Fun Things to Do in Fort Bragg California

Fun Things to Do in Fort Bragg California
Fort Bragg, between redwood forests and the Pacific Ocean, offers outdoor opportunities from hiking and biking to whale watching. The area's temperate climate makes it an ideal year round location for adventure. The North Coast Brewing Company has been voted one of the Ten Best in the world. The Tattoo Museum is located in one of the town's original Victorian mansions downtown. Fort Bragg hosts fairs and festivals almost every month of the year.

The Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden

The Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, open year round, offers gardens by the sea. Because of the location's mild climate, there's always something growing. The site encompasses a coastal pine forest, canyons and bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. In March and April, the rhododendrons bloom. There are six different endangered plants in the naturalized area and more than 150 species of birds that live in or visit the gardens including cormorants, plovers and hawks.

The Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden
18220 N. Highway 1
Fort Bragg, CA 95437-8773
(707) 964-4352
gardenbythesea.org

The Skunk Train

The Skunk Train travels the original 1885 Redwood Route. It's considered one of the 10 most scenic train rides in North America. Dinner excursions with open observation cars travel a route that criss-crosses the Noyo River. The train travels between stations in Fort Bragg and Willits.

Skunk Train Fort Bragg Depot
Foot of Laurel Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(866) 457-5865
skunktrain.com

Abalone Diving and Abalone Festival

Abalone season starts April 1 and runs through the end of the year. Divers have a limit on the number of abalone they can take and they must fill out a report card for the state Department of Fish and Game. Every autumn, Fort Bragg hosts an Abalone Festival where chefs compete for prizes. The festival includes a crafts fair, concerts, silent auction and wine and food booths. If you want to taste the abalone, you must purchase a tasting ticket, but all other events are free.

Abalone Festival
South Noyo Harbor
Off Highway 20 on South Harbor Drive
(707) 937-4700
mendoparks.org

Whale Watching

Gray and humpback whales make their migration along the coast near Fort Bragg every winter and spring. Whales can be seen from MacKerricher State Park and along the shoreline. Daily whale watching cruises depart from Noyo Harbor with whale watching excursion companies. In mid-March, regional microbreweries congregate at Eagle's Hall as part of the Fort Bragg Whale Festival. The festival hosts a crafts fair, art exhibits, chowder tasting and guided whale walks.

Anchor Charter Boats
North Harbor Drive
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(707) 964-4450
anchorcharterboats.com

Surfing

Advanced surfers travel to Fort Bragg during the winter months to catch huge waves. The surf is calmer in the summer, making it the best time for beginners to practice. Locals surf at Virgin Creek Beach, which is accessed through MacKerricher State Park.

MacKerricher State Park
24100 MacKerricher Road
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(707) 937-5804
parks.ca.gov

MacKerricher State Park

MacKerricher State Park offers biking, jogging, horseback riding and bicycling in a variety of habitats that include bluff, beach, dune, wetland and forest. The campgrounds and a nature trail are wheelchair accessible. In addition to being a favorite whale watching spot, the beaches and tide pools attract harbor seals and sea lions. The park offers Wi-Fi.

MacKerricher State Park
24100 MacKerricher Road
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(707) 937-5804
parks.ca.gov

Article Written By Meg Jernigan

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.

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