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Fort Bragg & North

Updated: Jun 3

FORT BRAGG – The Coast’s Functional Hidden Gem

For the true local’s North Coast experience, a visit to Fort Bragg is a must. About eight miles north of Mendocino, Fort Bragg is a former mill and fishing town and now the functional hub of the Mendocino Coast. Fort Bragg may be less bucolically picture perfect than the other tiny Villages of the area, but the city sustains the area’s real community needs and has plenty to do for all ages.

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One of the few small town California harbors that combines function with scenery, Noyo Harbor is the must stop lunch locale. We love Princess Seafood at the very end for a big menu with the freshest catch and tons of variety (also a woman-owned fishery!). If you prefer your fish fried alongside chips, head to SeaPal and grab a fun pint, too, or enjoy some great fish tacos at Noyo Fish Company. Either way, it is a great stop to enjoy lunch among the otters and ocean craft and you can also take a fishing or whale-watching excursion out on the water.

After lunch, you can keep cruising North, maybe even all the way to sleepy Westport. Along the way, you will find the famed Glass Beach at the north end of town, along with wonderful cliffside trails. Out of town and further north, the wonders of MacKerricher State Park and the Ten Mile Sand Dunes await. If you prefer not to limit driving, enjoy the gorgeous Botanical Gardens on the south end of town with an incredible variety of flowers, cliffside walks, and even a little cafe with gift shop and plants for sale.

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Downtown Fort Bragg, CA

Historic downtown Fort Bragg is pretty cute, too. There are galleries, specialty shops and breweries, both old and new, peppered about. The Skunk Train is also a visitor's favorite, where you can ride an historic railway into the redwoods or rail bike. So many options!

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