With a newly revitalized downtown, a laid-back attitude, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, Fort Bragg promises a picturesque vacation on the Mendocino coast. Considered to be the commercial center of the area, you'll find a well-balanced assortment of both urban attractions and natural wonders nearby when you stay in one of our Fort Bragg vacation rentals.
Where is Fort Bragg, CA?
Occasionally confused with the military base of the same name in North Carolina, California's Fort Bragg is a military town only in the historic sense. Established as an outpost in 1857, Fort Bragg was abandoned by the military within a decade. Since its establishment, this eclectic area has flourished into the largest town along the scenic Northern California coast. Today - thanks to its ideal location and growing popularity - Fort Bragg's primary order of business is tourism. This bustling city is home to 7,000 year-round residents and boasts the highest concentration of shops and restaurants in the area.
Located just 10 miles north of the beautiful oceanfront city of Mendocino, Fort Bragg offers a taste of all that Northern California has to offer! Framed by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the wilderness of the Jackson State Forest to the east, you'll find an abundance of serene beaches and challenging hiking trails just a short drive from your front door.
Things to Do in Downtown Fort Bragg
A unique city known (and loved) for its oddities, you'll find a surprising number of ways to fill your days during your stay in one of our Fort Bragg vacation rentals! Downtown Fort Bragg is home to everything from a tattoo museum to the North Coast Brewing Company to a specialty sock store. Grab a latte at Headlands Coffee and spend your morning browsing through the unique shops, museums, and galleries. Wandering and shopping will help you to work up an appetite, but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to keep you well-fed.
One of the most notable attractions of the area is Glass Beach, located north of Fort Bragg in MacKerricher State Park. This beach is aptly named for its abundance of sea glass, the result of years of discarding garbage into a specific area of coastline. Conservation teams have led clean-up efforts to remove metal and other hazards from the area, but the pounding waves have transformed the remaining pottery and glass into thousands of pieces of beautiful sea glass that now blanket the beach.
The Skunk Train
For an unforgettable experience found only in Fort Bragg, hop aboard the historic California Western Railroad, more popularly known as the Skunk Train! Named after the pungent smell of the original gas engines, the Skunk Train offers a historic experience guaranteed to delight guests of all ages. Forty miles of railroad run through majestic redwood forest and along the pristine Noyo River so you can admire the scenery in comfort. Make sure to bring your camera so you can share your historic adventure with your friends and family back home!
Outdoor Activities in Fort Bragg
Pack your picnic supplies and head for the great outdoors! Nature lovers of all types will find the perfect afternoon activity in and around Fort Bragg. Located just south of town, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens are a beautiful cliff-top hideout of incredible flowers, trickling streams, and casual walking trails. If you tire of taking photos of the foliage, head 25 miles south to the small town of Elk where rugged cliffs and sweeping views make this shoreline a photographer's dream!
Fishermen and kayakers will easily find the perfect place to drop a line or launch a boat, thanks to the two creeks that flank downtown and the numerous sea caves and quiet bays lining the coast. Just north of Fort Bragg, you'll find the MacKerricher State Park. With miles of trails suitable for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, it's worth a visit!
Day Trips from Fort Bragg
If you're looking for adventure a little further from Fort Bragg, take a day trip and enjoy a scenic drive through the small towns and hamlets peppering the countryside. Visit the idyllic coastal town of Westport for a serene escape or stop by quiet and charming Albion for delicious food and unbeatable ocean views. Each town offers its own unique take on the peaceful, laid-back pace of life that epitomizes the Coast.
Fort Bragg is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to experience the beauty of the Mendocino coast without sacrificing any of the conveniences and comforts of the city, and our diverse selection of vacation rentals is the perfect way to experience this unique and eclectic town. Book today for an unforgettable experience!