Welcome to Fort Bragg
In the past, Fort Bragg was Mendocino’s ugly stepsister, home to a lumber mill, a scrappy downtown and blue-collar locals who gave a cold welcome to outsiders. Since the mill closure in 2002, the town has started to reinvent itself, slowly warming to a tourism-based economy, with the downtown continuing to develop as a wonderfully unpretentious alternative to Mendocino (even if the southern end of town is hideous). Unlike the entire franchise-free 180-mile stretch of Coastal Hwy 1 between here and the Golden Gate, in Fort Bragg you can get a Big Mac, grande latte or any of a number of chain-store products whose buildings blight the landscape. Don't fret. In downtown you’ll find better hamburgers and coffee, old-school architecture and residents eager to show off their little town.