Make a splash as you explore the historic Noyo Harbor and see our coastal wildlife up close.

The historic Noyo Harbor has been home to Fort Bragg’s fishing industry for generations. The harbor has also hosted countless visitors and locals, all drawn to the emerald waters, fresh seafood, and playful sea lions. This itinerary gets you out on the water and takes you from the beach up to the bluffs.

You’ll start your day on the south side of the harbor at Liquid Fusion Kayaking (32399 Basin St.), where you have your choice of kayaking tours. Be sure to reserve your tour of choice on the Liquid Fusion Kayaking website to ensure availability. Some of your options include:

  • The Noyo Meander Tour (1.5 hours), a relaxed and dry paddle along the Noyo River Estuary.
  • The Whitewater of the Sea Tour (3 hours), an invigorating and intense journey into waves, whitewater, and rock gardens. Plan to get wet on this trip.
  • The Sunset Bird Paddle (1.5 – 2 hours). This slow-paced and tranquil tour is perfect for those who want to spot unusual birds and take in their surroundings at a leisurely pace. If you choose the Sunset Bird Paddle, plan to arrive at Liquid Fusion Kayaking at sunset instead.

All ages and experience levels are welcome on the Noyo Meander and Sunset Bird Paddle; kayakers on the Whitewater of the Sea Tour must be at least 14 years of age. (If you want to brush up on specific kayaking skills or learn new ones, you can sign up for classes or private lessons, which range from 2-3 hours to several days of instruction.)

DIY kayakers can rent kayaks at Noyo Fishing Center. The public launches are on the south side of the harbor.

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Once you’ve explored Noyo Harbor by boat, head to land for lunch. From Liquid Fusion Kayaking, drive north back over the Noyo bridge and take the first right on to North Harbor Drive. Try Princess Seafood Market & Deli (32410 N. Harbor Dr.) or Sea Pal Cove (32390 N. Harbor Dr.). Both offer delicious fresh-caught fish. The all-female crew of the F/V Princess catches sustainable, sashimi-grade seafood that they serve up at the deli. At Sea Pal Cove, you can get tasty classics like fish and chips, shrimp and chips, or clam chowder, as well as sandwiches and burgers made with grass-fed beef. If you prefer a sit-down meal with an incredible view, you’ll have your choice of lots of great waterfront restaurants, including Silver’s at the WharfNoyo Harbor Grill, and Django’s Rough Bar Cafe.

After lunch, make for the beach! If you have a dog, good news: Noyo Beach is an off-leash beach, so you can let your best friend roam free. To get there, keep going past the Anchor Lodge and follow North Harbor Drive all the way to the end, where you’ll see a parking lot. You can walk to the beach from there. Remember never to turn your back on the ocean, and be careful on the rocks, as waves sometimes sweep over them.

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On your way to or from the beach, be sure to stop by the Friends of the Fort Bragg Library Book Sale, which is tucked away on Sportsman’s RV Park (32094 N. Harbor Dr.) and runs Friday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. This quaint little readers’ paradise is staffed by volunteers from Friends of the Library and the perfect place to pick up some vacation reading. To get there, park in the lot for Django’s Rough Bar (32096 N. Harbor Dr.) and you’ll see it to the left of the restaurant. It’s a small but well-signed shop with “STORE” in large gray letters above the door and a handwritten “BOOKS” sign just below it.

Also in the harbor, Sacred Woods (32281 N. Harbor Dr.) offers striking statues, cute knickknacks, and amazing finds from around the world. You can find souvenir t-shirts and other clothing down the street at Epic Graphics (32350 N. Harbor Dr.). And if you’re a fan of spirits, the Schnaubelt Distillery (32425 N. Harbor Dr.) will definitely be worth a visit when it opens later this year.

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When in Rome (or Noyo Harbor)… Live like a local — buy fresh-caught fish at Noyo Fish Company (32440 N. Harbor Dr.) or Princess Seafood and take it home to cook for dinner for an authentic taste of our Pacific bounty. Alternatively, enjoy fresh seafood as you watch the sunset at one of our award-winning restaurants.

If you’re going out on the water for the Sunset Bird Paddle, get ready to revel in the gentle sound of the lapping water and the soothing bird calls. Otherwise, it’s time to visit the Noyo Harbor Inn (500 Casa Del Noyo) for dinner. This superb inn and restaurant sits on some of the best real estate in town. While you’re there, be sure to stroll the landscaped grounds and gardens and take in the beauty of Noyo Harbor from a loftier perspective. Savor fresh seafood, culinary creations, and a medley of flavors while you enjoy a breathtaking view of the harbor and Noyo River from the bluffs overlooking the water.

Can’t get enough of Noyo Harbor? Consider coming back again to charter a boat for a morning or afternoon trip. They’re a great way to see the Pacific Ocean in a whole new light and spot sea lions, whales, and other wildlife. Read more here.

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