Green Travel Magzine

15 Sustainable Stays, Eats, Shops, and Experiences in Northern California

Northern California is filled with many sustainable options. From vintage shops to a farmhouse oasis – green options are bountiful in the region! Check out our recommendations below and don’t forget to let us know what you think.

Accommodations

MMV Village

Source: Airbnb

Price Range – $$

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Deep in the Northern California national forest is an off the grid ecovillage of small cabin stays. A small & rustic handbuilt a-frame cabin, minimally filled with everything you will need for a weekend to disconnect. Overlooking the valley from your little home, you are sure to have a unique experience surrounded by pristine nature and wilderness. The village lives sustainably and is permaculture-focused, with eco-projects on-site such as gardens, ongoing construction & composting toilets! This is a beautiful opportunity to experience MMV’s responsible natural relationship with Mother Earth.

Eco Luxury Farmhouse Oasis

Source: Farmhouse Oasis

Price Range – $$$

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The Eco-Luxury Farmhouse Oasis is a luxurious & boutique hotel experience located in the heart of California’s wine country. It’s modern and eco-friendly design truly mattered to hosts, Trinette & Chris, who have traveled around the world working in commercial photography. They are both highly detail-oriented & value customer service, and were inspired to create a unique experience for their guests focusing on these attributes. Aside from being an amazing getaway destination – almost everything in the house is eco friendly! The house is solar heated (and so is the pool!), the bedding is completely natural, has a water filtration system in place, and was decorated with only eco-friendly paint. An oasis complete with sustainable initiatives – you can’t beat it.

Farmhouse Inn

Source: Farmhouse Inn

Price Range – $ – $$$$

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The Farmhouse Inn ticks all the boxes. Located in Sonoma, you will feel fully immersed in this region, and all it has to offer. The space was designed to be a modern luxury but feels romantic and rustic at the same time. There are nightly wine tastings, personalized tasting itineraries during the day, and an incredible dining experience on-site. They even include the option to have their amazing gluten-free chocolate chip cookies & cold milk on your bedside table each night. To top it off – sustainability is a way of life at Farmhouse. Catherine & Joe Bartolomei, the owners, and siblings are committed to keeping their Sonoma accommodation as genuine & authentic as possible by doing everything they can for the land, people, and bounty of all they produce. Sustainable practices and green initiatives are part of Farmhouse’s daily life. Do yourself a favor and spend a few nights relaxing here.

Secluded Yurt on Organic Farm

Source: Airbnb

Price Range – $$

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This secluded organic yurt is the perfect place to relax in the countryside or to use as a resting place between adventures in the Sierra Nevada foothills. There is easy access to the river country, hiking trails, biking paths, and South Lake Tahoe ski resorts. The yurt is a cozy & comfy private nest overlooking a pond and natural wildlife, complete with a deck, hammock, and lounge area outside. Guests can learn more about the on-site organic veggie and flower farm, and are welcome to participate in any projects going on during their stay! It is truly a rustic campground experience, offering a quiet retreat with sustainable initiatives.

Eateries

Mixt

Source: Mixt

Price Range – $$

Back in 2005, founders Leslie & David came home from a ski trip in Tahoe, only to realize that they wanted to give people the opportunity to have both healthy & fast food all from one place. MIXT was formed and the idea to create a movement of high quality casual restaurants began! They believe that in order to be our best selves, we must eat the right food. MIXT serves healthy, delicious food to connect like minded people to their fullest potential. And this is just the beginning. MIXT works hard to craft their salads from locally sourced ingredients and work with suppliers who are as passionate about sustainable practices as they are. The food is good for you AND for the Earth. Sop by one of MIXT’s many locations for a nutrient rich meal that will bring a smile to your face.

The Plant Cafe Organic

Source: The Plant Cafe

Price Range – $$

The Plant Cafe Organic has many locations throughout San Francisco that are committed to serving everything made from organic materials and mostly sourced from local farms. Almost the entire menu is made from scratch, in order to ensure its freshness and quality. The Plant serves organic food options, ethically raised meats and wild caught seafood to support the idea of an overall more sustainable planet. The broad menu showcases this and caters to meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. The Plants various locations are designed using green materials to contribute to lowering carbon emissions and impact on climate change. For almost 12 years now, The Plant Cafe raises the bar on food sustainability while encouraging all to eat healthy & be healthy. Clearly they are doing something right.

Gracias Madre

Source: Gracias Madre

Price Range – $$

Gracias Madre is an authentic mexican restaurant that has got it ALL goin’ on. Their mission encompasses a deep love for food, commitment to sustainability, focus on family & community and raising awareness for the planet. They serve traditional mexican food that is plant based, made from scratch and uses only local & organic ingredients. Gracias Madre hopes that the emphasis they put on sourcing their foods will inspire eco consciousness in the community and stress the importance of eating and buying food sustainably.

Burma Superstar

Source: Burma Love

Price Range – $$

Burma Superstar brings authentic Burmese cuisine to the Bay Area. The flavors are rich in taste and inspired by ancient traditions. Their mission is to bring Burmese food and culture to the world through the restaurant, cookbooks, workshops and their work with a non profit called Charitable Superstars. This foundation was established by the Burma Superstars restaurants and encourages growth and leadership in their communities. Charitable Superstars is dedicated to providing youths from underserved communities with guidance and resources to further their education – this includes scholarship opportunities & mentorship programs. They hope that through the foundation and restaurant, we can work together to encourage the next generation to “shine like superstars.”

Shopping

Indigo Vintage Co-Op

Source: Indigo Vintage

Price Range – $$

“Unconventional, funky & fun” – these are all things you can find while shopping at Indigo Vintage. Located throughout Northern California, Indigo works to showcase quality & originality in all aspects of their business. Indigo connects shoppers to sustainable and thoughtfully curated goods, allows a platform for small businesses to flourish and creates a welcoming environment for all. They strive to be a “new wave in vintage commerce.” Indigo Vintage is proudly female owned and operated. The #indigogirls promote women, queer and POC to truly embody an inclusive space for all visitors. This is the perfect place to purchase vintage in favor of both sustainability and local business.

Gravel & Gold

Source: Gravel & Gold

Price Range – $$

Gravel & Gold showcases apparel and goods for creative & conscientious people. You can find this design collective in San Francisco’s Mission District. Female-run since 2008, G&G supports a community of inspiring artists to create both joyful & useful products. This is a safe space to show and collaborate with a like minded network of people, places & things. It could be considered a store, clothing brand, design studio or just a place to stop by and have a chat. The “makers” are a group of creators whose decisions have a positive impact on lives, looks and the planet. They do this with strong principles in creativity & joy, conscientious manufacturing, collaboration, community & adaptability. Gravel & Gold is moving with the times of the culture around us, and does so with ease by forward thinking for all.

Experiences

Yosemite National Park

Source: Sunset

Price Range – $$

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Yosemite National Park is a well known spot during a trip through Northern California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. The park spans around 1,200 square miles and within you can find waterfalls, deep valleys, large meadows and of course the grand & ancient sequoia trees. There are a variety of things to do to suit any type of visitor, including: camping, hiking, fishing and rock climbing. Be sure to check out the iconic “Tunnel View”, which shows the towering Bridalveil Fall and the cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. The park entrances are open 24 hours a day and a pass is $35 per car. Don’t miss out on exploring the wilderness within Yosemite.

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

Source: National Parks Service

Price Range – $$

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The Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks make up a joint area that is a combined size of about 1,300 square miles. Also known as the “Land of the Giants”, you can find the world’s tallest trees here! The stunning landscape testifies to nature’s size, beauty & diversity – and is also made complete with huge mountains, rugged hiking paths, and deep canyons & caverns. The park is very accessible with a wide range of activities to do in any season. There are hiking paths, skiing slopes and drives with viewpoints to watch wildlife along the way. There are passes for $35 a day or only $70 annually. The height of the sequoia trees alone should be a draw to visit this incredible park area!

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Source: Visit California

Price Range – $$

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Lassen Volcanic National Park is in Northern California and filled with one beautiful form after another. It is home to steaming fumaroles, wildflower covered meadows, pristine mountain lakes and multiple volcanoes. Lassen is rich in hydrothermal sites, including Bumpass Hell, which has acres of land covered in bubbling mud pots! There are many activities throughout the park that vary each season. In the summer, there is hiking, biking and water activities, while in the winter, you can fulfill your sense of adventure by skiing and snowshoeing around the summit of Lassen Peak volcano. Enjoy the park passes either for a day at $30 per car or annually at only $55! Lassen has a little bit of everything to immerse yourself in the great outdoors!

Pinnacles National Park

Source: National Parks Service

Price Range – $$

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About 23 million years ago, multiple volcanoes in the region erupted and formed what is now known as Pinnacles National Park. Pinnacles is a protected mountainous park, just East of the Salinas Valley in Central California. The landscape is unique and shows stories of remains from past eruptions. There are many things to do in the park, and travelers will be able to hike and enjoy the tremendous space no matter the level. During your visit, you will experience oak covered woodlands, caves to enter & explore and journeying to reach canyon bottoms. The Pinnacles is also known for a wide range of bird species, such as the prairie falcons, golden eagle and the California condor. The park has a variety of pass options including a daily $30 per car, an annual pass or even a lifetime pass! Don’t miss out on the scenery and wildlife that Pinnacles National Park has to offer.

Redwood National Park

Source: More Than Just Parks

Price Range – $$

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Redwood National Park is so much more than just the tallest trees! Most people know that this park holds the tallest trees on Earth, but what many don’t know is that it also protects great prairies, wide oak woodlands, natural riverways and about 40 miles of untamed coastline. There are many exciting things to do in the park, and the National Park Service (NPS) even breaks it down based on how much time you have to explore, here. People have called this sacred land home for years, and now the NPS and California State Parks are managing & restoring these lands for a future of inspiration, enjoyment and education for all visitors.

ecomadic is a sustainable tourism brand that empowers travelers to make more conscious decisions. By curating a marketplace to easily find and identify responsible businesses to support, and providing educational publications through our online green travel magazine, ecomadic is committed to helping empower travelers make responsible choices throughout their journeys.


Christina Harris
Christina holds a BA in Communications and Event Management and has worked in the travel industry for 3 years. She is a life enthusiast, passionate about travel and people. When she's not working, you can find her staying active, with a coffee in hand or near the ocean.