Fort Bragg, California is known primarily for one of the largest Army bases in the world. But the region has several hidden gems that outdoor lovers will wish to explore. Let’s take a look at just 4 things to do in Fort Bragg.
MacKerricher State Park
Why You’ll Love It: Check out Glass Beach for an amazing beachcombing expedition, then hike out to see elephant seals calving on the sand. Or wander past tidal pools to discover marine life you never knew existed, and learn more about the animals and plants that thrive in this coastal environment at the park’s visitors center.
Address: 24100 MacKerricher Park Road, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
What’s the Word: A recent review on Google states, “A great beach state park just a short drive from Mendocino and Fort Bragg. It’s free for a day pass but cost if you want to stay overnight and camp. Beach was expansive and a perfect way to relax. You can also walk to view the sea lions sunbathing off the coastal rocks or during certain seasons see whales.”
Fort Bragg Getaway Score: 9.5/10
Mendicino Headlands State Park
Why You’ll Love It: If exploring sea animals in tidal pools, walking tranquil beaches, and hiking through woodlands and up coastal bluffs is your cup of tea, then Mendicino Headlands is your park! Created almost 30 years ago to protect undeveloped coastal property, the park is well-known for its ability to provide peace and quiet in an otherwise noisy world. You are guaranteed to fall in love with its sea breezes, wildlife, and solitude.
Address: 735 Main Street, Mendicino, CA 95460
What’s the Word: A recent review on Google says, “Spectacular coastline with sneaky secluded trails down to the beaches. I’m not saying where they are but go find them. Nice tide pools at very low tide only. The town of Mendocino is a few minutes away from this small but beautiful state park. There is a gigantic sandy beach at the Big River inlet and what appears to be a very safe area for kids to play. There are canoe rentals available on the south side of the bridge if you want to trek upstream.”
Fort Bragg Getaway Score: 9.3/10
Point Cabrillo Lighthouse
Why You’ll Love It: Make an illuminating discovery at Point Cabrillo, where a century-old lighthouse still stands in use, warning ships away from a parcel of land thrust out into the ocean. You’ll enjoy the museum and the restored blacksmith and carpentry shops, and if you’re really adventurous, make plans to stay the night in the lighthouse – they’ll even leave the light on for you!
Address: 13800 Point Cabrillo Drive, Mendicino, CA 95460
What’s the Word: A recent reviewer on Trip Advisor comments, “A walk down a half mile paved road brings you to the historic lighthouse, lots to look at inside and a number of paths to wander along the beautiful coastline, remarkable free from commercialization.”
Fort Bragg Getaway Score: 9/10
Russian Gulch State Park
Why You’ll Love It: Wander through a redwood forest as you hike along Russian Gulch Creek, only to be surprised by a beautiful waterfall in the woods. Or head back toward the coast, seeking the sun on pristine beaches in this unusual state park. Even there the action of water is astounding, as they have whittled out a collapsed sea cave at Devil’s Punchbowl.
Address: 12301 North CA-1, Mendocino, CA 95460
What’s the Word: A recent review on Google says, “This is so far the prettiest redwood forest hike I’ve been on. At the time of my visit the fern canyon trail was closed so I followed the north trail + waterfall loop and back via north trail for a total of about 8 miles. Had the trail mostly to ourselves with only a few encounters on the trail and a couple of small groups stopping at the waterfall.”
Fort Bragg Getaway Score: 9.7/10
If you are interested in other places to explore, check out our classic road trip down the PCH.
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