The past week we took a small four day road trip up to Northern California. We are in Northern California you say? Well, I mean the very north, Northern California, Humboldt County.
Long ago in the era of the family road trip, the ‘redwoods’ were something one did with the family, preferably in a station wagon and most likely in the 1970’s. Now the luxury of time and long family road trips seem almost a bygone era. People want to get to their destination via plane and fast. To all those who have never done a real road trip of multiple days, this is your spot! Do you want to see ancient redwood forests, fern canyons and foggy beaches with a few VW buses thrown in? Humboldt has all this and more!
Flights can be expensive costing as much as a trip to Hawaii and prior rail services that connected here have been sadly been retired. Car is the way to go and it’s a pretty drive.
Leaving from the Bay Area, stop in one of the cutest town on the way up, Ukiah for a lunch.
Our favorite bakery Schats in quaint downtown Ukiah.
This Dutch bakery has at least 40 sandwiches on the menu and makes fantastic bread and sweets. I think The Verdict is the most popular sandwich on their amazing Sheepherder bread. (Did I mention they are across from the courthouse?) Afterward pop into the wonderful Mendocino Book Company around the corner with it’s expansive selection of books, cards and all kinds of lovely things I just can’t find elsewhere.
Back on 101 you’ll pass through some other small cute towns like Willits and Laytonville, and follow the aptly named Eel River which meanders along the highway for a large part of the trip.
Our first stop is always our Arcata.
We were lucky to stay in Arcata at our stepmom Marguerite’s home. She has an amazing yard with a sunny deck and apple trees that back up to the redwood forest.
We picked tons of sweet organic apples and helped set up for a big family dinner the next night.
Trinidad is the cutest little secret beach town in California …At least that’s what Sunset Magazine said and I agree.
Trinidad was a historic whaling port and it’s also where my husband Max grew up. It sits in a bluff overlooking the prettiest little harbor. There is still a population of around 400, about the same as it was when he grew up here in the 1970’s.
Now however, it’s a bit more upscale with many beautiful vacation rentals, inns and three cute cafes. This pretty one below is Trinidad Bay Bed and Breakfast which overlooks the harbor.
It is a great little village to walk around.
The Beachcomber Cafe is my favorite spot with it’s organic fare and green ethic.
Those cool bikes parked in front belonged to biking backpackers.
Food is organic, local and delicious. The breakfast bean bowl was tops. Bring your own cup for coffee here. They don’t do paper cups, but you can buy a to go glass for a dollar.
A walk around Trinidad brings you to a few cute shell shops and to the harbor with another landmark spot, The Seascape. It’s right at the bottom of the harbor and you can watch the fishing boats go out if the fog isn’t too thick. Their traditional fare is actually tasty and it’s a cozy spot on a cool day.
I always have to make a stop at Trinidad Art Gallery. I’ve bought some beautiful ceramics there by local artists over the years.
Trinidad State Beach is the walk to do here and it begins with a pretty trail down to the sea.
Banana slugs may be sharing the trail…
The fog blows in and out all day here in the summertime so dress warmly and in layers. It’s magical this mist!