Living in Northern California we get the best of many worlds, we are close to nearly everything from the mountains and the snow, to the ocean and the sand, the forests and camping and so many more amazing places to discover.
Mendocino is a little gem just a few hours north of San Francisco with a gorgeous camping site in Van Damme Park. Mendocino is a great way to escape the city life. It is close to the ocean but surrounded by large beautiful redwoods. This quaint little beach town is just 10 miles south of Fort Bragg and it’s infamous Glass Beach. Mendocino has a lot a little beach town can offer with less traffic but just as beautiful if not more beautiful views than Big Sur near Monterey.
There are more campsites other than Van Damme State Park. According to locals, Van Damme State Park is the most expensive in town. This campground gets filled up quickly so be sure to book your spot as soon as possible.
My friends an I arrived in the afternoon and headed for Glass Beach first in Fort Bragg. I was there around the same time last year. Glass beach was a beautiful gem with lots of glass pebbles on the shore. However, many of the visitors have taken the glass as souviners with them. This leaves the beach with mostly small rubbles of glass. It’s quite interesting when you think about it. The glass beach was formed from littered glass into the ocean. The glass then washed up on shore hence what made this beach famous. Now people are taking back the trash people threw into the ocean and now cleaning up the beach of what glass is left.
Afterwards, we spent some time at Mendocino Headlands state parks. We took this time to breathe in the fresh salt water air and take some time to relax while enjoying this peaceful and beautiful view. The plants were vibrant with colors, the sky overcast with grey and the water soothing to the ears as it rocked back and forth hitting the cliffs.
The next day we spent some time at the Pigmy Forest or better known as Dwarf Forest located in Van Damme Park. The park consists of many small trees that are over a 100 years old. There is a short path where you can view these trees that loop around. If you are staying at Van Damme Camp grounds, the parking pass allows free admission to this location.
Have you visited Mendocino, CA, Glass Beach or Fort Bragg? What were some of the highlights from your trip? Leave a comment below.