This is a road trip we’ve been wanting to do for a long time! We’ve made it as far north as Mendocino and Fort Bragg in the past (which we L.O.V.E.D) but never all the way up to Humboldt County! Our trip stops are below, with pictures after that. It was amazing to go so far north through the redwoods, charming historic Victorian towns, Avenue of the Giants, and the most beautiful untouched coastline of the Lost Coast.. hope we never stop exploring our own backyard!
We went up through SF and stayed in Sonoma the first night just to break up the drive. We passed through Ukiah and had the most amazing fajitas at a random place called El Molcajete and we’re still talking about them :) If you’re ever passing through, it’s worth a stop off for their fajita platter. We stopped to get gas at Costco and discovered it, had to mention for anyone going this way.
Stop at Chandelier Tree which you can drive through! It’s $10 to enter the little park area, address is Drive Thru Tree Rd, Leggett, CA 95585 It’s right on the way up the 101!
Option to stop off at Confusion Hill, a gravity hill which can be fun to experience! A little touristy, but fun with kids. There is a train ride and little “gravity house,” with tilt-induced optical illusions.
Turn off to at Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It is a redwood-lined gorgeous road running parallel to the 101, so you’re still going the right way…it’s just much more scenic! It goes for 31 gorgeous miles and it made for a stunning section of the drive. Stop at Rockefeller Forest for a little hike or stroll!
Scotia, Garberville, Ferndale towns were all fun to stop through.. the Victorian village of Ferndale being an absolute highlight!
Lolita Cheese Factory for samples + their famous grilled cheese bar! The combos are amazing and unique!
Shelter Cove along the edge of the Lost Coast is beautiful to see if you have time: it’s a little beach hamlet surrounded by mountains, gorgeous views, and good dining.
The port city of Eureka was our destination. We stayed along the waterfront in its Old Town district at The Inn at 2&C which is in the historic Eagle House. It’s in the best spot surrounded by gorgeous Victorian houses and a cute downtown. The larger city is definitely is rough around the edges, but the Old Town is a hidden gem that we loved strolling! So many cute shops and eateries.
In Eureka we strolled the Victorian houses including the Carson Mansion... drove into beautiful Sequoia Park Zoo but didn’t get the full experience due to rain! There are guided boat cruises on the historic Madaket ferry around Humboldt Bay. We loved eating at Los Bagels for breakfast, (bonus that our bed & breakfast had some of their treats for breakfast + afternoon tea!) and the fun + unique Samoa Cookhouse over the bridge.
North of Eureka we stopped through the charming town of Arcata — with a fun town square and lively vibe from the Humboldt State University right on the edge of town. (They have a marine lab that can be cool for kids to see!) We went up to Moonstone Beach & the coolest little hilltop village of Trinidad overlooking the beach. We hiked the Trinidad Head Trail above the beach, which was just over a mile and so gorgeous (mostly paved, and hilly!) We loved lunch at Lighthouse Grill in Trinidad, which included their unreal fish & chips, burgers, mashed potatoes in a savory rosemary waffle cone, and last but not least…their HOMEMADE ICE CREAM with the most wondrous flavors ever. Still dreaming of our cones here! The flavors rotate weekly and are top notch.
From Trinidad the other amazing sight to see is Fern Canyon. This was recommended to us nonstop: a unique and beautiful canyon you can hike through. Some of Jurassic Park was filmed here, and it seems to be a wonder for everyone who visits! Sadly our visit during rainy season meant that the water was really full in it and it was going to be tricky with our little girls. Good water shoes are recommended for anyone doing it! We’ll definitely be back to check it out one day. If you do make the trek north to see it, stops can be made along the way like Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park for more amazing Redwoods. Trees of Mystery is another optional stop on the way up.
That is a little idea of what our itinerary included, for anyone interested in taking this road trip some day! We recommend it :) Pictures below..