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This bar is in the middle of a grove of redwoods

This bar is in the middle of a grove of redwoods
Posted at 9:00 AM, Sep 21, 2023

Running out of romantic date night ideas? Have we got a good one for you!

In Mendocino County, California, you can take a scenic, 25-minute train ride through a magnificent redwood forest on your way to a hidden bar in the woods. Glen Blair Bar will serve you cocktails under the stars in the middle of a gorgeous grove of trees. There’s no need to listen to traffic rushing by as you sip, since there are no cars allowed in the area.

You can only arrive by the historic Mendocino Railway Skunk Train, which carries you over pretty trestle bridges, through dark forest tunnels, and into the Noyo River canyon. This old-fashioned train has been in operation since 1885. It runs from the Skunk Train Depot in Fort Bragg, California straight to the heart of the woods and the outdoor bar.

Here’s a look at the locomotive from content creator @stacymolter on X.

While the Northern California temperatures can get chilly at night, this outdoor watering hole has firepits and heaters. Plus, there’s live music to get you dancing. And the bar serves local beer, wine and cocktails. You can also pre-purchase a charcuterie board of meat and cheese or salmon and cheese for $44.95. They serve enough for two.

Check out @carriemalak’s Tiktok below, which details her experience. She talks about some of the features, including a nearby trail to walk nd a full-service bar.

“I think our favorite part was probably the live music because we were dancing our pants off and we did not care who was watching,” she said. “It was definitely the highlight of my trip to the Redwoods.”

@carriemalak glen blair bar in redwoods national park #redwoods #california #cocktailbar #cali #norcal #redwoodforest #redwoodnationalpark ♬ Dial Drunk – Noah Kahan

You must be 21 to buy tickets for the train ride to this bar, and the price is $49.95 each. Trains run regularly on Friday nights and select Saturdays between 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and the number of available tickets is limited so the bar won’t get too crowded. So buy your tickets early!

Dogs are welcome, though you’ll have to pay $10.95 for Rover’s ticket and purchase those by phone. (Glen Blair Bar does ask that only well-behaved ones hop on board.) The dogs in this video by @stefaniegarrett definitely seemed to enjoy it!


Took a trip to Glen Blair Bar in Fort Bragg California, 10/10 recommend #glenblairbar #schnauzer #skunktrain

♬ Live Your Beautiful Life – Gray Griggs

MORE: Scenic train rides in the US you won’t want to miss

Since this is California, the bar and the train are open year-round. But the prime time to visit is in the fall, when the leaves are changing and the foliage of the redwoods is at its most stunning.

If you’re not interested in the bar, or you have kids in tow but would love the chance to take a vintage train through the Redwoods, no worries. That can also be arranged!

In the morning and early afternoon, a different train, called the Pudding Creek Express, also leaves from the Fort Bragg depot. It takes you on a seven-mile ride for an hour and 15 minutes along the Pudding Creek Estuary — where you might glimpse some blue herons, ospreys, and more.

So, even if you have to bring the kids along on your date, at least you’ll get to see some cool birds!

Other experiences are available, including railbike rides and a special fundraiser called the Mushroom, Wine and Whiskey Train in November, so visit the site and choose your own adventure.

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