The following guest post was written by Stefanie Shank, a traveling mother of a three-year old. This was her family’s experience as guests of the Beachcomber Inn at Fort Bragg.
As east coast natives temporarily living in Davis, CA, my husband and I began planning our last weekend getaway in California by listing our priorities: combing the Pacific north coast beaches, exploring the state parks, and riding the infamous Skunk Train through a redwood forest with our three year old daughter. This affordable, family fun was all to be found near Ft. Bragg, along with an ocean view room at the Beachcomber Motel on North Main Street. As luck would have it, we would be visiting during the yearly Whale Festival held in Ft. Bragg on March 20-21st.
We chose the Beachcomber Motel because of its proximity to Pudding Creek Beach, as well as the recently updated ocean view rooms and a continental breakfast. Rates vary according to the style of room, ranging from a 1 queen bed with no view ($99-109) to a 1 king suite with a view, fireplace, and hot tub ($179-259).
As a small family of three, we stayed comfortably in a first floor, 1 queen bed room with a view and a requested roll away bed. The staff was friendly and prompt when I requested extra pillows and towels for the room. Our room was situated in the section of the motel that has a shared picnic deck complete with barbecue grills and tables for family cookouts with breathtaking ocean views. We were therefore a bit limited in how often we could keep our draperies open because the deck was a popular dining place for motel guests. If you desire a bit more privacy, I recommend requesting rooms numbered 124 or 224 and lower. The first floor rooms have semi-private patios while the second floor rooms have private balconies with unobstructed ocean views.
Pets are welcome in certain rooms, kitchenettes are also available, and a discount is offered for AAA members. If you require a refrigerator or microwave, make sure to ask as not all rooms are fully-equipped. The continental breakfast served in the motel lobby included apple and cherry pastries, oatmeal, apples and oranges, and tea and coffee to drink. Upon leaving, I suggested that it would be good to offer milk and individual cereal boxes for families with young children, as well as bagels instead of pastries. All rooms are non-smoking, and to the delight of my bloodhound-like nose, extremely clean.
A short walk on the Ten Mile Coastal Trail, which parallels the ocean-facing side of the motel, takes guests to the Pudding Creek Beach trail. It takes only a few minutes to make the precipitous trek down the bluff and to walk through the squeaky sand to find your ideal resting and playing spot on the expansive family-friendly beach. Families with older children and sure-footed adults could make the trek slowly with their gear for the day. Families like ours with younger children should consider driving their gear down to the beach parking lot and making the somewhat longer jaunt under the trestle bridge to the beach to avoid any mishaps on the bluff.
While driving home, we all agreed that combing the beaches and enjoying the breathtaking north coast vistas from the comfort of the Beachcomber Motel were our favorite activities together while in Fort Bragg. The convenient Motel location near Pudding Creek Beach, downtown Fort Bragg, and the area’s state parks, made the Beachcomber an ideal home away from home for a weekend full of outdoor family adventures.