MacKerricher State Park
Bread Pudding French Toast
Toast and Boats
Benedict and Breeze Egghead’s Restaurant, Fort Bragg Kids will eat up the Wizard of Oz theme of this longtime area favorite, which serves breakfast and lunch all day. We’ve heard that the omelets, made with Fort Bragg Dungeness crab, and the Eggs Benedict are superb. eggheadsrestaurant.com. Pudding Creek Beach and Glass Beach, MacKerricher State Park, Fort Bragg You’ll feel safe letting kids play on this small, contained beach, which is about three blocks long. A nearby parking lot and pit toilets make it a fairly convenient way to spend time with the family. If you want more of an adventure, go to nearby world-famous Glass Beach, where countless pieces of smooth glass make the shore glisten. The unusual beach is the result of the city of Fort Bragg dumping its garbage into the ocean from the early 1900s to the mid-1960s—a colossally bad idea that Mother Nature managed to turn into something beautiful. Bring sneakers for walking on the beach’s uneven surfaces, and assess everyone’s hiking ability before you go. Though the Glass Beach trail system has been recently renewed, it’s still a bit of a steep walk down to the coast, so it may not be the best choice for very young children. parks.ca.gov. www.mendolakefamilylife.com
Waffles and Waves Howard Station, Occidental This place is serious about breakfasts, offering everything from build-your-own omelets and piles of potatoes to blueberry cornmeal pancakes and gluten-free waffles. Breakfast is served until 12:30 p.m., but several items are available all day. Note: Only cash is accepted. howardstationcafe.com. Furlong Gulch Beach, Bodega Bay After everyone has had their fill, travel 20 minutes up the twisty-turny Coleman Valley Road, which, on a clear day, will wow you with unbelievably breathtaking coastal vistas before delivering you to Highway One, where you’ll find several beach options. One of them is this spot, a cozy hidden cove with plenty of nooks and crannies for play protected from the wind and sun. To get to this unmarked gem, just turn onto Carlevaro Way, drive a block or two, and find the trailhead on the right. It’s a gentle 5–10 minute walk down to the beach. Note: There are no toilets here, but you can also access the beach via a 20-minute flat walk on the southern part of the Kortum Trail at Shell Beach, where there are pit toilets. parks.ca.gov. July 2015
Fork Roadhouse, Sebastopol This place comes highly recommended for its super fresh, organic ingredients and beautifully presented dishes adorned with edible flowers. Sit outdoors by a creek while you chow down on the Kale and Mushroom Scramble, made with organic eggs, and treat the kids to bread pudding French toast drizzled with organic maple syrup. forkcatering.com. Doran Regional Park, Bodega Bay When you’ve finished your mid-morning feast, head up Bodega Highway 20 minutes to Doran Beach. Protected by Bodega Bay, this beach is relatively safe for swimming, but there are no lifeguards and the water is cold, so bring wetsuits. A boat launch accommodates up to 20-foot vessels while a rock jetty at the harbor’s mouth is perfect for fishing and crabbing. The two-mile beach welcomes long walks, kite flying, and sand castle construction. Flush toilets are available. The day-use fee is $7 per vehicle. parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov.