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Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

Monterey, CA
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Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

We have decided some what last minute to take a trip up north, leaving in 4 days. So far here is what I have planned/booked.

Leave Monterey County and meet with daughter # 2 and her family for lunch in/around San Francisco and then on to Redding for the night. Leave Redding in the am (we have been to the sundial bridge already) and drive the 299 (have to stop at the Big Foot Museum according to hubby along the way) and arrive in Crescent City/rented a place to stay on the Smith River. We will be in Crescent City 2 1/2 - 3 days then down to Trinidad if the place I am trying to book is available. If not will continue to see if I can find something there or nearby for 2 days. We plan on driving down the 101 home from Trinidad on our last day which we realize will be an 8-10 hour trip, any suggestions of must stop and see on the way down, if need be we can book a room for the night, we have been up the coast as far as Ukiah and stayed in Windsor before and did the local stuff there.

So far I have noted Jedidiah Smith State Park, hike the Stout Grove. Drive the Howland Hill Road, see Battery Pt Light house and see Prarie Creek Redwoods/Fern Canyon. Do I have time to include Patricks Point, Del Norte, Newton Drury Scenic Route and Ave of the Giants?? We don't mind driving a lot, we drive all our vacations and have driven 8-12 hours in a day if the views are worth it. Any suggestions on which ones to fit together in the same day that would keep us from zig zagging all over? Any suggestions on things to exclude and other to add? Oh and hubby just said he has to see Paul Bunyan and Blue the Ox. Where are they? One last thing, since we are staying right on the Smith River, what can the hubby expect to fish for and any suggestions for bait (artificial) so he knows what to bring (I'm hoping not to spend hours in bait and tackle shops, but have a feeling we might. If so do you know of one to recommend? Thanks in advance for responding.

Edited: 29 August 2012, 07:55
Lassen National...
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1. Re: Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

Is there are particular reason you are taking I-5 up to Redding to 299? If there isn't I recommend hwy 101 up & back. If you want to visit the BigFoot Museum it is only a 4 mile difference out & back taking 101 & then 299 from Arcata to Willow Creek and back. You could stay at Garberville/Redway for the first night. This will put you in a good spot to visit the Ave your first morning. On your way up to CC you can visit the Ave, Ferndale, old town Eureka, and maybe one of your other choices (Fern Canyon maybe?). Paul Bunyon & the Blue Ox are right along hwy 101 at the Trees of Mystery. You can't miss them. The museum there is quite good. Then your other 2 days you can explore Jed Smith SP, Howland Hill, fish, explore CC. On your way back to Trinidad you can visit Prairie Creek, take the Newton Drury scenic drive, and visit Patrick Point SP. Take the scenic drive to Tinidad. With your two nights there you can explore the Trinidad SP Beach, Clam Beach, Arcata Plaza, & Bigfoot Museum in Willow Creek.

A nice stop on your way home might be Healdsburg or Petaluma.

Edited: 29 August 2012, 17:09
Roseville...
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2. Re: Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

Agree with above.

Reason for going I 5?

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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3. Re: Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

Travelingrunner has pretty much said what I was going to say so won't repeat!

I do have a question for you though, minnieandbob, what do you mean by "Del Norte"? That is the county that is in the far northwest of Calif - Crescent City is the county seat.

Newton Drury drive adds only about 20 minutes and all you miss is the "new" freeway which does not have any redwoods. The freeway section was a real blessing to large vehicles but doesn't add anything for those folks who want to sightsee so why bother taking it unless you are in a hurry.

Here are some ideas for places to see that you might be interested in and maybe can fit in your trip :-) Click on the blue links:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60944-c139445/Cresce…

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g32363-c144314/Eureka…

Oh, I also agree you should skip I-5 and just take 101.

Monterey, CA
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4. Re: Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

Taking I-5 as we are meeting friends from Susanville in Redding for dinner that evening. Seemed like a reasonable place to meet up without putting us too far out of our way. Daughter has agreed to meet us in Manteca for lunch as they are heading back home to San Diego. That and the hubby then gets to make a quick shopping trip at Bass Pro Shops for fishing stuff.

Monterey, CA
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5. Re: Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

Sorry typing from my notes and missed typing the word Musuem for the Del Norte Museum.

Thank you all for the feedback. Just have to book a place in Trinidad and we are set to go!!

Edited: 30 August 2012, 06:15
Oregon Coast
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6. Re: Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

It's a very good little museum :-)

Lassen National...
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7. Re: Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

Ah. The Straw House on 299 is a nice spot to stop for a cold drink or snack. They make good food too. Pretty gardens and patio right on the river. Extremely quiet too for being by the hwy.

Monterey, CA
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8. Re: Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

Thank you for the recommendation on the Straw House. I haven't even thought about food/places to eat. Any recommendations in that regard would be wonderful. We like most everything and fresh seafood is a plus.

Thanks again to all that posted suggestion, much appreciated!

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

We just got back last month and I've posted reviews to some attractions and dining options not yet already mentioned on this thread:

1. Tall Trees Grove: tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g28926-d1169…

2. Klamath Overlook: tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g32564-d2483…

3. Enderts Beach: tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g2193168-d24…

4. Thai House: tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60944-d1452…

Enjoy your trip. I found cheap gas at the Costco in Eureka. But other experts on this thread may have recommendations on where to fuel up too.

Oregon Coast
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10. Re: Trip to Northern CA coast - suggestions/comments?

Not in Crescent City ;-)