I’ve been on the road for the majority of the time for the last few months traveling for both work and for pleasure. Being away so much I’ve had little time to create fun new recipes for all of you, but I have had the opportunity to visit some wonderful places. Travel is a close second to my love of food. And truthfully, when I get to combine food and travel, well that is just heaven for me! One of the best parts about traveling is to explore different cultures via sights and tastes! This past weekend we went to Fort Bragg for our annual Abalone Diving trip. Well, it is diving for the men and wine tasting for the women! If you haven’t been up the California Coast, I highly recommend it. Not only is it a welcome escape from the HOT summer in the valley, but it’s just a beautiful and scenic getaway.
photos of Casper Cove
I must admit, there is NO easy way to get to Fort Bragg. If you’re coming from the Central Valley you can either take Highway 37 to Highway 128 or you can dead down the 101 a bit further north and cross over at Highway 20. Either way, brace yourself for a twisty, “turny”, windy road to the coast. While a bit tedious, your trip through the Redwood’s out to the coast will be well worth it for these amazing views.
photo from MacKerricher State Park
If you’re staying in Caspar, check out Van Dame State park for easy beach access and RV and camping accommodations. We stayed a little further south, in the small town of Albion where there are tons of cute hotels and B&B’s, but we opted to rent a big house with an ocean view. We drove to Van Dame for sunset photos and an evening stroll on the beach.
photos from Van Dame state park
Fort Bragg is renowned for its Abalone Diving. There are many places to dive in Fort Bragg, Caspar, and all the way down the coast to Mendocino. For those not afraid to brave the chilly waters and don a warm wetsuit this is THE place to search for trophy Abalone. The best Ab Diving locations are top secret to the locals who want to preserve the area and the abalone. But look for random cars parked near a water entrance and you’ll be sure to find a treasure.
James en route to Ab dive at “the honey hole.”
If you’re looking for food and activities then I suggest the following. Take a trip to North Coast Brewery for an afternoon of beer tasting and some killer food. Or head down to Djangos Rough Bar Café if you’re looking for a little more local flavor and some amazing pub fare with a waters edge view. For breakfast head to A Good Life Bakery down in Mendocino and sip on a hot cup of coffee and take in the spectacular views. And finally, if you’re looking for a fun afternoon adventure, then take the short 30 minute drive into Philo and visit Philo Apple Farm for over 80 kinds of fresh produce. This is truly an elevated farm stand! And of course, while in Philo stop at one of the amazing Mendocino Wineries (post to come!) which specialize in Anderson Valley Pinot Noir’s and sweet crisp white wines.
Additional photos via.