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Historic Fort Bragg, Training by the Ocean


Ride the old Skunk Train, enjoy North Coast Hospitality


Fort Bragg used to hold a spot on our calendar every year, sometimes twice. We would drive up, see The Footlighters (an old-time locally produced melodrama), visit the gardens and ride the train back to Willits. Alas, ten years ago a tunnel on the train route gave way, dumping thousands of tons of rock onto the track. Restoring the full route has and will continue to cost a tremendous amount of dollars, so the train today runs a short 3-mile route along Pudding Creek. The Footlighters have gone to melodrama heaven, but there are still plenty of reasons to visit the North Coast. There is so much history in the area, and because of its remote location, not everyone makes it up this way. Native Americans lived here (and still do), and the Union Lumber Company practically was the town for decades.

  • Two nights at the Harbor Lite Lodge overlooking Noyo Harbor
  • Ride the Skunk Train to Pudding Creek, view the Redwoods
  • Explore the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
  • Walking/coach tour of historic downtown Fort Bragg
  • Learn more about the giant trees at Mendocino Burlwood
  • 6 meals: 2 breakfast, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Door-to-door service 
  • 1450/1600 Gold Passport Points



Daily Itinerary

Day 1.

From Sacramento we make our way up I-5 to Williams, then west on Route 20 into Lake County where we’ll stop for lunch at the Blue Wing Saloon, part of the historic Tallman Hotel. Travel on through Willits, arriving in Fort Bragg in the mid-afternoon. Your accommodations for two nights are at the Harbor Lite Lodge, overlooking Noyo Harbor below. Before dinner, a short walking/driving tour is offered. The city of Fort Bragg, yes, the whole city, is a California Historic Landmark. Learn of its logging history when the Skunk Trains were introduced and see the only two power poles made of redwood remaining from the old mill days (there’s a cool story there!). The beautiful First Baptist Church also represents a great piece of local history and is a magnificent photo stop. Dinner is served at a popular local restaurant with options including locally-caught seafood. Harbor Lite Lodge - 2 nights (L,D)

Day 2. 

After breakfast, our first stop on a busy Fort Bragg day is at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. A docent leads us on a guided walk through the gardens, telling us the story of the couple who founded the site in 1961. Break for lunch at your leisure downtown, then board the famous Skunk Train for the short ride to Pudding Creek in early afternoon. Then we’ll teach you a little about how table tops and the like are made from redwood burls. Back at your hotel, enjoy the view and a little down time. Dinner is included again this evening. (B,D)

Day 3.

Before the ride back to the valley, let’s take a few minutes and walk the .6 mile accessible boardwalk loop trail at MacKerricher State Park. The park was at one time part of the Mendocino Indian Reservation as well as a part of the Union Lumber Company. It is located three miles north of Fort Bragg on Highway 1, near the town of Cleone. Our lunch stop is in Willits with the return to Sacramento slated for 4-5 pm. Our fleet of cars will be waiting at the Sports Leisure office to return you to your home. (B,L)

Daily Itinerary Meal Legend
CBContinental Breakfast
BGenerally a limited buffet or menu
FBFull buffet or choice of menu
BRBrunch, often buffet-style
LLunch, often several menu options
HT or ATHigh or Afternoon Tea
DDinner, often several menu options


Tuesday, July 9, 2024 to Thursday, July 11, 2024

3 Days, 6 Meals

2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners


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