Archive for the ‘For Families’ Category

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37th Annual John Druecker Memorial Rhododendron Show & Plant Sale May 10-11

Posted on: May 5, 2014 at 3:22 am by bruce
Photo courtesy of the Botanical Gardens.

Photo courtesy of the Botanical Gardens.

On Saturday and Sunday, May 10-11, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens will host the annual John Drueckher rhody show – a wonderful event on Mothers’ Day weekend.

More than 700 entries will judged during this event which is co-sponsored with the Noyo Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, on Saturday.

The largest rhododendron show in California, the weekend includes sales of rhododendrons and a special lunch offering at Rhody’s Garden Café.


Where Do You Find the World’s Best Beaches? You Start in Fort Bragg

Posted on: March 16, 2014 at 7:00 am by bruce

Glass Beach Treasure, Fort Bragg, CaliforniaTravel blogs, magazines and newspapers (printed and Web-based) regularly publish stories about the best destinations to visit or where you can find the most romantic getaway or best beach.

In fact, the New York Times recently said the Mendocino Coast (where you will find Fort Bragg) is #3 among 52 must-see destinations in 2014.

There is a good reason for that endorsement: it’s isolated from big city hustle-bustle (100 miles from the nearest big shopping mall or Apple Store), but has plenty to offer in Downtown Fort Bragg (where you’ll find lots to buy and friendly merchants to serve you). You may be a long way from the big box stores, but you are minutes away from a world of beauty, including world-class botanical garden, ecological staircase, a pygmy forest, a waterfall, giant redwoods, a beach piled high with beautiful sea glass, surfing, abalone diving, whale watching, seaweed farming, horseback riding (beach and forest), a microbrewery, a working lighthouse with original Fresnel lens, a real blue whale skeleton, and five California State Parks or preserves. Did we mention pristine beaches that stretch for miles?

If you need more reasons to visit — such as festivals or special events – we’ve got those, too:

Annual Whale Festival – Saturday and Sunday, March 15 & 16 (just this past weekend)

Fourth of July Fireworks – Saturday, July 5

World’s Largest Salmon Barbecue – Saturday, July 5

Paul Bunyan Days – Aug. 29-Sept. 1

Holiday Lights Parade – Saturday, December 6

Then, of course, there are simple pleasures everyone can enjoy (and most of these you won’t find in your town).


Whale Festival to Feature Blue Whale Bones and New Science ant Art Festival

Posted on: March 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm by bruce

The Noyo Center for Marine Science — future home of Fort Bragg’s 75-foot Blue Whale skeleton — is sponsoring the first annual Marine Science and Art Fair  1pm-4pm, Sunday, March 16, at Town Hall, 363 N. Main Street (corner of Laurel and Main) in Fort Bragg. It’s the newest addition to the Fort Bragg Whale Festival.

This year’s fair will feature science and art projects from local kids in grades kindergarten through 6th at the Montessori Del Mar School.

Noyo Center staff has worked with students in a pilot education program, introducing students to marine mammals and the Fort Bragg Blue Whale. Hands‐on scientific investigation, inventions, and creativity are the focus of the fair as the kids explore the concepts of size in marine mammals.

Fort Bragg Whale Festival Scheduled for Saturday, March 15

Posted on: March 10, 2014 at 9:50 am by bruce

If you haven’t already gotten your tickets for various Whale Festival Activities, it’s not too late. In fact  you can just decide at the last minute to attend various events and purchase them at the door, so to speak. Whatever you decide to do, do not miss this Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce created event, which is supported by the Fort Bragg Promotion Committee.

Here is a rundown of what’s coming up this weekend.

Whale Festival Offers Some of the Best Chowders Ever

Posted on: March 5, 2014 at 5:31 am by bruce

One of the highlights of the Fort Bragg Whale Festival each year is the chowder tasting. This year the tasting takes place Saturday, March 15, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (or until the chowder runs out) at Town Hall, 363 Main Street in Historic Downtown Fort Bragg.

Providing mouth-watering tastes of their own special chowder creations will be chefs from nine great local restaurants, including Cafe One, Cliff House, Harvest Market, Living Light , North Coast Brewing Company, Angelina’s, The Restaurant, JJ’s Family Restaurant and Laurel Cafe and Deli.

The cost is just $10. Click here to buy tickets in advance. Or you can buy them at the door. Happy tasting!


Laguna Point: Sunsets, Birds, History, Whale Watching and More

Posted on: February 12, 2014 at 5:14 am by bruce

Among the points of interest at MacKerricher State Park’s Laguna Point (a mile north of downtown Fort Bragg) are the interpretive panels. They have been placed at two different raised platforms, with sweeping ocean views, to take you back in time (1880′s) when dog hole schooners picked up redwood lumber to haul to markets in San Francisco, demonstrate the formation of offshore sea stacks and explain the great annual Gray Whale migration.

You can soak up history here, but you can also view and capture stunning sunsets, watch surfers challenge big waves or cozy up to photographers with their big lenses documenting local wildlife.

Bring a camera and a jacket (on windy days it can be very cool).

Glass Beach Sea Stacks Will Make Your Forget All About Sea Glass

Posted on: February 8, 2014 at 5:22 am by bruce

The churning ocean has turned 100 years of trash into beautiful sea glass on three of our local beaches.

Although each of our glass beaches hold shiny treasures that were once colorful bottles or other waste, it is the pristine, cleaned up beach at MacKerricher State Park (parking at the end of Glass Beach Street) most people visit.

First-time Glass Beach visitors enjoy the novelty, while others come in search of the elusive ruby red glass (made from pre-60′s car taillights), which make up only one in 10,000 pieces.

Glass Beach is also a great place to see sea stack rock formations that give our Coast depth and visual substance. They are also home to a wide variety of seabirds. To learn more about the important of our coastal rocks, click here to learn about the Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway to the California Coastal National Monument.


Glass Beach on Big Wave Days Can Be Hazardous

Posted on: January 31, 2014 at 5:37 am by bruce

Glass Beach caught between waves and cliff: not a safe practice. He managed to get off the beach safely.

One of Fort Bragg’s most popular destinations, located just six blocks north of the downtown, is Glass Beach in MacKerricher State Park. Although it’s a place to discover beautiful sea glass, the bluffs above the beach also offer incredible views of big waves and spectacular rock formations along the Fort Bragg-Mendocino Gateway to the California Coastal National Monument.

Although we can’t help pointing out the beauty, this post is meant to be a cautionary tale: the sea glass hunter on the beach with his dog (click on photo to enlarge it) was sandwiched between pounding surf and the cliffs — never a good idea when waves are huge and the tide is high. In this case, he had been hit by a few smaller waves and had escaped the bigger sneaker waves that could have carried him and the dog out to sea.

On the same day we spotted this man, we saw and warned a couple standing down on rocks near the ocean – WAY to close to breaking big waves. In fact, one wave hit  the rocks a few feet in front of them and they both jumped back. They were lucky. We have heard many stories of folks being knocked off the rocks into the ocean.

Just remember, there are plenty of safe spots to hunt sea glass so there is no need to take chances with your safety.

Enjoy the hunt and never turn your back no the ocean.

On the Calendar: February Highlights

Posted on: January 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm by bruce

Like the rest of California, the drought has hit Fort Bragg.  We’ve had only 2.5 inches of rain this year (normal is 30+ inches). The non-stop sunshine has left us with picture postcard days, blue skies and temperatures around the mid-60′s (a heatwave for us).

Of course, rain may be coming (we hope). No matter, there is always something to do in our tiny seacoast town for a weekend or a week — indoors or out.

Here are a few reasons to visit in February.

  • Four North Coast artists are exhibiting their work at Partners Gallery: Helen Troxel (six new abstract mixed media pieces), on canvas, Sonya Popow (sculptural pots in sawdust or saggar fired terra cotta),  Jonathan Palmer (cut paper and plexiglas rods) and Lisa Orselli’s (encaustic and sometimes fabric, wasp paper and graphite).>
  • Every Friday and Saturday evening: North Coast Brewing presents Dinner Jazz from 6 to 9 pm in the Sequoia Room at the Brewery Taproom. The menu includes dinner specials and pizza from the stone hearth oven along with hand-crafted ales.
  • February 1-March 28:Weekend Whale Talks at MacKerricher State Park. Knowledgeable docents talk about the annual gray whale migration and about other marine mammals seen along the Mendocino coast. Programs are scheduled every Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Learn more.
  • February 8&9: Symphony of the Redwoods’ Winter Concert,  February 8 (8pm ) and 9 (2 pm), Cotton Auditorium. Program:
    Sibelius’ Symphony No 1 in E Minor, op 39 and Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, op 104. Featured artist: Stephen Harrison, cellist. Ticket information: 707-964-0898;
  • February 22: Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop. The focus will primarily be on, but not limited to, the pruning of fruit tree varieties appropriate to the North Coast climate, specifically apples, pears and selected stone fruits. 10 am-noon. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens Meeting Room. 707-964-4352;
  • For other ideas, click here.

It’s not too late to book at room.

Fort Bragg Whale Festival Just Weeks Away: Whales, Chowder, Microbrews and Bones

Posted on: January 17, 2014 at 6:00 am by bruce
The New York Times named the Mendocino Coast (with Fort Bragg at the heart of the Coast) as #3 on its “52 Places to Visit in 2014.” What better time to visit than the 32nd Annual Fort Bragg Whale Festival, March 15 & 16?
Sponsored by the Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce, Fort Bragg offers more ways than anywhere to see Whales: by horseback, on foot and by sea. And there will be plenty to do: tour Fort Bragg’s very own blue whale skeleton, check out our crafts fair, attend the annual chowder tasting created by great local chefs and sample great microbreweries (a Fort Bragg Rotary-sponsored fundraiser). There’s also a 10k/5k run and walk on Saturday, March 15.
Ricochet Ranch offers beach rides where you are bound to see whales just beyond the waves, while local fishing charters will carry tourists out of Noyo Harbor to see the whales close up and personal.
Best whale viewing spots: Laguna Point, MacKerricher State Park, and Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park. Whale docents will be in both locations. Bring binoculars and be prepared for cool weather.
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