In the Humboldt County hamlet of Ferndale, you'll find everything from art galleries to five-and-dimes and old-fashioned diners. This historic victorian village on California's Lost Coast is tucked between the redwoods and Humboldt Bay, and offers small-town charm, gorgeous natural beauty, and a creative spirit. Below are seven places to stop.
1. Ferndale Meat Co.
Meat-loving TV host Guy Fieri (of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) grew up in Ferndale, so this first-rate butcher shop comes as no surprise. Grab a pastrami sandwich from the deli, or take home a tri-tip. 707/786-4501
At this quirky and cool makers’ workshop, take a class in woodblock printing, listen to a local guitarist, play chess, build your own kayak, or just sip a pour-over. Or do it all.
3. Poppa Joe’s
This cash-only diner has slanted floors, trophy animal heads, and a shoe-shine chair. Order the bacon with your jumbo-size pancakes, and ask what the fish are biting on. 707/786-4180
The shelves at this throwback emporium are lined with heirloom goods, old-timey candy, cozy long johns, and tasty jams. Don’t miss the shopkeepers’ museum upstairs.
Contemporary ironwork pieces, from hand-forged furniture to wrought-iron art, are made by a coalition of master blacksmiths. Take home cutlery, candleholders, wine racks, fireplace tools, and more.
6. Abraxas Jewelry and Leather
A shop crammed full of earrings—especially turquoise, opal, onyx, moonstones, and mother-of-pearl—plus a huge selection of hats and leather goods. Check off everyone on your gift list. 707/786-4288
Galleries are jam-packed with a collection of farming, logging, and dairy equipment. The working seismograph fulfills a need—when an earthquake shakes the town, neighbors show up to find out the magnitude.