California’s Redwood Coast Attractions
One of the United States of America’s most scenic rural regions, California’s Redwood Coast is a natural paradise. The untouched groves of magnificent redwoods that characterize this area are an awe-inspiring sight. Among the region’s four state parks, including Redwood National State Park, visitors can enjoy over 200 mi (320 km) of trails threaded through a variety of environments, including beaches, cliffs, rivers, and coastal lagoons. Visitors will find a trip to the Redwood Coast means much more than just a chance to see the world’s largest trees. Together, the small towns that call the Redwood Coast home offer a wealth of Victorian architecture and family attractions. The Morris Graves Museum of Art is a jewel for the area’s arts community, boasting seven galleries. The Sequoia Park Zoo, Clarke Historical Museum, and the Victorian village of Ferndale are just a few more of the areas most popular destinations.
With Humboldt Bay to the north and surrounded by ancient redwood trees, the city of Eureka enjoys an intimate relationship with the ocean and colorful history of logging. During the city’s prosperous years, wealthy lumber barons built marvelous Victorian-style homes, many of which are still standing. Carson Mansion is one of the most photographed Victorian homes in California.
Nearby, the Redwood National and State Parks draw many thousands of visitors every year, and the coastal waters and parks bordering Eureka present ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and observation. The annual Redwood Coast Jazz Festival occurs for three days in March and brings the city’s streets to life with swing, bop, calypso, blues and more. Aquatic activities like fishing charters and whale watching tours are popular with tourists in the area, while art galleries like the Ink People Center for the Arts and museums like the Morris Graves Museum of Art provide enjoyable cultural diversions.
Visit: Eureka Travel Guide
Located on California’s Redwood Coast, the city of Arcata sits roughly 275 mi (443 km) north of San Francisco. One of the major attractions for visitors to the area is the Arcata Community Forest, a collection of flora that spans over 600 acres. Another natural attraction in the area is the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, a preserve that is known for its superior bird-watching opportunities. Humboldt State University also calls Arcata home. A liberal arts institution with an emphasis on outdoor education, the university boasts a number of on and off-campus sites for visitors and students to explore. The Arcata Farmer’s Market sets up on Saturdays from April to November, offering a chance to sample some of the produce and vegetables that are grown locally. For visitors looking for history, Arcata features several examples of Victorian and Queen Anne architecture among the local residences.
Visit: Arcata Travel Guide
Situated on the coast of northern California, 20 mi (32 km) from the Oregon border, Crescent City is an ideal location from which to enjoy the recreational resources of the Pacific Ocean and Redwood National and State Parks. Hiking, boating, biking, swimming, and fishing are popular activities along the Pacific coastline. Adjacent to Crescent City is the Lake Earl Wildlife Area, home to hundreds of species of birds, such as the rare Canada Aleutian goose and the Peregrine falcon. A variety of marine mammals, such as gray whales and sea lions, and picturesque displays of foliage, including colorful wildflowers, are on display in this preserve in the spring and early summer. Arts and cultural events are well-represented by local institutions like the Del Norte Association of Cultural Awareness, the Community Concert Association and the Lighthouse Repertory Theatre, making Crescent City the ideal destination for any traveler.
Sights & Attractions
Agate Beach, Trinidad, CA
Located along the shoreline of Patrick’s Point State Park just north of Trinidad, Agate Beach is a long stretch of sandy beach beneath rocky cliffs. The beach is popular for surfing, agate hunting and sea-lion watching.
Address: Patrick’s Point State Park, Trinidad, CA
Black Sands Beach
This beach consists of a 3.5-mi (5.5-km) stretch of black sand coastline north of Shelter Cove and offshore reefs, making for a picturesque beach and consistent surf. Access is from Beach Road and facilities include a disabled parking lot, restrooms, interpretive signs and drinking water.
Address: Beach Road, Shelter Cove, CA
This small, estate winery is a family-run affair and is one of the state’s most northern-most vineyards. Tours and tastings available by appointment.
Address: 209 Ferris Ranch Rd, Orleans, CA 95556
One of the most written about and photographed Victorian houses in California, the Carson Mansion is constructed of redwood, white mahogany and other exotic woods. The mansion is currently a private club and the interior is not accessible to the public.
Address: 143 M Street, Eureka, CA 95501
Clarke Historical Museum
Detailing the history of Humboldt County, this museum’s exhibits feature clothing, furniture, glassware, and other household items mainly from the Victorian era. A Native American wing also displays native arts and items.
Address: 240 E Street, Eureka, CA 95501
Vineyards, located in the small community of Orleans, are situated along the Klamath River in northern California and produce certified organic and biodynamic wines. Visitors interested in tours or tastings can arrange a visit by appointment.
Address: 3255 Red Cap Rd, Orleans, CA 95556
Elk Prairie Vineyard
Situated just a few miles from the Avenue of the Giants, Elk Prairie Vineyard is a small, family-owned and operated vineyard that specializes in Pinot Noir wines but also produces Chardonnay and Cabernet Francs. Winery visits and tours available by appointment.
Address: 11544 Dyerville Loop Rd, Myers Flat, CA 95554
The Drive-Thru Tree
There are four trees in the area that it is possible to drive through. Early promoters of the Redwood area tunneled through the base of their trunks so that a car could be driven through. This one in Myers flat is one of those four.
Address: Myers Flat, CA
The End of the Trail Museum
Attached to the north end of the Trees of Mystery, is The End of the Trail Museum. It is dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting the artifacts and history of the first Americans.
Address: 15500 Highway 101 N., Klamath, CA 95548
Located in the community of Fieldbrook, just west of McKinleyville and north of Arcata, this winery has been handcrafting distinctive wines since 1976. The winery welcomes visitors and offers complimentary tours and tasting sessions by appointment, as well as offering the winery’s grounds for picnic lunches. Fieldbrook Winery also regularly hosts outdoor weddings from late spring through to early fall.
Address: 4242 Fieldbrook Rd, Fieldbrook, CA 95519
Hoopa Tribal Museum
Part of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in northern California, the Hoopa Tribal Museum aims to preserve and share the history and heritage of the area’s native peoples. Visitors can see original Hoopa, Yurok and Karuk artifacts, including dugout canoes, hand-woven baskets, ceremonial regalia and tools, as well as artifacts of early pioneers who first settled the area.
Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 8am to 5pm, as well as Saturdays during summer months. Address: Hoopa, CA 95546
This family-owned and operated attraction is a 950-year-old redwood that has survived fires and floods. There is a picnic area at the tree’s location.
Address: Redcrest, CA 95540
Ink People Center for the Arts
Founded in 1979, The Ink People Center for the Arts serves artists by encouraging excellence in the showing, teaching, and creation of art. Developing programs to make the community more aware of the growing art presence in Eureka, the Center has a library and several studios.
Address: 411 Twelfth Street, Eureka, CA 95501
Morris Graves Museum of Art
Humboldt County is home to a remarkable number of artists, writers, dancers and poets and the Museum of Art is dedicated to preserving the talent and cultural way of life.
Museum hours are Thursday to Sunday from noon to 5pm. Address: 636 F Street, Eureka, CA | 95501
Pelican State Beach
Pelican State Beach is located in Smith Beach, CA. Walking and beachcombing are popular here.
Address: US Highway 101 | Smith River, CA
Punta Gorda Lighthouse
This lighthouse was erected in 1912 along the Lost Coast area of the Pacific Coastline. A navigational buoy replaced it in 1951 and only the tower and oil house remain today. It was restored in 1989.
Address: | Petrolia, CA
Sumeg is a reconstructed Yurok village located in Patrick’s Point State Park about 5 miles north of Trinidad. It is built on the former location of a seasonal fishing site and has two dugout canoes and plank houses on display. In addition, a native garden shows plants that were used for baskets, food, and medicine.
Address: Patrick’s Point Drive | Trinidad, CA
Telonicher Marine Laboratory
Part of Humboldt State University, this marine lab operates several viewing and touch tanks that are open to the public. Children and adults alike can pick up and study starfish and other sea creatures or take a self-guided tour of the facility. The lab is open daily, including weekends. Address: 570 Ewing St | Trinidad, CA | 95570
Trees of Mystery
Almost a mile of maintained interpretive trails wind through a portion of the Redwood Forest. Visit the wonders of the old-growth coastal forest, and learn how these thousand-year-old giants live so long and grow so tall. Address: 15500 Highway 101 North | Klamath, CA | 95548
Situated in a turn-of-the-century Victorian bungalow just of Main Street and Patrick’s Point Drive, the Trinidad Museum features five exhibit rooms and showcases the region’s history and heritage, including carved Redwood canoes and basket exhibits by the area’s Native American population.
Open 12 to 4pm, Wednesday through Sunday. Address: 400 Janis Ct at Patricks Point Dr | Trinidad, CA | 95570
This rock overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is located in St Patrick’s Point State Park. In the early 20th century the park’s caretaker decided to get married atop it and many people have since followed suit.
Address: Rim Trail | Trinidad, CA