When the sun comes out and temperatures start getting warmer, it’s time to take a road trip and have some fun. Leave the city behind and make your way over to the beautiful, scenic Mendocino coast and the friendly town of Fort Bragg. There’s plenty of cool things to do here at this time of year. Let’s get you started with some exciting upcoming events.
“Everything is coming up rhodies” at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. The blossoms come in all sizes and a riot of vibrant colors, and the month of May is the time to see them in full bloom! The 41st Annual Rhododendron Show happens on May 5 and 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with showy blooms from over 800 specimens of rhodies. Throughout the gardens, you can see more than 1,000 rhododendrons blooming during peak season in April and May.
Also on May 5 is the chance to take the Skunk Train on A Fast Track Fiesta for Cinco de Mayo, featuring “all you can eat” corn tortilla chips and salsa made fresh by local artisans, plus bottomless margaritas, and a Cinco de Mayo beer special for only $3.00. Non-alcoholic beverages are also available on board. Train leaves the Fort Bragg station at 4:30. Let’s Fiesta! Get tickets here. On May 4th and 5th, Art Explorers presents their annual May Show at Town Hall in Fort Bragg with new creations by 29 artists. Visit their website to learn more about this extraordinary group of developmentally disabled artists. We love their work!
If you’d like to travel a little bit south or north of Fort Bragg, there’s a couple of traditional “down home” events lined up. On April 28 from noon to 3:00 p.m., The Caspar Creek Country Fair is a day to enjoy some real down home family fun, including live music with Eric Thor and Hands Four, contra dancing, a petting zoo, kids games and prizes, tasty food, beer and wine, a bake sale, and a straw bale maze. On Mother’s Day, May 13, it’s fun to take the very scenic drive up to Westport for the 27th Annual Great Rubber Ducky Race where you can relax and enjoy food, crafts, a raffle, live music, and family fun. Every mother gets a flower, every kid gets a prize, and you can watch the rubber ducks and root for your own personal ducky as it meanders towards the finish line.
On May 26, in Fort Bragg, Joe Moura’s pond in Fort Bragg is well stocked for a special day of fishing for kids and families. The Annual PAL Fishing Clinic is for kids from pre-school through 5th grade. This event is a great opportunity for children to learn how to fish while spending a fun day with other children, parents, and officers. Law enforcement officers assist the kids in fishing techniques as well as fish cleaning, and families can take fish home to cook for dinner! Call 707-964-6308 for information and directions.
Liquid Fusion Kayaking has special classes during the month of May. Touring Rock Gardens on May 12-13 is the perfect class to learn how to paddle near rocks and work as a team. Sea Kayak 101 on May 19-20 is great for beginners or improving your technique, and you’ll be able to venture out on the ocean on day two to test your skills with confidence. Rock n Surf Safari is available for 1-3 days on May 26, 27 and 28. It’s a multilevel trip for adventurous people who want to kayak, surf, and play in the waves.
Whether you would like to stroll in some fabulous gardens, enjoy a train ride with margaritas, music and salsa, explore art, find some family fun, or learn how to venture out to sea in a kayak, you’re sure to find something to help you make sweet memories on the Mendocino coast.