Introducing Fort Bragg
Although it’s less charming than Mendocino, Fort Bragg makes an excellent base for exploring the coast, and serves as a jumping-off point for whale-watching and deep-sea fishing excursions. The fort established here in 1857 was named for Colonel Braxton Bragg, a veteran of the Mexican War. Ostensibly used to ‘supervise’ the local Pomo, it was abandoned a decade later. A lumber company was established in 1885, and the California Western Railroad (later nicknamed the ‘Skunk Train’) was built to haul giant redwoods from forest to coast. The last of the mills closed in 2002, and the town relies increasingly on tourism.