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A trip up to Fort Bragg will let you take in the redwoods that help build the region, as well as the magnificent beachfront. Just don’t head up to Fort Bragg in search of the fort. While it was built in 1857, it soon outlived its usefulness and was abandoned about a decade later. The area retained its name and today, with about 7,000 people, Fort Bragg is a sleepy seaside down, but one of the larger small towns along the Mendocino Coast.
The town is home to the small fishing village in Noyo Harbor, and here charter boats are available to head out to see for whale watching or deep-sea fishing. If a land adventure is more your speed there are tours through the redwood forests on a period train!
Back in town you can speed the day taking in the old world charm that this area has to offer, almost as if time stood still among the tall trees. The town offers a variety of quaint shops and some fine eateries, complete with a microbrewery. So be sure to sample the local brews when you visit Fort Bragg.
The area is also home to several beaches including the Ten Mile Beach and Glass Beach. These offer unique sights that make for a great day in the sand and surf.
A must see in the Fort Bragg area is the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. 47 acres of coastal gardens bordering the ocean through which you can wander on level paths with a great variety of plants and a place where you can also picnic. There are also shops for garden related gifts or to purchase living plants. 18220 N. Hwy 1, Fort Bragg
Another excellent day trip from Mendocino is inland to the Anderson Valley located southeast of Mendocino along Hwy 128. This highway passes through Philo and Booneville, toward Ukiah and Hopland (both on Hwy 101) and is a lovely place to go wine touring and tasting! There are quite a few wineries one can visit which are more low key than in Napa and Sonoma but which offer some outstanding Pinot Noirs , dry Gewertztraminers, and excellent sparkling wines. One does not have to pay for tastings.
Additionally, there are some nice art galleries, potteries and fruit and vegetable stands along the route. Do be sure to visit the Anderson Vally Brewing Company microbrewery in Booneville. There are places to stop for sandwiches as well as good restaurants in Booneville or Philo.
The valley is about 25 miles long and the highway is fairly winding, so you might want to have a designated driver who is not tasting or take a wine tour which can be arranged by your hotel or inn. There are additional wineries in the Hopland area offering different wine varieties.