The California North Coast has a rugged coastline which extends from the Oregon border to the San Francisco Bay area. It is the most sparsely populated areas of California.
Petrolia is the site of the first oil well in California. It is capped off now.
Things to do: hiking, bird watching, Whale Watching from the cliffs, beaches or boat cruises
Area code 707 (may have changed since this posting)
The weather or climate is usually foggy in summer and rainy in winter. In some areas, rain in the winter makes many roads impassable. You will need to pack a sweater or jacket in the summer as it is chilly
Areas of Interest from North to South:
Wilderness areas: King Range National Conservation Area, Sinkyone Wilderness State Park (Lost Coast)
Main Highways of the California coast: US 101 or California Highway 1.
Just south of the Oregon border is Pelican State Beach. The beach is Uncrowded with five acres of coastline. The nearest town is Smith River. Ten miles south of Pelican Beach via 101 is Clifford Kamph Memorial Park where you can camp with a tent, no RVs are allowed. In this area, you will find Tolowa Dunes State Park, Lake Earl Wildlife area and Lake Tolowa. There are forests with hiking and horseback trails and wetland trails. You can bird watch and from the coast area you can watch whales, seals and sea lions. There are excellent views of the mountains and the sea. In the area, there are 2 primitive campground. The best time to visit is in the Spring and early Summer.
Trinidad is located south of Patrick's Point off hwy 101. Its a small town. The Trinidad Fish Festival is held in June. There are hiking trails along the coastline. Whale Watching is popular here at the Trinidad State Beach. You can charter a boat here or rent a kayak to go sea kayaking. Beaches south of Trinidad area are: Moonstone Beach, Luffenholtz Beach, and Clam Beach County Park. Moonstone Beach is a white sand beach. for lodging see Trinidad Hotels
Arcata is a small town south of Trinidad. It is the location of the Humboldt State University. The town is located off hwy 101 however the scenic route around Arcata is hwy 255. There are historic buildings here. Jocoby's store house was built in 1857, the Hotel Arcata in 1915, the Minor theatre in 1914 and Phillip's House Historical Museum in 1854. Nearby is the Redwood Park and Arcata Community Forest where you can go hiking or mountain biking. You can rent mountain bikes. Humboldt Bay is where the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary is located. Here you can hike and bird watch. HSU Natural History Museum has fossils, a Tidepool tank, and live animals. Festivals: The Kinetic Sculpture Race is held Memorial day weekend. The Bebop and Brew festival and The Arcata Bay Oyster Festival is in June. The North Country Fair is in September. for lodging see Arcata Hotels
Eureka is located off hwy 101 south of Arcata and on Humboldt Bay. The town is noted for its Victorian houses. Other tourist attractions include the Blue Ox Millworks and historic park. The mill produces the gingerbread trim for Victorian style homes. There is a blacksmith shop and oxen. In Eureka you can take a Harbor cruise of Humboldt bay. You can rent sailboats and Kayaks here too. Events and Festivals: Redwood Coast Dixieland Jazz Festival - April, Rhododendron festival - April, Blues by the Bay in July. In the area, you will find Samoa Peninsula where you'll find Samoa Dunes Recreation area with picnic areas and fishing. Lanphere Dunes Preserve has sand dunes that reach over 80 foot high. This area is protected so you can only go here by guided tour. Manila Dunes recreation area is open to the public. Humboldt Bay National wildlife preserve is a wetlands habitat with many species of birds and harbor seals. Southport landing has great views. Patrick�s Point State Park is north of Eureka where you will find a reconstructed Indian village. for lodging see Eureka Hotels
Ferndale is south of Eureka. It is listed as a State and national landmark with its Victorian houses and mansions. The Gingerbread Mansion was built in 1898 and is the most photographed building in Ferndale. The Shaw house was built in 1854 and was the first post office in the area. The Ferndale Museum has historical artifacts. You can go hiking at Russ Park. Events and Festivals: Scandinavian Mid Summer Festival - June, tour of the Unknown coast (bicycle race) - May, Humboldt country fair - August,
Scotia was established in 1887 as a logging town. The Pacific Lumber Company is the Worlds largest redwood lumber mill. There is a visitor's center and the Scotia museum in town.
Lost coast is a pristine Coastal area. It includes the area north of Westport to Ferdale. The area is steep and rugged. This area has 24 miles of coastal hiking trails. It will take about 3-4 days to hike the trail.
The King Range is 4000 ft high cliffs overlooking the coast. There are frequent landslides in the area due to the heavy rainfall. Here you will find the King Range National conservation area and Sinkyone Wilderness state park. This is one of the best areas for Whale watching from November to May (Gray Whale). Closest town is Shelter Cove then Garberville.
At Shelter Cove you will find the King Range National conservations area. There are steep mountainous terrains overlooking the ocean. The highest point is King's Peak which is 4087 ft high. You can go hiking on trails and camp in the area. Along the trails, are remains of shipwrecks, sea lions, birds, tidepools, sea lions, seals and the abandoned lighthouse at Punta Gorda. The Richardson Grove State Park has trees that are over 1000 yrs old.
At Leggett you will find the Standish Hickey State Recreation area with picnic areas
At Crescent Beach Overlook, there are picnic areas where you can watch for whales from November to December and March to April. There are tide pools at Crescent Beach where you can find all sorts of marine animals. South of Crescent Beach is Wilson Beach and False Klamath Cove where there are more picnic areas.
Klamath is a great place for hiking. The Salmon festival is held in August. It is located off hwy 1 and on the Klamath river. At the Klamath River overlook you will find picnic areas located on a bluff overlooking the beach. Hidden Beach is nearby. for lodging see Klamath Hotels
Trees of Mystery
Bodega Bay is a Good place to Whale Watch from Dec - April. It is located near the Sonoma Coast State Beach. There are beaches in the area but beware that the surf along the Sonoma Coast is treacherous. Bodega Bay is south of Gualala located on hwy 1 on Bodega Harbor. Bodega Head overlooks the ocean and is 265 ft high, a great place for whale watching. There are hiking trails and horseback riding trails. You can rent sea kayaks, bicycles, surfboards, diving gear and diving guides. You can take a fishing charter boat out to sea. Whale watching cruises are available from December to April. Harbor cruises and fishing trips are also available. Festivals: Bodega Bay Fisherman's festival - April. for lodging see Bodega Bay Hotels
Fort Bragg is near Mendocino on Highway 1. The town is located on Noyo Harbor and is at the mouth of the Noyo River. There are Whale Watching cruises available at Noyo Harbor. You can rent kayaks, go snorkeling, deep sea fishing and abalone diving. Tourist attractions in the area are: Skunk Train which has historic steam and diesel trains that run between Fort Bragg and Northspur. The Guest House Museum is a 1892 Virtorian house with historical pictures and artifacts. Nearby you will find the Mendocino Coast botanical gardens. The annual Fort Bragg Whale Watching festival takes place the 3rd weekend of March. The Rhododendron show is in April and May. The World's largest Salmon BBQ takes place the closest Saturday to July 4th. Paul Bunyun Days is held on Labor Day weekend. MacKerricher State Park is north of Fort Bragg. lodging: for lodging see Fort Bragg Hotels
Between Fort Bragg and Mendocino is the town of Caspar off hwy 1. Here you will find the Jug Handle State Reserve. This is a unique place where terraces have been cut over time by ocean waves. The terraces are about 100 ft apart and ascend from the beach. You can watch for whales from the beach or take a walk on the nature trail.
Sonoma Coast State Beach has beautiful views, hiking trails, beaches, overlooks, harbor seals and more. Beaches connected by trails are: Bodega Dunes, Duncans landing, Salmon Creek Beach, Schoolhouse beach, Portuguese Beach. Towns nearby: Jenner, Guerneville (Groinville).
Sonoma County coast is north of Bodega Bay. There is no camping. Beaches in the area are: Hog back, Salmon Creek, Goat Rock, Shell Beach, Mussel Point. Stewart Point State Park you can go abalone diving. There are tidepools here. for lodging see Sonoma hotels
Santa Rosa is located off hwy 101 and hwy 12. This is wine country and vineyards are close by. The Sonoma Country fair is held in July. Attractions: Luther Burbank home and gardens, the 19th century Carriage museum, Charles Schultz museum - the famous snoopy and Charle Brown, Peanuts cartoonist paraphernalia. for lodging see Santa Rosa CA hotels