You’ve come to experience Fort Bragg’s Great Outdoors. But after hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, riding the Skunk Train, exploring the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, stepping back in time at Point Cabrillo Lighthouse or walking through redwood forests, you’ll be ready for some quiet time … time to slow down and enjoy what we call “simple pleasures” —Fort Bragg-style:
- Hunt sand dollars on Ten Mile Beach.
- Watch the sunrise and sunset from Pudding Creek Trestle.
- Slip off to a secluded cove on Ten Mile Beach for a little romance.
- Tuck into a cozy café for a latte and freshly baked scone.
- Be amazed by the rock formations and islands of our Coastal National Monument.
- Take your teen to the Fort Bragg Skateboard Park.
- Browse an inviting bookstore or the Fort Bragg Library.
- Give the family pup some social time at the town dog park.
- Pick up some yarn for the knitting project you’ve brought along.
- Gaze out to sea from a bench at Pomo Bluffs Park.
- Facebook friends about your Fort Bragg adventure.
- Walk across the Noyo Bridge.
- Buy some local picture postcards and sit in our beautiful park by the Town Hall while you write “wish you were here” sentiments.
These, too, are Simple Pleasures sure to make you smile at the end of the day:
- Watch Seals at play in Noyo Harbor
- Buy a paper kite and fly it at Todd Point
- Pick up a “Buildings to Bragg About” brochure and explore our historic alleys, cottages and backstreets.
- Peruse the displays at the Guest House Museum or Madam’s Chinchilla’s Tattoo Parlor and Museum.
- Walk the town’s Oddities Tour.
- Read the old gravestones in Rose Park Cemetery.
- Have a drink at one of our historic bars
- Shop for unusual plants at our unique gardens.
- Simply Succulents (Video)
- Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Hunting Sand Dollars
Hunting for Sand Dollars … There’s Treasure Out There, Matey
Don’t we all like to find treasure? Of course, we do!
If you don’t know what a sand dollar is, and are thinking about firing up your metal detector, don’t bother. It’s neither a doubloon nor legal tender.
Says Wikipedia: The term sand dollar (or sea cookie or snapper biscuit in New Zealand, or pansy shell in South Africa) refers to species of extremely flattened, burrowing echinoids belonging to the order Clypeasteroida. Some species within the order, not quite as flat, are known as sea biscuits. Related animals include the sea urchins, sea cucumbers and starfish.
After big storms, hundreds of sand dollars wash up on Fort Bragg’s Ten Mile Beach.
As it turns out, birds like to go after these little guys when they are still a live animal, so many have been picked over — and pecked in half. But you are sure to find some that are whole. These small white discs with distinctive designs are simply beautiful. Hunting them, as you stroll on a deserted beach, is definitely a simple pleasure.
Counting the Rocks? Sounds Like A Crazy Idea
Some might say we have rocks in our head in Fort Bragg. More like rocks on our mind – that’s because thousands of them grace our beautiful coast.
Fort Bragg is an official Gateway to the California Coastal National Monument.
Here’s how the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior describes the Monument:
“Waves explode onto offshore rocks, spraying whitewater into the air. Sea lions bark as they “haul out” of the surf onto the rocks, and a whirlwind of birds fly above. These amazing rocks and small islands are part of the California Coastal National Monument, a spectacular interplay of land and sea.”
We couldn’t have said it better. But you may be able to, after you’ve enjoyed this simple pleasure.
Here are four spectacular viewing spots:
•Mendocino Headlands State Park – these large fancifully shaped islands, covered with cormorants and other nesting birds, are a perfect example of what the CCNM is out to protect.
•Jug Handle State Reserve Beach – this small beach is the perfect spot to watch waves crashing against huge craggy coastal remnants jutting out of the ocean. A spectacular display on big wave days.
•Ten Mile Beach – from downtown Fort Bragg to five miles north – along the Haul Road and beyond – are thousands of rocks and hundreds of spots to see them.
•Virgin Creek Beach and Ward Avenue Coastal Access — At low tide, the tide pools just south of Virgin Creek beach and north near Ward Avenue are great spots to see marine life up close – and further appreciate our coastal monument.
Rose Cemetery: Nothing to Be Grave About
Graveyards have fascinated the living forever: because of the creepiness portrayed in movies that send chills down our spines or as small windows into history. There is something strangely tranquil about wandering among the dead.
Rose Cemetery, like graveyards in most towns, has many stories to tell. One of them pertains to Fort Bragg’s military history:Rose holds the remains of soldiers from the original Fort Bragg, established in 1857.
The interest lies not so much in the often beautifully carved headstones, but in the brave souls they represent, who made their way north into this area way back when. At the same time, these headstones represent a sad chapter in American history: the subjugation of the local Native Americans. Fort was established as a base for removing the Pomo People to a reservation.
Regardless of your interest – pretty headstones or heady history – Rose is the perfect place for down time – a spot where you’re guaranteed quiet. What more could you ask for? A simple pleasure in the truest sense of the word.
The Ultimate Simple Pleasure: ‘Special Time’ Together
If you’ve ever watched the Jerry Seinfeld show – hasn’t everyone? – then you appreciate how you can say something without actually saying it. A number of episodes focused on such things, but never used the words.
Call it “special time” together, romance, or whatever — Fort Bragg’s often-deserted beaches, warm sand dunes and secret coves (found just about everywhere along Ten Mile Beach) are just perfect. Perfect for what, you ask? We can’t say. Not exactly. A picnic perhaps? Somewhere to read a book? It’s your memory to make!
Perhaps this is the simplest of simple pleasures, when the mood is right and you just want some alone-time.
Write local picture postcards as you sit in our beautiful park by the Town Hall
The little downtown park – hugged by our historic Town Hall and Guest House history museum (the former home of a lumber baron) is the perfect spot for simple pleasures like penning postcards to friends or relatives (what a novel idea).
Read a book, have a picnic or just watch the world go by … the perfect place for down time.