Fort Bragg

  • A Karen Brown Recommendation

Just a few minutes drive from Mendocino sprawling Fort Bragg does not compare to the quaintness of Mendocino but it has much to recommend it. The town’s history can be viewed at the Guest House Museum located on the corner of Main (Highway 1) and Laurel streets. Built for the Fort Bragg Redwood company in the 19th century, the building later became the Union Lumber Company guest house and now houses artifacts, photos and exhibits from the town’s early days.

Just behind the museum you find the Skunk Railroad which runs between Fort Bragg and Willits (www.skunktrain.com). During the summer months you can take either the all-day trip, which makes the complete round trip to Willits, or a half-day trip leaving in the morning or the afternoon. The train follows the old logging route through the redwood forests. (800-866-1690.)

Fort Bragg’s mild, rainy winters and cool summers provide ideal growing conditions for the flowers, trees and shrubs (4,000 spring-blooming rhododendrons), fuchsias, and roses that grow at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. The gardens are open daily between 9 am and 5 pm. (707-964-4352, www.gardenbythesea.org)

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