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Fort Bragg, California, June 9-11, 2005

Fort Bragg, California

June 9 - 11, 2005


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The Skunk Train seems to be Fort Bragg, California's most important industry.  Many local lodging establishments offer rooms in conjunction with the train, and some offer transportation from and to the station if train passengers have taken the train from Willits, and are staying overnight before returning the next morning to Willits on the next day's train.

After our 9 am trip from Fort Bragg to Northspur and back on the Skunk Train, we walked around town and could not help but notice the obvious connection between the train and the town.




Daisy sits in the middle of a Deli just across the street from the Skunk Train Station.



The center beam had to be notched for the smoke stack (left).


Remember the song, "How much is that doggie in the window?"


Where to Dine in Fort Bragg:

Cliff House Restaurant of Fort Bragg - Fine dining on the Mendocino Coast
1011 South Main Street
Fort Bragg CA 95437
(707) 961-0255

Perched on the cliff at the entrance to Noyo Harbor. With one-of-a-kind views of the Pacific Ocean and boats entering and exiting the harbor, you will find the food as good as the views.

"Where the locals dine," is always a goal of mine when I'm hungry and in a new community, but seldom is it as cool a place as the Cliff House of Fort Bragg.  It hasn't always had this distinction, but in the last couple of years, since Dave Disilva has owned the Cliff House, that's been his goal...and it's working. 

As we dined, overlooking the Pacific from our cliff-level table, we noticed that we were surrounded by happy, local residents who knew Dave, the waiters and the bus boys, and each other.  Dave had reached his goal by reworking the winelist, including more Mendecino and Sonoma wines and removing some French and Austrailian wines.  He reworked the menu, buying his fish directly from the local fishermen with whom he had worked as a local fisherman.  Perhaps most importantly, he lowered prices!  Isn't that what any 'local' wants to hear about new ownership of a five-decade old landmark restaurant in town?  Add to that formula the fact that Dave grew up and has worked with Fort Bragg residents as a fisherman and lumber faller all his life, and you have a winning combination for great food, wine, and prices.



West wall looking northwest toward the Pacific Ocean.


Cliff House Restaurant owner/operator, Dave Disilva.


North windows, overlooking the channel to the harbor.
Seating capacity is 250!

The Cliff House Restaurant has over 100 bottled wines and eleven white wines by glass ranging from $3 - 6.75, twelve red wines by glass ranging from $5 - 6.50, and 13 beers in bottles priced at $2.50 - 3.25.  His wines are from Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, Carveros, Russian River Valley, Central Coast, and France.  I selected the Esterliona Riesling from Mendocino Country...excellent!

They feature a very large menu including Salads and Lite Meals from $10.95 to 18.95, Pastas $14.95 to 23.95, Steaks and Prime for $24.95, Seafood from $15.95 - 21.95, Cliff House Specialties from $16.95 - 26.95, Lobster and Abalone at Market Price, Desserts and Dinners for Two from $49 to 99.  I had Admiral's Special including salmon, cod and mahi mahi with soup, vegetables, rice and rolls.  Sue had Filet Mignon, baked potato, vegetables and salad.  Her steak was excellent and cooked to perfection.

Dave says his best selling dinners include crab, abalone, filet, Cliff House steaks, salmon, pasta, linguini and clams.  I asked about the 'Dinners for Two' and he said that was a big seller in crab season, especially the $99 platter.

The Cliff House has Casino Nights to raise money for the animal shelter and local schools.  They also host weddings.  The 250 seating capacity with room for dancing makes this a popular place.

Make a reservation and go there for dinner, you will not regret it.  Tell Dave you read this review at!  Oh, and don't forget the dessert menu!

Where to Stay in Fort Bragg:


Seabird Lodge
191 South Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
 707.964.4731 or 800.345.0022 -

Easy to find, on the right side of Hwy. 101 as you enter Fort Bragg from the south side of town, the Seabird Lodge is a perfect place to spend the evening before or after a ride on the Skunk Train in Fort Bragg, California.

The Seabird Lodge is a 65-room inn just north of the Noyo River.  They have spacious rooms and strive to have the friendliest service anywhere. 


Front Office

East side at morning light.


The suite-sized room had a microwave, refrigerator, TV, and coffee maker.


A second queen-sized bed was in a section of the room by itself.

Abundant parking as well as paper towels and windshield cleaner just outside your room.  They can set up a special vacation package and of course it should include the California Western Railroad as we did.  Room rates range from $70 to $118 depending on the season.

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