The coast of Mendocino County is full of wilderness, trees, rugged coast line, curvy Hwy 1, and multiple charming towns. The towns of Mendocino and Fort Bragg are known for being popular for TV and movie filming. “Murder She Wrote” was filmed in Mendocino for years as was one of our favorite movies “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming.” The list of other movies and TV shows goes on and on. We thought we would tour the coastline and visit a number of towns and see the coast.
Fort Bragg, California
Fort Bragg is located directly west of Willits by about 25 miles and sits along the Pacific Ocean. The town, like most of the towns on the Mendocino coast, experiences a Mediterranean like climate with mild weather throughout the year. The town is noted for its beautiful views of the rugged coastline, Glass Beach, and the Skunk Train which runs from Willits to Fort Bragg and back.
In the early 20th century, the townsfolk would throw their garbage,including trash, appliances, vehicles, glass, etc., into the ocean and called that area “The Dumps”. Eventually, they caught on that this wasn’t so swell for the environment and a clean up process occurred. But today remnants of the glass can still be seen on the beach all soft, smooth, silky, and colorful. The effects of the waves pounding on the beach for so many decades has smoothed the glass to perfection. An incredible sight for something so terrible.
A quaint, charming village on the water along a picturesque headland with the look and feel of a New England town. Even “Murder She Wrote” was filmed here due to it looking so much like Cabot Cove, Maine where the TV show is supposedly located. Filming of something was on-going while we were there and the streets had some film crews and trucks working but it was handled well (like Vancouver) and everything was still navigable and passable. The Mendocino Headlands State Park provides a number of areas for admiring the vistas and getting out and walking. A beautiful town.
I am absolutely intrigued by the idea of tree camping and I knew that Elk was a good place for doing that so we had to visit Elk and check our their trees. I thought it would be great to see some tree tents in person but I knew darn well that winter wasn’t the time of year to see this but I still wanted to visit.
Elk is a lovely little town with just a store, a Post Office, and a love beach state park, Greenwood State Beach.
And, by the way, it only took me less than 15 seconds after seeing the trees and the cliffs to say, “Nope, I’m not tree camping”. But it was a lovely drive to Elk and a cute little town and a lovely beach.