Searching for a romantic getaway for the upcoming Valentine’s Day weekend? Look no farther than beautiful and historic Fort Bragg, on the spectacular Mendocino coast! The weather forecast for the weekend calls for sunny skies, calm winds and mild temperatures, with the added excitement of some big winter surf. You can choose a romantic room at one of our unique and charming B&B’s or book an ocean view room at one of our seaside motels. Many of the local properties have special mid-winter packages or Valentine’s getaway specials, so don’t forget to ask when you book your reservation.
Spend the day walking the new Coastal Trail and explore the once forbidden southern coves of the Glass Beach complex, now accessible from the new trail and park. The California gray whale migration is at its peak, and you can often spot the spouts and tails from the bluff top trail. The new trail was opened just last month, and is available for walking, biking and boarding, and is wheelchair accessible from the new parking lot at the west end of Elm Street.
If you are looking for a more exciting activity, you can book a whale watching cruise in Noyo Harbor, rent kayaks at Liquid Fusion and explore the Noyo River or coastal rocks, or you can ride mountain bikes on the many logging roads in Jackson Demonstration State Forest. The pool at the C. V. Starr Community and Aquatic Center is open, or you can explore the redwoods at Otis Johnson Wilderness Park. The Skunk Train runs short half-day trips out to Northspur station leaving at 10:00A on both Saturday and Sunday.
Shopping is always fun in historic downtown Fort Bragg. Check out the one-of-a-kind shops on Main, Laurel, Franklin and Redwood streets, or wander through the Union Lumber Company Store mall or the Depot mall. Enjoy breakfast with the locals at the Laurel Deli, or the ultra-healthy salads and soups at the Living Light Culinary Institute’s Cafe. Happy hour at Barbelow can be a fun way to wrap up a day of wandering around downtown visiting the shops and galleries.
Many of our local restaurants will have special Valentine’s menus, but call ahead, as some may require reservations. Or, if you just want to sit and watch the waves, pick up a fresh Dungeness crab at Harvest Market or down in Noyo Harbor, a loaf of Fort Bragg Bakery’s crusty bread and a bottle of Mendocino County’s award-winning sparkling wines and have a picnic on the beach or in your room.
For those of you who have President’s Day off and can enjoy the three-day weekend, book an extra night! The beaches are almost always deserted on Mondays, and you can sit and watch the waves undisturbed. Take a drive up the coast to Ten Mile Beach and the Ingelnook Fen dunes, and you can walk for hours and see nothing but the sea, the sky, the sea lions and the birds. If it is a really clear day, you can see all the way out to the King Range and the tip of Cape Mendocino, at the farthest west point of the Lost Coast. A best-kept local secret are the margaritas at the Purple Rose restaurant in Cleone; a perfect way to finish another great weekend in Fort Bragg!