Hidden Gems: NorCal Coast

A few weeks ago, I headed out on this summer’s travel season. My first stop? Meeting my parents at the Northern California Coast. I’ve been here before, but this time I knew of all the places I wanted to visit. (You can read about trip to the coast here.) For the NorCal coast, there’s loads of hidden gems and things you certainly won’t find from any tour guide. Make sure to spend at least a night here to get the full experience. I recommend finding a great place in historic Arcata or an airBnb on the bay.

Patrick’s Point at Trinidad State Park: Located near a residential district, make sure to head here for some great hikes and sea cliffs that the Pacific Coast is notorious for. Make sure to come mid-day or afternoon for great vistas. If foggy images are more your vibe, the morning hours are perfect.

Fern Canyon: Located in Redwoods National Park, this is a must see and for good reason. Ever wanted to feel like Chris Pratt driving through the set of Jurassic Park 2? This is the spot for you. Mirroring a lush vertical, hanging garden, this site is stunning and offers a literal canyon of lush ferns from floor to ceiling. It’s beautiful, takes your breath away, and is unlike any place I’ve ever been. Make sure to head here and go around golden hour for great pictures.

Salt Fish House: Found in historic Downtown Arcata, head here for some updated takes on seafood. With a clean and modern aesthetic, It’s the perfect place to end your day exploring and wind down with a great glass of wine or well drink. We started our order with fried calamari and a delicious salad. Then, came the entrees. We ordered risotto with lobster, grilled sole, and fish tacos. When purchasing seafood here, most items are local. If oysters are your thing, make sure to go crazy. There’s a great variety of oysters caught in the bay and right off the coast.

Dick Taylor Chocolate Factory: In historic Downtown Eureka is the factory for Dick Taylor artisan chocolate. Specializing in dark chocolate blends, it has a clean, modern, and timeless aesthetic. A must see on any trip to the coast. Feeling adventurous, try their pho truffle. It somehow incorporates the robust flavors found in the soup in a small sphere of chocolate. Also recommended, their Humbolt State Dark chocolate and whiskey truffles.

Avenue of the Giants: Drive 40 minutes south of Eureka and you will find the Avenue of the Giants. Here are a stretch of Redwood groves that are stunning in height and diameter.  They’re easily accessible and great for taking pictures at golden hour. If running is your thing, they have multiple 5K, 10K, and half marathons along the Avenue of the Giants throughout the year.

What are your favorite spots along the California coast?



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