Redwood National & State Parks is one of California’s crown jewels, a World Heritage Site protecting nearly half of the world’s tallest trees. This spectacular network of national and state parks has dozens of paths that allow you to walk among soaring coast redwoods, which grow to over 350 feet/107 metres high. Learn about the region at the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center. Ask about ranger-led walks through emerald-green Fern Canyon, or where to see majestic Roosevelt elk. (Our tip: head to Elk Meadow, or to Gold Bluffs Beach dunes, both in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.) Consider a guided horse ride with the Redwood Creek Buckarettes, or ride mountain bikes with Redwood Adventures. Camping is popular here with pitches in lush groves, or on sheltered cliffs or wild beaches; booking is strongly advised.
Insider tip: the region is green for a reason: annual rainfall, which normally falls from October to April, averages 60 to 80 inches/152 to 203 centimetres, so bring waterproofs and sturdy, non-slip shoes.