Do you want to experience some of the most beautiful beaches near Fort Bragg? Well, there are plenty to choose from! Fort Bragg is surrounded by beaches that will make your jaw drop in amazement.
I’m not saying this to exaggerate but to give you a heads-up about what’s in store for you. From beaches with dramatic sea stacks to bluff-top trails, I promise you’re in for a treat. And in no particular order, here are the 10 best beaches near Fort Bragg to visit.
Beaches Near Fort Bragg
1. Glass Beach
Glass beach is undoubtedly one of the most famous beaches in Fort Bragg. In fact, you can’t say you’ve been to this town if you haven’t stopped by this beach!
As the name suggests, the glass beach is covered in small, colorful pieces of sea glass. So, where did these pieces come from? If you take a walk down memory lane, you’ll know that this beach was once used as a dumping ground for trash.
The waves washed away most of the trash, but the glass remained. Over time, the waves would crash against the cliff and break the glass into small pieces. These pieces would then be smoothed out by the sand, giving us the beautiful sea glass that we see today.
You can’t take any of the glasses home with you as it is against the law, but you can enjoy the beauty of these glasses and take some amazing photos. Just take a walk along the shoreline, and you’ll be amazed by the colors of the glass.
2. Westport-Union Landing State Beach
You can’t go to Fort Bragg and not visit some of its most beautiful beaches, right? So next on my list is Westport-Union Landing State Beach. The unspoiled nature and dramatic coastline make it a popular spot for both locals and visitors. And I’m not surprised because it’s among the most beautiful beaches in Fort Bragg I visited.
However, the main reason this beach is so popular is its campground. In total, there are about 85 campground sites, which means you can stay right on the beach if you want to. The campgrounds are divided into three different sections that include tents, RVs, and trailers.
Each campsite has water, a pit toilet, picnic tables, and a fire ring. However, there are no hookups for RVs or trailers, so you’ll need to be self-contained.
The campsites here are first-come, first-serve, so be sure to arrive early if you want to get a spot. The best time to visit is during the week, as the beach can get quite crowded on weekends.
In addition to camping, there are also a number of hiking trails in the area that lead to some stunning ocean views.
Overall, Westport-Union Landing State Beach is great to camp, relax, and enjoy the incredible views. It’s one of the best beaches in Fort Bragg and a must-visit if you want to experience the true beauty of the California coast.
3. Jug Handle State Beach
Next, we move a little bit further south to Jug Handle State Beach, a beach near Fort Bragg known for its rugged coastline. This is one of those beaches where you can see the power of the ocean in action as the waves have carved out unique rock formations along the shoreline.
The beach is also part of a larger nature preserve, which includes a number of hiking trails that will take you through the dense forest and up to some of the best views in the area. The beach here is also great for picnics, as there are a number of sheltered areas where you can set up your blanket and enjoy a quiet day by the ocean.
I hiked the Bluff trail, which is one of the most popular trails in the area. This trail provides some amazing views of the ocean and bluffs. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a moderate hike with some great views.
The ecological staircase is another great feature of this beach. It is a set of stairs carved into the side of the bluff, making it easy to get down to the beach. This is the best spot to access the beach if you are hiking the Bluff trail.
There’s much more to see and do at this beach, so be sure to add it to your list of beaches to visit near Fort Bragg. It is one of the best for those who want to explore the natural beauty of the area without having to travel too far from town.
4. Pudding Creek Beach
One thing I love about beaches near Fort Bragg is that you are never far from a beautiful stretch of coastline. Pudding Creek Beach is one of those beaches that is just a short drive from town but feels like a world away. I don’t say this lightly, but it is one of the most beautiful beaches you can find in California.
This beach is located in MacKerricher State Park, which is a great place to explore whether you are interested in beaches, hiking, or bird watching. There are a number of trails that wind through the park, providing access to beaches and scenic viewpoints.
Most of the people who visit this beach come for surfing. The waves here are some of the best, and the surfers who brave them are always impressive to watch. Even if you don’t surf, it’s worth checking out the surfers and spending some time people-watching.
I loved the vibe at this beach. It was relaxed and laid back, with people enjoying the waves, sun, and sand. It’s the perfect spot in Fort Bragg to spend a day if you want to relax in nature.
5. Seaside Beach
I continue my list of the best beaches near Fort Bragg with Seaside Beach, which is located just north of town. This rugged beach is a great place to enjoy the solitude of nature, as it is one of the less crowded beaches in the area.
The main feature of this beach is the huge rock outcropping that sits at the back of the beach. People love to climb to the top of this rock and enjoy the views of the ocean. It’s a great spot for sunset watching or just enjoying the sound of the waves.
Swimming is not recommended at this beach due to the strong currents, but it is a great place to enjoy a quiet day by the ocean. However, note that there are no amenities at this beach. So come prepared with everything you need. Also, remember that the parking is only limited to 10 vehicles, so get there early if you want to snag a spot.
You can also visit Ten miles beach, which is located just south of Seaside beach. This beach is known for its long stretch of sandy shoreline and shifting dunes. This makes it a great spot for walking, running, or just relaxing on the beach.
6. Ten Mile Beach
On the above-mentioned Seaside Beach, I briefly mentioned Ten Mile Beach. But it deserves its spot on this list of the best beaches in Fort Bragg.
This beach is among the longest beaches in the area, and it is known for its wide expanse of sand, perfect for a day of relaxing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, bird watching, and much more.
But being located within the Inglenook Fen Ten Mile Dunes Natural Preserve, it makes it a perfect spot for those who want to explore the dunes. In fact, many tourists are attracted to this beach because of the dunes. These dunes shift and change with the tides and wind, so it is always a different experience.
You can access the beach either from Seaside Beach or along Highway 1. However, you’ll need to take a short walk to get to the beach. The challenge comes when traveling across the dunes. It’s not that easy, but that’s all part of the fun.
This was one of my favorite beaches near Fort Bragg because it is so long with different sections to explore. Whether you want to relax on the beach or trek across the dunes, you can do it all here.
7. Hare Creek Beach
The beauty of this beach lies in its simplicity. It’s a great spot for a quiet day by the ocean, with nothing but the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. The beach is managed by the Mendocino Land Trust, and they have done a great job of keeping it clean and well-maintained.
What I love most about this beach is that it feels like a hidden gem. And even though it will take you a few minutes from Fort Bragg to get here, it’s definitely worth the drive. You will find yourself surrounded by nature, with beautiful views of the ocean.
Hare Creek Beach is located at the end of the Mendocino College Parking lot, which makes it a great spot for students. Therefore, it is usually pretty quiet during the weekdays. But on weekends, it can get a little bit crowded.
8. Noyo Beach Off-Leash Dog Park
Are you looking for a beach where you can bring your furry friend? If you are, you’ll want to check out Noyo Beach Off-Leash Dog Park. This beach is perfect for letting your dog run off-leash and play in the sand. However, the dog should be under voice control at all times.
The beach here is quite large, so there’s plenty of room for your dog to run around. And when you’re ready to take a break, there are a number of picnic tables where you can relax and enjoy the view. A paved trail also runs along the edge of the beach, which is perfect for a morning walk or evening jog.
Being the only off-leash dog beach in the area, this beach is a popular spot for both locals and visitors. But don’t worry, because there’s plenty of room for everyone. Just be sure to clean up after your dog and keep them under control at all times.
Overall, this is one of Fort Bragg’s beaches you need to visit if you’re traveling with a furry friend. It’s a great spot to let your dog run and play.
9. Old Haul Road Beach
I don’t know if its true name is Old Haul Road Beach, but that’s what the locals call it. They say that there is no official name for this place. So it’s always referred to as the beach next to Old Haul Road. Nevertheless, it is one of the most beautiful beaches near Fort Bragg, so it definitely deserves a spot on this list.
The beach is located within the MacKerricher State Park, which is a great place to explore if you are looking for the most beautiful beaches in Fort Bragg. This particular beach is a quarter-mile long and is backed by an irregular low bluff that provides some privacy.
Although this beach is small, it packs a punch in terms of beauty. The water is crystal clear, and the views are simply stunning. It’s the perfect place to relax and soak in the incredible scenery.
10. Pomo Bluffs Park
The rocky bluffs and tidepools at Pomo Bluffs Park make it one of the unique attractions in Fort Bragg to explore. I know it’s not technically a beach, but it’s still one of the best places to enjoy the coastline.
The park is popular for whale watching, as there are a number of spots where you can get an up-close view of the migrating whales. The best time to see them is between February and April when they are making their way up the coast.
A paved path leads through the park and out to the bluffs, where you can get some amazing coastline views. You’ll see the waves crashing against the rocks and the tidepools that have formed in the sheltered areas. In addition, there are also a number of hiking trails that wind through the park, providing some great views of the coastline.
This park is one of the best spots in Fort Bragg to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. So be sure to add it to your list of places to visit in Fort Bragg.