Famous for its glass beach, Fort Brag is a beautiful coastal city in California’s Mendocino. Though historic, the city has lots of amazing and exciting places.
Exploring Fort Bragg should definitely be on the top of your list.
Fun Things To Do In Fort Bragg
1. The Glass Beach
The beach used to be a dumping site in the 1950s. The waters eroded the glass and washed them into the glass as beautiful glass pieces.
The glass is scattered all over the shore and it is a sight that leaves you stunned by how nature can transform something from being neglected and abandoned to being preserved and cherished.
The sunset at the beach is beautiful to see and the glass glows too. Taking sea glass from the beach is illegal as visitors began to take so much glass and the beach was depleted. But recently, more glass has been swept ashore.
2. The Skunk Train
The historic train gets its name from the horrible smell it used to emit but not to worry it doesn’t smell anymore.
You can take a ride into the Redwoods using the Skunk Train or you can use the Railbike that is pedal-powered and enjoy the beautiful views of nature.
3. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is famous for its wonderful collections of hybrid Rhododendrons that blossoms all year round.
It features a variety of gardens, collections and habitats of plants and species that are favoured by the cool Californian climate.
Birds such as swallows, ospreys, Canada geese, and hawks also flock there, perfecting the beauty of the place.
4. MacKerricher State Park
The Park is home to the popular glass beach. encompasses areas of forest, wetland, dune, headland, and beach habitats.
They offer outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, horseback riding and camping.
5. Ricochet Ridge Ranch
Horse riding can be terrifying at your first attempt but once you get comfortable, it’s a wonderful experience.
Ricochet Ridge Ranch is a horseback touring company that offers riding tours to groups and custom trail rides and riding vacations for groups and individuals.
Riding is open to people of six years and above and there are horses available to meet all levels.
6. Pacific Star Winery
The Pacific Star Winery produces a wide variety of classic wines including Chardonnay, Moscato, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. The winery sources her grapes from nearby Lake and Mendocino Counties.
You can taste the different blends of wines at the company’s tasting room which is open all days of the week excluding Mondays and Thursdays during afternoon hours.
7. Pomo Bluffs Park
Situated along a rocky bluff near the Noyo River, the Pomo Bluffs Park is a city park with a beautiful landscape.
The park offers trails for hiking and biking. There a quite a number of interpretive signs explaining the regions’ cultural history. Benches are also offered so visitors can enjoy the views.
8. Downtown Fort Bragg
Historic and still bubbling and alive is the Downtown Fort Bragg. Between Pine Street and Alder Street, coffee shops and bakeries offer meals you can take to the beach, and to the parks for picnics.
It is also the central location for museums in Fort Bragg. The Skunk Model Train Museum, Skunk Train Museum, Sea Glass Museum And House Museum are all around the downtown.
You can visit all these places if you get to the Downtown Fort Bragg. You shouldn’t miss it.
9. Jug Handle State Natural Reserve
Jug Handle State Natural Reserve offers one of the best oceanic views in Northern California.
The exceptional natural reserve is on the southern edge of Fort Bragg and offers a spectacular view of the geological timeline of the coast.
At the park, the Headland Trail includes the first seven stops on the ecological staircase wall, where Sitka spruce and grand firs grow sideways. The trail is very picturesque and one of the best displays of the Mendocino coastline.
10. Pudding Creek Beach
Pudding Creek Beach is a famed seaside destination that welcomes visitors and residents alike offering spaces for picnics and get together.
They also offer other outdoor activities like sunbathing, tide pool inspection and estuary exploration. It is relatively quiet and easy to find your own spot on the beach
11. Jackson State Demonstration Forest
Jackson State Demonstration Forest being the largest state-owned forest in California with over 50,000 acres serves multiple purposes such as recreation, education and research.
Backpacking, hiking, and mountain biking are popular and interesting things to do at the State Forest.
12. Westport Union Landing State Beach
With 86 campsites made available, Westport Union is the ideal place for camping. It is a 30-minute drive from town and usually, it’s quieter than other beaches in town.
Westport is a popular destination to visit and it is open to receive visitors throughout the year.
13. Otis R. Johnson Wilderness Park
The wilderness park is an escape from the city and it’s a favourite place for locals. The rich smell of earth and the beautiful variety of vegetation is alluring.
It’s situated a mile inland from the ocean. Since it’s not usually crowded, it makes it ideal for an afternoon or early morning hike.
14. Glass Fire Art Gallery
Not so far from the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, stands the stunning Glass fire gallery. Buster Dyer and his wife, Trish founded it in 2005.
The gallery displays an impressive variety of blown glass creations, glass pendant works, and jewellery including the flight of unique and colourful Jellyfish glass light hanging from the ceiling.
15. Noyo Harbour
The Noyo River has a bustling harbour that is a perfect spot for lunch as you enjoy the scenery.
Sea Pal Cove and Noyo Fish Company are some of the seafood places where you can have outdoor seating on the dock as you descend on your food at the same time enjoy the view at the harbour.
Not to forget, there are seagulls which makes it all the more interesting.
16. The Guest Museum
Built mainly of coastal Redwood in 1892, the Guest Museum is a historic place having interiors of ornate woodwork, door and window trim and decorative mouldings.
The brick-red victorian mansion was used to display the Union‘s Lumber wood products and was a venue for welcoming the company’s senior officials and guests visitors to the logging sites and Fort Bragg mill.
If you are a lover of history, you shouldn’t miss visiting the guest museum to know about their early lumbering days.
17. Noyo Centre For Marine Sciences
The centre was established with the intent of fostering innovative research, expanding the marine science curriculum in local schools and promoting the protection and stewardship of marine and coastal ecosystems as it educates and engages visitors and locals.
It is both enlightening and fascinating as you learn about the ocean‘s life and the marine biologists who put effort into its conservation.
18. Mendocino Chocolate Company
For the sweetest treats, make sure to visit the company. They make the best confections. Talk of fudges, coffee barks, chocolate truffles, holiday chocolate sets, they’ll leave you wanting more.
Do well to come loaded so you can have as many as you’d like.
19. Cameo Arthouse Theatre
Long before movies had sound, Cameo Arthouse Theatre have been showing films. Currently, this local cultural theatre screens movies from old classics to modern films and the feelings it brings are just thrilling.
20. 82nd Airborne Museum and War Memorial
Fort Bragg has been the 82nd home of the United States Army since the end of World War II. This museum holds the history of the division from 1917 till date and it’s the second oldest US Army war museum. We recommend that you visit to know more.
21. Murals At Fort Bragg
There are some really colourful murals around the Main Street of Fort Bragg like the Whale and Redwoods, perfectly depicting the Mendocino coast, the Queen Bee Mural, paying homage to Fort Bragg as the first bee city in California And so much more.
You should these murals while you’re at Fort Bragg
Location: 250 N. Main Street Fort Bragg
22. Cowlicks Ice cream
Cowlicks Ice cream is both tasty and creamy and you don’t want to miss it. The parlour is on the main street and they usually have seasonal specials, splits and sundaes.
Location: 250 N. Main Street Fort Bragg
23. Sea Glass Museum
The small museum hosts the world’s largest variety of sea glass pieces of about 3000!. The glass pieces were collected from the three famous glass beaches in Fort Bragg.
The sea glass is categorised based on colour and chemical composition and there is also jewellery on display made from sea glass. It’s a wonderful place to see.