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Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Walk through the world’s largest stand of old-growth redwoods

Sure, you can simply stick your head out the window of your car to see towering trees lining Avenue of the Giants, a 32-mile/52-km-long, redwood-trimmed stretch of Highway 101. But we strongly suggest you pull over, get out, smell the piney air, hear the burbling creeks and rivers, and look way, way up to truly appreciate these amazing trees, as well as the emerald-green habitat where they live.

Conveniently, there are plenty of places to do that along the way, most notably in 53,000-acre/21,448-hectare Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Avenue of the Giants actually runs right through the park, so you can easily turn off to explore on an assortment of loop trails, like the 7.5-mile/12-km Bull Creek Loop, which lets you get a mini-glimpse of the remarkable Rockefeller Forest, home to the world’s 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th tallest trees. Also visit Founders Grove, honoring the people behind the formation of Save the Redwoods League in 1918, an organization that played a critical in the permanent protection of these remarkable trees.

Humboldt Made
Humboldt Made: Overview
Meet the entrepreneurs of Humboldt County in this video from Humboldt Made, featuring the artisans, craftspeople, and food and beverage makers on the Redwood Coast of California.
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Tai Power Seeff

Northern California

Discover the North Coast

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56
June
Average (°F)
June - Aug
62°
High
51°
Low
Sept - Nov
63°
High
45°
Low
June - Aug
62°
High
51°
Low
Mar - May
58°
High
43°
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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Kodiak Greenwood

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, this coastal hamlet is an obvious magnet for artists, romantics, and lovers 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
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From Gold Rush history to the 8th wonder of the world, visit these favorites

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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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Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing

Trip 8-10 days 10 stops

Ultimate Northern California

Explore the best of Northern California's Great Outdoors
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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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SPECIAL FEATURE
Celebrate the seasonal bounty and quirky art-fueled character of the North Coast

You can learn a lot about a place at its local festivals. Consider the Kinetic Grand Championship, a cosmically silly three-day battle between human-powered works of art (imagine a speeding dragon...

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Trip 4 days 10 stops

Wild North Coast

Wine, Romance & Sunsets
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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
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Lucas Himovitz

Fort Bragg

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

With its original roots as a military garrison and then a gritty lumber town, Fort Bragg skirted under the radar of most visitors. But now—perhaps...

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...

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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.
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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....