Southern Humboldt

As children, we all heard the stories about distant magical lands where giants live. But unlike those stories, this is a true story. In Southern Humboldt County, real giants live ancient and towering high up into the clouds: the mighty old-growth redwoods.

Just a half-day north of San Francisco, right off Highway 101, you will find the Avenue of the Giants, a leisurely and winding drive where some of the most massive redwoods on the planet. Trailheads and side roads quietly beckon. Along the route, hop over to Pepperwood, Weott or Phillipsville for some picnic supply shopping. If you feel like driving through (not among, in this case) a redwood tree, visit the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree in Myers Flat. Be sure to stop by the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center, as well as the Founders’ Grove and the Rockefeller Forest to enjoy a moment of silence beneath the world’s largest stand of old-growth trees.

Don’t forget to check out Benbow, a quaint scenic valley with great lodging perched next to the scenic South Fork Eel River. Garberville, a perfect spring board to many of Humboldt’s greatest outdoor excursions. Lastly, you wouldn’t be doing your vacation justice without a memorable drive to the cozy little village of Shelter Cove with views of California’s famous Lost Coast. Shelter Cove is home to the unusual beaches covered in black sand, life-filled tidepools, and a level of relaxation you just can’t find anywhere else.

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