About a year ago I went to San Francisco with a friend to celebrate my birthday. San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the WHOLE world, but what I was most excited about was the quick side trip I was going to take up the Pacific Coast Highway to Mendocino and Fort Bragg. I had driven the PCH once before, but I had only driven the southern route from LA to San Fran – I was exited to explore what the northern route had to offer.
The Pacific Coast Highway is a long stretch of highway winding up almost the entire coast of California. Famous attractions such as Big Sur and Hearst Castle are along the winding road. The path hugs the rugged coast, so most of the drive is 40 mph at most and it can be long if you aren’t prepared to observe the beauty of the surroundings. Much of the pleasure is just the drive and stopping at various look-outs along the way.
The further outside the city we drove the more scenic the coast line and we began to truly see the beauty California has to offer.
Finally, we reached our destinations of Mendocino and Fort Bragg. Mendocino is a sleepy little town with cozy bed and breakfasts and artist studios. It is a bit pricey, so we opted to stay in Fort Bragg, a little north. We were not disappointed with our decision since we were able to save quite a bit of money and stay adjacent to Glass Beach.
Glass Beach is full of tide pools, open sandy areas and jagged cliffs, depending on which area you visit. The beach itself is littered with tons of bits of glass which have been smoothed by the ocean waves and tide. At first, I thought they were actual pieces of sea glass, but after reading up on the beach I learned that it was bits of trash. Glass Beach was once the Fort Bragg city dump. The beach was used as a trash sight until 1967 so the remnants of this pollution lives on in tiny pieces of glass. The coast has restored itself to its beautiful glory and now the glass pieces just offer little shining sparkles throughout the area.
After spending the majority of the day at Glass Beach, we drove down the Mendocino, did a quick drive through the city and continued down the PCH towards San Francisco.
The PCH was a great side trip and I thoroughly enjoyed the amazing beauty California has to offer! The Pacific Coast Highway is a must see for any traveler who enjoys nature’s beauty and splendor.