Things To Do in Mendocino/Fort Bragg

We traveled to Mendocino/Fort Bragg during the Labor Day weekend in 2012. With no stops, it is an approximate 4.5 hour drive from San Jose. I recommend driving when there is daylight primarily because the CA-20 W, which goes through the Jackson State Forest are circuitous and it was very foggy when we were driving on a late Friday night. On top of that, the absence of street lights clouds the visibility.

The return journey via the narrow and windy CA-128 was treacherous. I highly recommend taking the 101-S.

These are the places that we visited during each of the three days:

Day 1
  • Noyo Harbor
  • Pomo Bluffs Park
  • Jug Handle State Reserve
  • Point Cabrillo Light Stattion

Day 2
  • MacKerricher State Park
  • Mendocino Headlands State Park
  • Mendocino Bay Overlook
  • Russian Gulch State Park

Day 3
  • Point Arena

View Things To Do in Mendocino/Fort Bragg in a larger map

A - MacKerricher State Park, Fort Bragg
A huge state park in Fort Bragg, popular for it's Ten Mile Beach and Laguna Point, a prime vantage point to watch harbor seals, California sea lions and the migrating gray whales and humpback whales (between November and March).See Details...

B - Glass Beach, Fort Bragg
A unique beach with rounded sea glasses of flamboyant colors, formed by years of pounding action of the ocean waves.See Details...

C - Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg
Noyo Harbor was a very busy harbor once upon a time in the Fort Bragg/Mendocino coastline. It is now popular for fishing and kayaking.See Details...

D - Pomo Bluffs Park, Fort Bragg
A small park in Fort Bragg that offers an unprecedented view of the sunset and Noyo Bay. Once upon a time, seafarers looked at the temperament of the ocean from this park to determine whether it was safe to go to the ocean.See Details...

E - Jug Handle State Reserve, Fort Bragg
A not so well-known state reserve, that has a beautiful beach with white sands and coastal trails that offer some of the most gorgeous views of the Pacific.See Details...

F - Point Cabrillo Light Station, Fort Bragg
A century old lighthouse build on the Mendocino coastline, offering amazing views along the Pacific. This place offers hiking trails going both north and south.See Details...

G - Russian Gulch State Park, Fort Bragg
A hiking destination in Mendocino, with trails taking one to see the beautiful ocean, Devil's Punchbowl and waterfalls.See Details...

H - Mendocino Headlands State Park, Mendocino
A huge state park with coastal trails with beautiful view of the ocean and several grottos, providing access to the family friendly Big River Beach.See Details...

I - Mendocino Bay Overlook, Mendocino
A scenic viewpoint of the Mendocino Bay, Mendocino Headlands State Park and the Big River BeachSee Details...

J - Point Arena Lighthouse, Point Arena
The tallest lighthouse (115 feet) in California, where one can climb to the top to see amazing views of Manchester State Beach, Punchbowl and the beautiful Mendocino coastline.See Details...

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