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The Tallest Trees and the Best Brews
As you come into Humboldt County from the South, drive The Avenue of the Giants - a world-famous scenic drive, is by far the most outstanding display of giant trees in the California redwood belt. Surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which has the largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods in the world, this 31-mile portion of old Highway 101 runs parallel to Hwy 101 and is accessible by most vehicles.
Stop in Myers Flat at the Shrine Drive Thru Tree and experience the thrill of cruising through a living redwood tree.
Continue along the Avenue and stop at Founders Grove for a half mile loop trail that will take you through some of the tallest trees in the world as well as the famous Dyerville Giant. This fallen colossal of a redwood is 362 ft. in height, 17 ft. in diameter, 52 ft. in circumference and possibly 2,000 years old.
Continue on the Avenue of the Giants and then onto Hwy 101 for 35 miles. Take the Ferndale exit and drive the 10 miles through beautiful dairy pastures to the Victorian village of Ferndale.
Nestled in a verdant, pastoral valley near Northern California's redwood forests, Ferndale was founded in 1852. A prosperous dairy industry provided the economic base, and the blend of agriculture and architecture produced splendidly ornate buildings that are known today as "Butterfat Palaces. Stroll along the town's Historic Main Street District, where art galleries, antique shops and boutiques complement a dazzling array of 19th-century Gothic Revival, Italianate, Eastlake and Queen Anne homes. Eat lunch at the Victorian Inn.
Take the 10 mile road back to Hwy 101 and continue north. In 30 minutes you will arrive at the Victorian Seaport of Eureka. The streets of old town Eureka are lined with beautifully restored Victorian homes and businesses. The shops, restaurants and bars in Old town are all one-of-a-kind and locally owned and where you will find unique Humboldt made products.
Begin with breakfast at the famous Samoa Cookhouse. As the last surviving cookhouse of the west, all meals are still served "lumber camp" style. Your food is brought to the table in large bowls and platters, allowing you to help yourself and pass it around. They always offer seconds, so no one walks away from the table hungry. After eating in one of their traditional dining rooms, you are welcome to browse the complimentary museum full of relics and photographs from the old logging and Cookhouse days. The walls are lined with an extensive pictorial review of this history.
After breakfast you will begin your tour of the microbreweries of Humboldt County.
Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka is the 48th largest brewing company in the U.S. and serves up delicious pub favorites in their historic brewpub.
Mad River Brewing Co. in Blue Lake was named the No.1 Small Brewery in the Nation at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival and their Steelhead Extra Pale Ale is a local favorite.
Eel River Brewing Co. in Fortuna has the distinction of being the first USDA certified organic brewery in the U.S. and they have won more than 300 medals and awards.
Six Rivers Brewery in McKinleyville is known for its unique beers like the Paradise Moon Coffee Porter, the Chili Pepper Spicy Ale, Rosie’s Strawberry Wheat and their Raspberry Lambic-Style Ale.
Redwood Curtain Brewing Company in Arcata is a new brewery and is a favorite among locals. They have 24 beers on tap and a large tasting room with free live music, shuffle board & board games, as well as special events-outdoor game activities on the weekends.
Humboldt Regeneration Brewery and Farm in McKinleyville is a first for Humboldt County. It is the County’s first sustainable farmhouse brewery, which grows its own grains and hops. The barley and wheat are floor-malted on site.
Humboldt Beer Tours is the best way to experience all six of Humboldt County’s breweries. The tour includes roundtrip transportation to and from the breweries and a beer bar, complementary tastings at each brewery, lunch at a brewery, a behind the scenes tour of one brewery and a Humboldt Beer Tours logo pint glass.
Before your evening winds down, take a guided tour aboard the Madaket. The Madaket is the last survivor of seven original ferries that transported mill workers and families around Humboldt Bay. This 8.5 mile one-hour cruise travels along the Eureka Waterfront. Narration includes all points of interest, including the discoveries of Humboldt Bay, timber industry, wildlife, shipping, maritime history and activity, Indian history and more. The Madaket is the oldest vessel in continuous service in the United States, boasts the smallest licensed bar in the state and is a California historic vessel.
After your hike head back to Hwy 101 and stop at Stone Lagoon for a peaceful and serene kayak paddle. Kayak Zak’s has everything you need to get out on the water and take in the beautiful lagoon with the stunning backdrop of redwoods and the crashing waves of the pacific ocean just on the other side of the lagoon.