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Fort Bragg is Mendocino County’s largest coastal community and is located on Coast Highway 1, about four hours north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Facing the ocean headlands and bordered by the Noyo Harbor to the south and Ten-Mile Beach to the north, Fort Bragg offers a wide variety of activities among the beaches, rivers, and surrounding redwood forests, including beachcombing, picnicking, trail biking, kayaking, surfing, diving, walking, hiking, and jogging along the ocean paths. The Mendocino coast is well known for its excellent lodging, restaurants, antique shops, outdoor festivals, Community Theater, art galleries, breweries, and nearby vineyards. Within a few blocks of the school there is a yoga studio, health clubs, a healing center/spa, health-food store, gift shops, boutiques & a movie theater. See Things to Do.
Climate and Clothing
Weather: The weather in Fort Bragg is delightful. The summers boast pleasant temperatures, and the winters are cool, never freezing. Average temperatures during class times are 50-67 degrees F. With its pristine air, and ocean breezes, Fort Bragg offers the perfect environment for year-round floral gardens.
Clothes: Weather along the coast is changeable, which makes it interesting. It never gets very hot and doesn’t freeze, but it can be damp, at times. It is best to dress like an onion—bring a jacket, and be prepared to peel off the layers as the day warms up. You may also want to bring something nice to wear, as we have some light social occasions. Those of you participating in the Associate Chef and Instructor Training will have an opportunity to present a culinary demonstration, so it is required that a chef’s coat and a chef’s hat be worn during hands-on portions of training (see below). During other classes a nice apron or a chef coat may be worn. Ladies may want to bring makeup for their culinary demonstration.
Shoes: Closed toe shoes are required while in the kitchen or when preparing food in our student hands-on facility. If you plan to enjoy walks along the coast bring shoes suitable for rocky terrain as our headlands boast small sandy beaches with lots of large rock formations.
Lodging: You can choose from a variety of accommodation options in Fort Bragg, including several tranquil ocean side camping areas. Those who prefer to set up “camp” in luxury will find everything from budget rooms to extravagant cottages with ocean views and comfortable, homey, bed & breakfasts. See the Accommodations page for information on the Living Light Inn. Reservations are required far in advance and fees are subject to change without notice. Accommodations are not included with your tuition and Living Light cannot assist with reservations, so please call the hotels directly for reservations. Information on accommodations, including camping, can be obtained from the Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce.
Security: Small student lockers are available at the school for your handbags and personal culinary supplies. We will assign you a locker number when you arrive for check-in.
Telephones and Internet
Cellular phones: Most (not all) cell phones work in the Fort Bragg area. Check with your carrier.
Student courtesy phone: Living Light has a phone that can be used for short local calls or long-distance emergencies (with a calling card).
Emergency contact. If you would like to leave a number for your family to contact you in case of emergency we are happy to take a message for you at (707) 964-2420.
Internet access: There is WiFi in the Company Store, compliments of the Mendocino Cookie Company.
There are several Laundromats in Fort Bragg. See our Things to Do section for a complete listing.