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Courtesy of Folie Douce

Arcata and Albion Dining Discoveries

Arcata and Albion Dining Discoveries
Tucked-away finds focus on fresh

A welcome addition to the mix of college eateries surrounding Humboldt State University in the town of Arcata, just north of Eureka. Here, Folie Douce presents a hearty menu focusing on sustainable and organic ingredients. Think locally sourced American staples complemented with global flavors—wasabi steak with jasmine rice and Asian greens and Israeli-spiced black cod with roasted faro. Once a month, the restaurant prepares a gourmet prix fixe menu that benefits the region’s public schools.

For dinner in an especially romantic coastal setting, venture north of Mendocino to the tiny village of Albion, and the deceptively simple Ledford House Restaurant. This is the kind of place you’ll probably want to hang out in for hours, watching the sun go down over the ocean as you sip local wines and dine on Provencal-style dishes. There’s plenty to keep you warm and well-fueled—nothing much better than digging into a packed-full seafood stew or a rich cassoulet after a long hike along the ocean bluffs or in a redwood forest.

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Tai Power Seeff

Northern California

Discover the North Coast

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55
October
Average (°F)
Sept - Nov
63°
High
45°
Low
Dec - Feb
55°
High
41°
Low
Mar - May
58°
High
43°
Low
June - Aug
62°
High
51°
Low

Romance finds a home in this idyllic coastal region, where ocean fog rolls in from the ocean to blanket hushed redwood forests, and whales spout offshore. Along the coast, artists set up their easels to paint scenes of crashing surf and whitewashed cottages wrapped in rose-filled gardens.

Each year, December through May, look to the sea to witness roughly 15,000 gray whales swimming south for the summer.

It’s also a place where a new generation of farmers and winemakers focus on preserving the land as well as producing amazing food and wine. Favorite escapes include the romantic hamlet of Mendocino, roughly a 3-hour drive up the coast from San Francisco, and Eureka, a former logging town 2 hours further north, and the gateway to breathtaking Redwoods National and State Parks.

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Karen Desjardin/Getty Images

Best Beaches on the North Coast

Explore the breathtaking scenery of the wild Sonoma and Mendocino coasts—from sandy shores to the top of a lighthouse

North of San Francisco, there's a whole other world of California, where rugged cliffs, towering redwood trees, and artsy towns dot an idyllic...

Clear Lake, California
Courtesy of County of Lake

Clear Lake

Explore a burgeoning wine scene and cool off with a summery splash in the lake

Take a deep breath the next time you’re in Northern California’s Lake County. That’s some of...

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Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake within California, is the oldest lake in North America and possibly the world.
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Spotlight: Mendocino

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Discover a coastal paradise with ridiculously fresh seafood, amazing wine, and craft beer

With its dramatic ocean-bluff setting overlooking a steel-blue sea, the coastal hamlet of ...

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Clint Farlinger/Alamy

Klamath

Redwoods, salmon, and California’s largest tribe all thrive in this small North Coast town

Klamath is so far north that many people assume this tiny town is in Oregon, not California. Set along its...

November

Winter rains signal the beginning of the North Coast’s astounding mushroom season. Celebrate the harvest of one of the region’s most loved bounties—and a few other products of the libation variety...

Chefs at work at Feast Mendocino
Brendan McGuigan
The North Coast region of California
SPECIAL FEATURE
From Gold Rush history to the 8th wonder of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

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Amy Meredith/Flickr
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.
John Muir
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At 115 feet, Point Arena Lighthouse is the tallest climbable lighthouse on the West Coast.
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Courtesy of Humboldt County CVB

Ferndale

Visit a Victorian village where time stands still

A fairytale come to life, this remote village features carefully preserved Victorian-era century homes, a visual and architectural feast. On a...

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Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

North Coast Wine Country

Slip away to some of the state’s most peaceful vineyards

From quiet vineyards bounded by lush redwood forests along the Mendocino Coast, to the sun-drenched rolling hills of rugged Lake County, the North...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Follow celebrated routes to iconic vineyards and tucked-away surprises

With more than 4,000 wineries statewide, California lets you sample award-winning wines almost anywhere you go. These classic and up-and-coming wine roads—some too packed with wineries to tackle...

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Wild North Coast

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The Humboldt County Fair began in 1896 and is the oldest running county fair in California.
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Tai Power Seeff

Wine & Dine in the North Coast

Sample hyper-local foods from land and sea, plus amazing beers and wines

The North Coast might just be the perfect place to eat. Few other places in the world can offer such a harmonious blend of chefs, farmers,...

May

Creativity, contraptions, and costumes—those are the mantras for this wacky three-day Memorial Day weekend event on an out-there stretch of the North Coast. Dubbed the “triathalon of the art world...

The Kinetic Grand Championship on California's North Coast
Erik Fitzpatrick/Flickr
California's North Coast
The rocky coast off Fort Bragg, California
Lucas Himovitz

Fort Bragg

Rough-and-tumble lumber town morphs into a top coastal find

With its century-plus history as a military garrison and then a gritty lumber town, Fort Bragg skirted under the radar of most...

The Skunk Train on California's North Coast
Courtesy of Skunk Train

Skunk Train

Ride a historic train through soaring coast redwoods

Originally built in 1885 to transport redwood logs from the rugged backcountry to the coast, the...

Arcata and Albion Dining Discoveries EurekaCarsonMansion.CourtesyRedwoods.info_
Courtesy of Humboldt County CVB

Eureka

Nature and culture merge in an art-fueled Victorian seaport

This lively seaport town, the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, has split-personality charm: a sense of history in...

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While now a beautiful coastal treasure, Glass Beach initially began in the late 1940s as a place where locals would toss their trash, including glass bottles.
SPECIAL FEATURE
Find whitewater rafting fun for all—from newbies to nerves-of-steel experts

Think of a river, and chances are you’ve got your own daydream. Maybe you want to float on inner tubes, or maybe your style is to careen through raucous rapids in an eight-person inflatable raft....

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Groveb/Getty Images
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Tour an inspiring compound dedicated to an almost-lost art

Eric Hollenbeck didn’t plan to be a time traveler, or a museum curator, or a model of how to take care of troubled youth or returning war vets....