The Bluebird Cafe, a quaint, casual diner open for breakfast and lunch. The beautiful Taverna at the Piazza De Campovida features organic and local meats and vegetables, thin crust pizza from their wood-fired pizza oven, and local hand crafted wines and brews made in collaboration with Oakland’s famed Linden Street Brewery. Hang out at The Hopland Tap House, or go wine tasting at any of the many wine bars or tasting rooms in the area. You will notice that we grow quite a bit of produce on-site. We are happy to share, but please know that this produce is a main portion of our interns food supply, check out the farmstand next to the front entrance of the Real Goods store for fresh produce available to purchase.
- Tent/Car: This area is located to the North of the Driveway (look for signs). Tent campers, park in the turnaround and set up camp, any additional vehicles park in the main parking lot. There are self-guided tour maps at the welcome station kiosk in the donation receptacle.
- The outdoor kitchen and indoor/outdoor showers are located in the Southeast portion of the property.
- The Front gates open between 7-8AM and close between 7-9PM. The gate code is available upon booking. If you need assistance on site, please call 707-234-1733, Hugo.
- Self-guided tour maps can be picked up at the Welcome Booth entrance.
- Pets on leash only; please clean up after your pet.
- Garbage receptacles are located in the main parking lot.
- No campfires allowed in the campground. A fire ring next to the main pond is available for use. Bring your own firewood.
- The Intern Village and residences in the Southeast and Southwest corners
- Check in: After 2PM
- Check out: Before 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Moderate
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 12 months out
Places to see near Solar Living Center
The vibe at Mendo Permaculture Oasis
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
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!
“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!”
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.
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.
Other than the lack of housekeeping, I enjoyed my stay. The tent camping field was overgrown with weeds. The photos look much cleaner than the kitchen and shower facilities were. Outdoor shower was not hooked up and majorly in disrepair which probably would have been nicer than the indoor one. Kitchen was dirty and full of cobwebs with overflowing or inadequate waste disposal/recycling/compost. Appeared as if facilities had not been used or tended to in months. Nice to have a fridge for food and a gas stove though.
The remainder of the grounds were fun to explore, really enjoyed the peaceful setting and abundant wildlife on site.
This place was such a hidden gem! The actual spot where you put down a tent doesn't look like much but it does have a few picnic tables and garbage/recycling bins. There is a bathroom and shower accessible too which is a huge bonus. The real fun comes when you explore the grounds a bit. This place is located on the property of the "Real Good" store and solar living facility. The store has a beautiful garden area and you can also find a few snacks/drinks available for purchase. It is walking distance from downtown Hopland and was fun to walk into town for dinner that night. While you aren't totally emersed in nature if you are looking for something a bit unique or just a place to rest your head...i 100% recommend!
Awesome spot, minus the fact that no where did it mention that every Saturday night they host a bonfire music event.. super cool, except with kids, and you want to sleep and not be bothered by the endless annoying sound of base bumping in your ears.