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), very nice 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.
- RVs or or Van Campers: (No Hook-ups) You're welcome to park in the main parking lot preferably on the back row next to the fence (east side of the property). While there is not a specific campsite to park in, you are welcome to use the lush area around the ponds and gardens.
- 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. Arrangements can be made in advance to get off site at an alternative time. 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 of the site are private.
- Please know: We are in a flood plain. During especially rainy periods, normally October to April, the site may or may not be open for camping.
- Check in: After 2PM
- Check out: Before 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Moderate
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: None
- Accepts bookings: 12 months out
The vibe at Mendo Permaculture Oasis - Tent Only
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!