Located on the stunningly breathtaking Mendocino Coast of California, Fort Bragg enjoys mild winters and pleasantly cool summers. From the awesome towering grandeur of redwood forests, to the cliffs, coves, and beaches of the Pacific Ocean, this hospitable, quaint city is surrounded by spectacular scenery. Whether you prefer hiking, bicycling, kayaking, whale watching, or diving for abalone, this gorgeous area offers an abundance of fun and exciting activities. Find the perfect Fort Bragg vacation rental for your next nature-filled getaway. Check out the most unforgettable places to stay in and around Fort Bragg.

1. North Fort Bragg

Source: Flickr/chanzi

Vacation rentals in the portion of Fort Bragg north of Pudding Creek lie along the southern end of MacKerricher State Park with its spectacular coastal trail. View the majestic Pacific Ocean from high bluffs. Observe the wildlife or find hidden caves and coves. Head for the refreshing haven of Pudding Creek Beach to lie on the soft sand, climb the rocks, and explore the tide pools. In addition, Fort Bragg comprises the gateway to the Mendocino Coast section of the offshore California Coast National Monument, which includes pinnacles, exposed reefs, and over 20,000 small islands.

2. Central Fort Bragg

Source: Flickr/Marc Cooper

The central portion of the city of Fort Bragg includes the historic downtown area. You can conveniently stroll from your vacation rental to famous glass beach, where the ocean has transformed former refuse into sparkling gems. Enjoy taking the Skunk Train through tunnels and over trellises to the Redwood Forest. Peruse items of local historical significance at the Guesthouse Museum. Walk the relaxing shady trails at Otis Johnson Wilderness Park.

3. South Fort Bragg

The portion of Fort Bragg south of the Noyo River lies adjacent to Pomo Bluffs Park, a large tract of land along the ocean-side bluffs with benches, observation points, and trails for hiking and cycling. Your vacation rental in this area is also close to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Walk its enthralling canyons and forests to discover the amazing diversity of the local plants and flowers. From its bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, observe the waves crashing far below with whales swimming in the distance.

4. Leggett

Located slightly inland about 20 miles northeast of Fort Bragg, vacation rentals in the town of Leggett sit in the Redwood Forest, which includes some of the tallest trees in the world. Visit Drive-Through Tree Park, where you can literally drive your car under the famous chandelier tree. At the nearby Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area, you can go swimming, kayaking, fishing, hiking and cycling in the midst of the southern end of the vast Redwood Forest.

5. Westport

Source: Flickr/Images by John ‘K’

Westport lies about 13 miles due north of Fort Bragg along Highway 1. Adjacent to your vacation rental, in this rustic small town, is Westport-Union Landing State Beach, with over three miles of spectacular ocean and mountain vistas. The Westport Headlands Trail includes picnic sites, a play area and a stairway leading to a rocky cove beneath the headlands. Enjoy fishing, kayaking, beach combing, and bird and whale watching.

6. Cleone

Situated three miles north of Fort Bragg along Highway 1, vacation rentals at Cleone are right next to MacKerricher State Park. Hike, jog, cycle or go horseback riding along park trails. Don’t miss the whale skeleton near the park entrance. The park includes diverse landscapes such as forests, wetlands, dunes, tide pools, and grasslands. Bird watchers appreciate the many species of bird that inhabit the area, while whale watchers can observe the annual gray whale migration from shore.

7. Caspar

Source: Flickr/Images by John ‘K’

Vacation rentals in the small town of Caspar, just south of Fort Bragg, are surrounded by three fascinating state parks. Point Cabrillo Light Station sits on a headland overlooking the Pacific Ocean and includes the lighthouse buildings and a marine science exhibit. The Jug Handle State Natural Reserve has an Ecological Staircase Trail that climbs down three terraces shaped by crashing waves. Each terrace has its own ecological system. Caspar Headlands State Beach is a protected area popular for swimming, boating, fishing and whale watching.

8. Mendocino

Source: Flickr/Harold

Located slightly over nine miles south of Fort Bragg, vacation rentals in the idyllic town of Mendocino sit on a bluff facing one of the most spectacular views on the U.S. West Coast. Surrounded by stands of redwood trees, canyons, waterfalls, rivers, and beaches, the picturesque town is as famous as an artist’s colony. It is also full of quality restaurants and renowned local wineries. Time your vacation right and you’ll enjoy the annual Mendocino Music Festival. Nearby are Mendocino Woodlands State Park, Mendocino Headlands State Park, and Russian Gulch State Park.

9. Little River

Source: Flickr/Don DeBold

Located two miles south of Mendocino, the town of Little River lies at the mouth of its lovely meandering namesake stream. It adjoins Van Damme State Park, a long stretch of land that includes a sandy beach, meadows on former ranchland and a unique pygmy forest. Join a kayak tour from Little River Beach to explore the area’s sea caves.

10. Willits

Source: Flickr/Benson Kua

Willits, known as the heart of Mendocino County and the gateway to the redwoods, lies at the far end of the Skunk Train that originates in Fort Bragg. From your vacation rental, stroll to the Mendocino County Museum and learn some of the fascinating histories of the area. Check out the Ridgewood Ranch, formerly home of the famous racehorse Seabiscuit. Join the fun at the annual Frontier Days Rodeo, the longest-running rodeo in California.