Beachcombing for Bowling Balls and Sea Glass
- Family Time
- Photo Ops
- Something Different
Bowling Ball Beach and Glass Beach in Mendocino County are unique beach experiences. Comb the beach for pretty sea glass at Glass Beach and check out the weird rock formations at Bowling Ball Beach.
Glass Beach refers to three different sites in or near MacKerricher State Park in Fort Bragg. The glass came from the sites’ former life as a trash dump decades ago, but it’s heartening to see nature transform the trash into beautiful little pieces of jewelry (the rest of the garbage either biodegraded or was hauled away). Bring a camera and take pictures, but leave the glass itself for future visitors to enjoy.
Kids especially love combing the beach for sea glass. While you’re in Fort Bragg, you can add on a ride on the Skunk Train to see the redwoods to make it a memorable day for families with little ones. Or visit the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.
Schooner Gulch State Beach, aka Bowling Ball Beach, is about 52 miles south of Glass Beach. The namesake stones can be so perfectly round you may think humans or machines made them, but no, mother nature made them via a process called concretion. Prepare to be amazed.
Drive straight to Fort Bragg, CA, on Friday and check in to your hotel. Spend the next day visiting MacKerricher State Park and riding the Skunk Train. On Sunday, stop by the town of Mendocino and Schooner Gulch State Beach as you take the coastal route back home.
Things to Do
- Walk the beaches at MacKerricher State Park (Sea Glass Beach) and Schooner Gulch State Beach (Bowling Ball Beach).
- Ride the Skunk Train.
- Visit the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.
When to Go
Visit during the summer and early fall when the weather is typically warm and dry. It’s also worth timing your visit with low tide, especially for Bowling Ball Beach.
The beaches are free to visit. Tickets for the Skunk Train start at $10.95 per infant, $29.95 per child, and $49.95 per adult. Admission to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens costs $15 per adult and $8 per child.