Holly Yashi Jewelry Design Studio: Honoring the Craft of Jewelry Making in Arcata, California

HYStore_Studio_viewroomEver wondered what the story was behind a particular piece of jewelry you own? Perhaps you want to know where it was made and who actually made it. Often, the modern day jewelry industry provides little to no way to trace the origins of commercially produced adornments. Cheap jewelry imported from who knows where has definitely become the industry norm over the year. However, there is one unique Northern California jewelry design company that still values the handcrafting process of unique pieces. The company even offers tours of their state-of-the-art design studio so that customers have the chance to connect directly with the artisans themselves and learn more about the creative processes behind jewelry design.

Holly Yashi, a jewelry design company founded in Arcata CA in 1981, is known worldwide for their innovative styles and designs, particularly their work with Niobium, a metal that when bathed in electronically-charged water takes on radiant hues. Holly Yashi jewelry is sold at over 1,100 upscale vendors throughout the country. Though the company has grown exponentially over the years, the owners have remained true to their belief that every piece that they produce should be hand crafted and of utmost quality. They have also maintained that a close personal connection to each of their artisans is key.

HYStore_Studio_dippingVisitors to the Holly Yashi studio in Arcata CA have the chance to tour the facilities, meet designer, and see jewelry being made for them selves. The tour provides a glimpse at what goes into Holly Yashi’s unique designs. In addition to seeing the creative process unfold, visitors have access to an on site gift store featuring the only full collection of Holly Yashi’s latest styles, as well as other goodies. Tours are offered weekday at 11am free of charge but if you don’t have time for the full tour just walk on in to the studio viewing room any weekday from 10am-5pm. Call 707-822-5132 for more information or to reserve space for the tour in advance.

Vacation Rentals in Arcata Near the Holly Yashi Design Studio Include:

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Pacific Rim Home & Garden

Classic Restored Craftsman in Downtown Arcata

Arcata Townhouse in Redwoods

See a list of all Vacation Rentals in Arcata CA

In addition to vacation rentals in Arcata there are available Vacation homes in Humboldt County and Vacation homes in Crescent City as well as Vacation homes near Redwood National Park.

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A Celebration of the Holy Ghost: The Portuguese Spirit of Humboldt County

W1g1VBKCHDOQbOMdThe smell of sweet bread and linguica sausage will soon fill the air at the various Portuguese Holy Ghost Celebrations being held throughout the state of California during the upcoming summer months. Seeing as California has the largest Portuguese Azorean population in the entire U.S. it is no wonder why the Holy Ghost is so widely celebrated in the Golden State. From May into June in Northern California in particular, it is easy to find several Holy Ghost celebrations taking place. All over the San Francisco Bay Area and as far north as the small village of Ferndale, CA. Portuguese festivities will be in full effect this time of year.

CameraZOOM-20120527120656083Traditionally a religious gathering of which all are welcome to attend, the Holy Ghost Celebration is seen as somewhat of a gift to the community in which it takes place. In the spirit of the revered 14th century Queen Isabel of Portugal who was an advocate for the poor and always sought ways to help to feed citizens in need, any Holy Ghost festivities that you attend will feature an elaborate feast, as well as parades, dancing, and of course, Sunday mass. Over the 100+ years that this celebration has been taking place in California it has really morphed into a celebration that honors the Portuguese Azorean culture, food, music, dance and tradition that was brought here when the Portuguese began to immigrate to California in the late 1800s’. These festivals provide a great way to get out to meet your local Portuguese community members and truly get a taste of their unique traditions.

images2015 will mark the 91st annual Holy Ghost Celebration for the Victorian Village of Ferndale located to the far north of the state in Humboldt County. This small rural farming community became a huge agricultural center during the 1800’s and many hard-working Portuguese immigrants migrated to the region to work on dairy ranches and later in the areas prominent timber industry. The festival will take place May 23rd & 24th at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds & the Portuguese Hall in the town of Ferndale. If you live in the area or happen to be visiting during this time make sure to come out to experience the festival and learn more about this important group of people who make up the rich history of the Redwood Coast. Rosary, bean & linguica dinner will be held Saturday at 6:30 pm. Parade, mass, and noon dinner are being held on Sunday.

 view-from-the-cemeteryFor those who have never been, Ferndale is a quaint town in which you literally feel as though you have stepped back in time. The Victorian architecture of the town is well-preserved and definitely a feature that this village is known for. There are several nice vacation rentals in Ferndale to check out if you are looking to explore the area including Cream City Cottage in Victorian Village of Ferndale, 2 Bdrm & Studio as well as the Fernbridge House, a super cute bungalow just outside Victorian Village of Ferndale. Other things to do while in Ferndale could include catching a live show downtown at the Ferndale Repertory Theater, checking out the many interesting shops that line main street, or explore the various national and state parks of the Humboldt County region. As the Portuguese proverb says, “for each mouth, a different soup”… Humboldt County offers exactly that, something for everyone.

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Bom Apetite!   

HSU Center Activities – Your One Stop Shop For All Things Related to Recreation On the Redwood Coast

backpackEver wanted to learn how to roll your kayak like a pro? Or how about take a moonrise paddle or sail on the Humboldt Bay. Or how about learn some new climbing skills on one of our beautiful beaches here on the North Coast? When I first moved to the area over a decade ago I was so excited to start enjoying the great outdoors and all the great activities that became available to me here. I wanted to kayak the rivers and bay, I wanted to backpack in the wilderness, I wanted to rock climb, surf, river raft, camp, you name it. And all of this was possible except for the fact that in many cases I did not own all the gear possible to partake in some of these activities and at times I couldn’t find people interested in partaking with me. Luckily I quickly found out about the place to turn to and ever since I have been taking advantage of and telling others about a great community resource we have here… Humboldt State University’s Center Activities.

35101_444644622999_798661_n_0Maybe you are new to the area like I was or perhaps just passing through and are looking to take advantage of the endless opportunities for recreation we have here on the Redwood Coast. Well Center Activities is really your one stop shop for all things related to recreational outdoor and leisure activities. Whether you are looking for a certification program, a leisure activity, outdoor adventure or equipment rental, or if you are just wanting to take the first steps toward learning a new skill, Center Activities can help you reach your goal. In addition to a plethora of classes, camps, and special events they offer assistance with planning your own outings as well as privately guided trips in the area. If your skills are already adept and you want to venture out on your own but just need the equipment the Center Activities’ gear rental program is absolutely phenomenal and can provide everything you would possibly need for your aquatic, snow, camping and backpacking adventure on the Redwood Coast.

events-1If you find your self on the Northcoast in May and June of this year there are several great programs running through Center Activities including that Moonrise Paddle on Humboldt Bay mentioned above. They are offering a Mad River SUP Tour, and Intermediate Sailing Clinic and a Backpacking Trip in the Marble Mountains to name a few. Ongoing drop in and weekly classes are also available such as SUP Fitness, Woman’s Climbing Night, and Private Kayak Roll Pool Sessions. See the 2015 Summer Season for a full list of activities.

In my opinion all of their offerings are reasonably priced and they always provided me with a way to explore the region in greater depth. Visitors to the region may not always be traveling with bulky equipment but nonetheless it is always easy to obtain gear for yourself or friends and family visiting if you are a local. And when exploring somewhere new, one can always turn to Center Activities for expert information and guide services. Pre-registration is required for Outdoor Adventures, Aquatic Adventures, Leisure Activities and Youth & Teen Aquatic and Adventure Camps but everyone is welcome to register for these programs that are offered by Center Activities, even individuals coming from out of town. Take advantage of one of the most comprehensive university recreational activity programs available and create a memorable and rewarding recreational experience on the Redwood Coast today!

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A Fungus Is Among Us in Humboldt County. Local Artist Teams Up with Infected Mushroom EDM Duo

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For those residing in Humboldt County local artist Duane Flatmo is no stranger. Well known his Lost Coast Brewery label art, Flatmo’s interesting caricatures gave these locally brewed beers personalities of their own. His murals adorn various walls throughout the Redwood Coast region and his incredibly creative kinetic art sculptures can be seen annually at the Kinetic Grand Championship Race which takes place throughout Humboldt every Memorial Day Weekend. But this Spring Flatmo took his unique style to the stage, with the creation of Animatronica, a giant steam blasting, mechanical mushroom that some say will change stage design and production forever.

images-2In February 2015 Israeli born /Los Angeles based psy-trance duo known as Infected Mushroom kicked off their new tour which features this 10-foot tall installation designed and built by Flatmo himself. Much more than just an art installation, Animatronica is an innovative display of audiovisual mastery. Since the late 90’s Infected Mushroom have been captivating audiences around the globe with their unique blend of heavy metal and psychedelic trance music that infuses other EDM genres such as drum and base, dubstep, and electo as well. Ranked 2 of the world’s 10 Best DJs this group never ceases to amaze with their inventive sounds and you better believe their latest stage design will be blowing minds too. For a sneak peak of the making of this incredibly innovative production check out The Animatronica Live Tour 2015 Teaser.

burning-octopusFlatmo’s unique mechanical artistry first caught the eyes of the electronic dance duo at the Burning Festival in Black Rock city. El Pulpo Mecanico, a 26 foot tall Steampunk style flame throwing mechanical cephalopod, was crafted from scrap collected off of the beaches in Mexico and since unveiled in 2012 has become an infamous character of the “playa”. Duane possesses an artistic vision that literally breathes life into these mechanical beings. Such a blend of art and technology is really what the Burning Man gathering is all about. Infected Mushroom just knew they needed to team up with twisted minds behind this kinetic creation.

IMG_4002This new stage design is now bringing the Infected Mushroom vision to life and is the perfect visual complement to the audio experience that this group creates. This is not a show to be missed if you are looking for a completely new experience. Humboldt County was of course the first stop on the Animatronica Tour but don’t worry if you missed the debut because the tour goes on through the middle of May as the fungi criss crosses their way across North America. See Tour Dates and Locations

To see more of Fatmo’s work visit his official website at DuaneFlatmo.com or come to the Kinetic Grand Championship Memorial Day Weekend on the Arcata Plaza. For lodging right off of the plaza where all the kinetic contraptions are displayed prior to the start of the race see Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals for listings of the best vacation rentals in Humboldt County. The artistry of the Redwood Coast Region is phenomenal and the Kinetic Sculpture Race is a perfect example of this. It is really great to see these works stepping out from behind the Redwood Curtain and getting showcased across the county.

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Farm-to-Table: The Local Grinds of Humboldt County

9901The “farm-to-table” movement began gaining its popularity in recent years as more and more individuals become discouraged with current food industry and agricultural practices. Many people are opting against the consumption of fast food, GMOs, and chemically preserved products shipped from afar and are seeking more fresh, seasonal, sustainably grown and locally produced foods. Unfortunately the latter can at times be scarce in this day and age, particularly in urban areas. In my personal opinion I think it is great to see the momentum of a movement aimed at getting back to more ancient food production practices. Lets face it, before the farm-to-table concept became a “movement” it was basically just the way of life long ago. Luckily this way of life never really changed much in Humboldt County.

With nearly a thiimagesrd of the total land area in Humboldt County being used for some type of agriculture, including dairy, cattle, and wine, as well as produce, sourcing fresh from the farm ingredients locally has never been a problem in this region. And lets not forget Humboldt County has direct access to the Pacific Ocean also, a food source that yields local delicacies such as Dungeness Crab, Oysters, and other seafoods. The area  happens to be a great place to forage for food as well, with wild edible mushroom hunting being a popular activity during autumn, as several gourmet varieties can be found after the first rains of the season here.

beef_0Humboldt County restaurants are most definitely taking advantage of their unique location and all its agricultural prowess.  Many local area restaurants proudly feature locally grown /raised and mostly organic ingredients on their menus,  highlighting seasonal options throughout the year. The following is a list of a few places to check out if you are wanting to sample the local fare:

  • Folie Douce in Arcata, CA – Mediterranean-French cuisine inspired by the abundant, seasonal and mostly organic treasures from Humboldt County’s farms, forests and surrounding waters.
  • La Trattoria in Bayside, CA – A small traditional italian restaurant where “every month is eat local month” The menu changes frequently but always features an array of organic ingredients from several small farms in the area including Humboldt Grass Fed Beef, Organic Matters Pork and local pasture raised lamb.
  • Japhy’s – Located in Arcata, CA. this is basically a soup kitchen and asian noodle house that features different soups daily, all created with as many organic local ingredients as possible. A great place with a more casual atmosphere where on can get a taste of some of the local flavor.
  • Taste – Located in Old Town Eureka this is a great place to taste what Humboldt has to offer. They boast an oyster bar featuring oysters delivered fresh weekly from the Humboldt Bay (literally just step away), as well as several locally produced beers, wines, cheese, breads, chocolates, and deserts.
  • Brick & Fire Bistro in Eureka, CA – As the name implies, the wood fire stove is the heart of this restaurants inventive menu. The chef here skillfully blends Mediterranean tradition with fresh local harvest.
  • Restaurant 301 – Located in the Carter House in Eureka 301 is not to be missed if you are seeking a fine dining experience with all the local flare. The garden to table philosophy is a constant source of inspiration for the culinary team at Restaurant 301. In their own words, “What we don’t raise ourselves, we’re always searching for among the best of our local purveyors (which we are lucky to have so many of in Humboldt County)”

Purple-Haze-for-blogAlthough farm-to-table is year round here, it is September in Humboldt County that has officially been dubbed local food month. if you happen to be in the area during the end of local food month several independent restaurants and local farmers team up for an entire week of delicious dining local style. You can catch pre-fixed menus ranging from $5 to $30 at participating restaurants, with all plates specially designed to showcase locally grown, raised or produced food. For a detailed list of participating restaurants visit Humboldt County Restaurant Week.  

So if you are looking to come tantalize your tastebuds and sample the delectable delights of the Redwood Coast region and you are in need of a place to stay in Humboldt while you are enjoying our restaurants go to Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals to find lodging. They offer the best vacation rentals in Humboldt County with something for nearly every taste, budget and group size. Several of the units that they offer are within short walking distance to many of Humboldt County’s premier restaurants. Old Town Eureka vacation rentals include a beautiful French Apartment as well as a gorgeous European-style flat in Historic Building, among many other. They offer spectacular vacation rentals in Arcata and Trinidad too where you can find more great restaurants.

Bon Appetit!  

Redwood Fun in the Summer Sun

images-2Year round the Redwood Coast offers endless opportunities for recreation and fun. With its National & State Parks galore, ocean, rivers, mountains, world renowned festivals and more there is never a dull moment on the Redwood Coast from January all the way through December. Summer however is a very special time of year here. The summer season in particular is jam packed full of things to do. The following is list of some of our favorite North Coast summertime offerings from Memorial Day and Beyond:

  • imagesThe Kinetic Grand Championship – Memorial Day Weekend, May 23rd, 24th, & 25th Celebrates 47 years of Human Powered Art Racing in Humboldt. Otherwise known as the “Triathlon of the Art World”, this is a 3-day, 42-mile race along California’s northern coast from Arcata to Ferndale. Over land, sand, mud and water racers compete for glory in all variety of people-powered kinetic contraptions, pedaling along roads, the beach… even through the Humboldt Bay! Words can’t fully describe…see for yourselves Kinetic Grand Championship Video
  • Cruise Humboldt Bay Aboard the Madaket – First launched in 1910, the Madaket is the oldest passenger carrying vessel in continuous service in the United States and the boat boasts the smallest licensed bar in California as well. Sit back and relax on a slow paced leisurely Cocktail Cruise along Eureka’s scenic waterfront or learn about local history, industries, activities, points of interest, and local wildlife of the Humboldt Bay during the 75-minute narrated Eco-Cruise. The 2015 Harbor Cruise Season Begins on May 14th.
  • Arcata Bay Oyster Festival – For some “Fun, Food and Frolic” in Humboldt County join the 25th Annual Oyster images-1Festival Saturday, June 20, 2015. This is a prized pearl of summer festivals, where food lovers will have the opportunity to tantalize their taste buds with fabulous oysters and food. Drink local beer and wine, and dance the day away to local music. Come get your shuck on for the complete Humboldt County experience.
  • Fortuna Rodeo Week – Happening every third weekend in July this is the oldest and longest running annual rodeo on the North Coast with a long-standing history of attracting some of the top livestock and rodeo cowboys on the West Coast. In addition to traditional rodeo events you can enjoy a carnival, barbecue, parade, and friday night motorsports entertainment featuring freestyle motocross jumper Julian D’usseau. All taking place July 13th-19th of 2015 in the Friendly City of Ferndale.
  • Hops in Humboldt – The year marks the 12th Annual Hops in Humboldt festival which will feature over 35 of the best breweries from across the country. For one price you can try unlimited samples of hundreds of different micro-brews, listen to 4 bands as they rock the stage throughout the day, cruise different art and craft vendors selling everything from Humboldt clothes to local hand blown glassware. All attendees also receive a cool commemorative glass to keep.
  • Humboldt County Fair – Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned fair? Especially one that featurUnknownes live and satellite horse racing, mule racing, carnival rides and games, death defying stunts, live entertainment, competitive and interesting exhibits, plenty of livestock events, great fair-time foods, special programs, and all the fun of a county-wide “family” reunion. Taking place the last week of August in the Victorian Village of Ferndale, 2015 marks the 119th year for the Humboldt  County Fair making it the oldest uninterrupted county fair in all of California. With tons of fun for everyone, this is definitely one of the North Coast most exciting event of the year.  raft_paddle_up
  • Outdoor Recreation – When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors summertime on the North Coast provides practically any opportunity imaginable for one to get outside and play in the sun. Hiking in Humboldt County offers a seemingly endless amount of trails with literally something for every age and ability. There are over 100 miles of trails in Humboldt Redwoods State Park alone to explore. There are also great trails for bicycling and mountain biking in Humboldt County. Or head inland just a bit where temperatures soar in summer months and cool off in the water with some world class whitewater river rafting on the Trinity River with Bigfoot Rafting Company out of Willow Creek, CA. Humboldt Lagoons State Park and Humboldt Bay are both great places for kayaking and stand up paddle boarding too. Surf the dozens of Humboldt County surf spots, which range from beginner to advanced. There are even surf camps in Humboldt County held at the popular Moonstone Beach during July & August.
    5536PPInterpretive walks in HRSP

Fishing, Birdwatching, you name it. The list could go on and on. The point is if you a wanting to recreate this summer (as most of us do) this is a great place to do so. It truly is a magical time of year on the Redwood Coast, but then again so is every other time of year. Either Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall, the Redwood Coast really has it all.

The Microbrew Mecca

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With its approximately 500 breweries it is safe to say that for the past decade or more now California’s craft beer movement has been booming. Beer even seems to be the latest rage in California wine country, with wine-producing regions such as Napa quickly becoming excellent places to sample craft brews. Nowhere in the state though is there a greater concentration of award-winning microbreweries than here on California’s Redwood Coast.
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Humboldt County is known for more than just its big trees and beautiful coastline. Located within 30 miles of one another, Humboldt boasts 6 world-famous craft microbreweries, including the first certified organic brewery in the United States. There is even an entire tour dedicated to exploring the various breweries and tasting rooms dotting the north coast region. The following list of Humboldt County microbreweries can all be visited on the Humboldt Beer Tour.

  • Eel River Brewing Company located in friendly Fortuna along the banks of the Eel River is the first all organic brewery in the entire country. They feature a tap room and grill where you can sample their full selection of award winning brews and chow down on a delicious Humboldt Grassfed burger. They brew an amazing acai berry wheat and a great Raven’s Eye stout as well for those who prefer the dark side.
  • Lost Coast Brewery, one of only 6 women owned breweries in America, is just north on Highway 101 in Eureka. Lost Coast is well know for its famous brews such as Great White, Downtown Brown and Indica Pale Ale, all featuring interesting and unusual characters on the labels which are designed by local area artist Duane Flatmo. Lost Coast Brewery is a great place to meet, eat and sip as they also offer a full restaurant menu. Stay tuned as they will also be opening a new tasting room and brewing facility in the near future.
  • Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. lies just a bit further to the north in Arcata. Established in 2010 Redwood Curtain offers an impressive spread of craft beers including many seasonal and specialty styles. Their tasting room provides a fun and hip atmosphere for sampling and just chilling out. This is also a great place to catch local musician jamming from time to time.
  • Six Rivers Brewery, another woman owned brewing facility, is situated atop “Granite Hill” in Mckinleyville overlooking the gorgeous scenery of the Mad River, Arcata Bottoms and the Pacific Ocean. Given this, Six Rivers has also become known as the “brew with a view“. This brewery provides not only great views but quality and distinctive beer and menu items, utilizing local and organic ingredients whenever possible. You definitely want to try the sampler here. My personal favorites are the Hammond Trail American Ale and the Chili Pepper Spicy Ale. Catch local musicians, karaoke and other special events here most nights.
  • Mad River Brewing Co. located just east in sunny Blue Lake. Since 1989 Mad River Brewing company has been crafting award winning beers. Their Steelhead Extra Pale Ale and John Barleycorn Barleywine have received gold medals at The Great American Beer Festival, the most prominent award in our industry. Their tap room features a full pub style menu and a great outdoor patio with plenty of seating making this for a great place to hang out catch some rays while sipping a brew. Mad River Brewing Co. hosts musical performances regularly as well as several special beer events throughout the year as well. This is truly the perfect place to stop at for a brew after a long day of playing in the river.

hops-in-humboldtSpecial beer event on the Redwood Coast happen fairly regularly given its strong culture of brew enthusiasts. Microbrew lovers either living in or visiting the area will not want to miss the following Humboldt County Beer Events:

Humboldt Home Brew Festival  – Taking place in April Over 100 beers have been registered to be poured at this years festival!

Hops in Humboldt – This is the biggest beer fest in Humboldt. Happening in August, it features over 35 of the best breweries from across the country. For one price you can try unlimited samples of hundreds of different brews in your own cool, commemorative glass, listen to live bands as they rock the stage throughout the day, and cruise different arts and crafts vendors selling everything from Humboldt clothing to locally made jewelry.

Humboldt Beer Week – This is an celebration of the craft brew industry taking place in October, that is focused on but not limited to local and regional craft beers. Its purpose is to celebrate the tight knit beer community of the Redwood empire and beyond. Beer Week highlights all of the local breweries of the North Coast by holding a marquee event at each brewery all on different nights.

Hoptober Fest – Also taking place October this exciting Redwood Coast festival features regional breweries, local food vendors and an impressive lineup of talented musicians to provide a full day of beer, music and merriment. With so many outstanding local breweries to showcase, this successful event provides a unique interactive opportunity for individual participants and has become a major cultural event for Humboldt County.

Strange Brew Festival – Held in November, this event challenges local brewers to create the strangest and most delicious concoctions for the folks of Humboldt County and beyond. Previous showings have included everything from whiskey barrel aged beer, to vegetable/fruit/herb/plant ales, to multi-yeast and bacteria fermented libations. Even beer slushies, bloody marys, shortcake and jello shots have made an appearance.

In addition to great craft breweries and special brew festivities, Humboldt County also boasts some of the top beer bars in northern California including The Local Beer Bar, Siren’s Song Tavern, Humboldt Brews, and Bar-Fly Pub & Grub. If you are doing the pub crawl in Old Town Eureka there are several excellent choices for vacation rentals within walking distance to popular bars there making it easier for one to sample away. Check out the comprehensive list of Eureka vacation rentals on the Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals website. In addition to rentals in Eureka they offer several vacation homes in Arcata, Ferndale, and Trinidad, as well as other parts of the county.

Hidden away at the very top of the state, Humboldt County is an area like no other in humboldt-county-breweriesthe world for several reasons. Home of the tallest trees, gorgeous coastlines, beautiful rivers, and majestic mountains, and as this article outlines, some of the best beer in the world. With beer tourism on the rise Humboldt County has definitely made its mark on the scene and is now proven to be a destination not to be missed by any true beer enthusiast.


SUP on the Redwood Coast – Stand Up Paddle Boarding Humboldt County

1959866_10201729307376078_1661100295_nStand up paddling in some form or another has been around for thousands of years but there is no doubt that in recent years there has been a surge of interest in this activity. Stand Up Paddle Boarding, or SUP, is a super fun and easy way to play on the water. It is family friendly, it requires minimal gear, and this sport provides an excellent way to explore ocean, lake and river environments, and in Humboldt County’s case, bays and lagoons as well.

SUP really is a perfect activity for the waters of the Redwood Coast region. Humboldt Lagoon State Park is by far one of the most popular places to paddle in the area, and for very good reasons. This park is made up of 4 distinct landlocked lagoons, Big Lagoon, Stone Lagoon, Freshwater Lagoon, and Dry Lagoon (which as the name implies has no water). These magical bodies of water are located right on the coast yet still protected from the ocean making for the perfect place to paddle. These marshland habitats support a rich variety of plants, birds and animals and the park also offers access to approximately 6 miles of beach which provides an opportunity for bird watching or whale watching too. There are day use picnic areas in the park making this an unlimited recreation spot for friends and families to come together to enjoy an epic water playground nestled amongst the majestic redwood forest.

JessicaSUPThere are a few places available locally that offer SUP rentals in Humboldt County. Kayak Zak’s, located at Stone Lagoon, is definitely an excellent resource for Humboldt County SUP rentals. Kayak Zak’s also offers guided trips and lessons in addition to rentals. They have one hour, half day and 24 hour rentals for SUPs, kayaks, and all other necessary gear required for a fun filled day of paddling. There is absolutely no need to worry either if SUP is something you have never tried before because every rental from Kayak Zak’s comes with a mini-lesson to help you get started. They even offer special clinics from time to time to help even the more experienced paddlers perfect their skills.

If you are more interested in exploring the Humboldt Bay on SUP, there are available SUP rentals in Eureka, CA. Humboat Kayak Adventures has a great waterfront location at Dock A on the Woodley Island Marina in Eureka. They too offer rentals, tours and lessons. From the bay you can access water trails that meander through the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge or paddle around nearby Indian Island to see an egret rookery. There are so many interesting things to see on this gorgeous bay and the surrounding scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

10632368_794350620625336_1159117140_nNow speaking from my own personal (and novice) experience, SUP is generally pretty easy to pick up. My husband and I went out for our first time recently. Our 4 year old daughter sat on the front of the board of our guide until we got the hang of it ourselves which made us feel comfortable. Once we got the feel for it ourselves we were able to cruise along with her on our boards just fine. We all came back to shore dry and with smiles from ear to ear. In addition to enjoying quality time with my family in the great outdoors, I knew I was getting a full body workout at the same time, which was a major bonus. We will be heading back for more SUP very soon to say the least.

So whether you are new to SUP like myself or are a more advanced paddler, the Redwood Coast is a great place to partake in the sport. There are great vacation rental options near some of the best paddling spots in the area too. If you are looking to paddle the lagoons, there is a really awesome Upscale & Authentic Cabin at Stone Lagoon and also a great Home at Prairie Beach with ocean views and beach access, both offered by Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals. These vacation homes are great access points to the Redwoods National and State Parks also which you definitely wouldn’t want to miss if you are vacationing in the region. There are also several options for vacation rentals in Eureka that are super close to the Humboldt Bay, some even located right on the water. Humboldt County’s waterways are truly magnificent and any paddler at any lev  el of experience will definitely appreciate the many paddling opportunities available here on the Redwood Coast.


Map of the Movies – Humboldt County Meets Hollywood

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When you think of big movie titles such as Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial your mind may instantly wander to Hollywood, the land where any set can be made to look like the real deal. However, did you know many parts of these famous block buster hits where filmed on site in the actual Redwood forest? That’s right, those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park where actually roaming through Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek State Park. Oh and Planet Endor with its adorable Ewoks inhabitants? Well, Endor is actually Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park located just outside of Crescent City.

When filming a forest scenery nothing could ever compare to the true beauty of an actual real life California Giant Redwood forest. Perhaps this is why so many film makers of Hollywood have chosen to bring their productions here to the Redwood Coast. Here they are able to capture some of the most amazing scenery that nature has to offer. Many of the filming locations used in this Northern California region are so pristine and so stunningly beautiful that they at times can come across on the screen as being somewhat otherworldly. Scenery this breathtaking and unique simply can not be recreated, even in Hollywood.

Humboldt County and its neighbor to the north Del Norte County have actually been prime locations for films, television shows, and commercials for nearly a century. There have been countless nature documentaries made in the region, including many National Geographic & Discovery Channel programs. Several travel shows have highlighted the area. HGTV has featured Humboldt County in some of it programming. Even Food Network’s Guy Ferarri visited the area’s local eateries in his show “Good Eats”.

The-Majestic-jim-carrey-142049_450_299In addition to its beautiful forest sceneries, this Northern California region is also know for its Victorian Era architecture making it a excellent location to shoot films who’s plots take place during the turn of the century. Ferndale, CA is actually the best preserved Victorian village in all of California and several films have been filmed there including The Majestic, featuring actor Jim Carrey.

For a comprehensive list of all the productions that have taken place in the Redwood Coast region visit The Humboldt Del Norte Film Commissions Filmography page. You will be surprised by some of the titles and the amount of works you will find on this list.

markerFor those interested in taking a tour through the Redwood Coast to see why the area has attracted film makers for so long, the Humboldt Del Norte Film Commission also offers a printable PDF “Map of the Movies” which highlights various filming sites throughout both Humboldt & Del Norte counties. This is a  self-guided tour, but to help you along the way the film commission has set up markers (pictured to the left) at or near the actual filming location.

In addition to providing knowledge of and interesting facts about the filming locations of the North Coast, this tour will also inevitably lead you thorough some of the most beautiful and serene parts of the entire country. It is a super fun activity for all ages and would definitely be something interesting to do on your next trip to the Redwood Coast.

 

EXPLORING THE NORTH COAST PARKS WITH REDWOOD EDVENTURE QUESTS

images-1Looking for a fun, family friendly way to explore some of the most beautiful places here on the North Coast?  As a parent I am personally always looking for new and exciting ways to get my little one engaged with the natural environment and also ways to really get her excited about learning more about nature. I feel very lucky to live on the North Coast, an area with so much opportunity to connect with nature. This is also an area where many local organizations create amazing programs that are specifically geared to get our youth outdoors and exploring the natural world around us.

The Humboldt County Office of Education recently created an exciting and interactive way for us families with children to to get outside and explore. Taking place at many of our many amazing local area parks here on the North Coast, Redwood Edventure Quests are basically scavenger hunts that are lead by interpretive clues. Participants can pick up brochures containing the clues at each of the participating park’s visitor centers. These clues lead participants through the park to where they eventually find the “final phrase” which can be brought back to the visitor center in order to receive an actual Redwood Edventures Patch. And let me tell you, having been a girl scout myself I personally know the significance of a patch and it is indeed great… but we all know the experience that comes with it is usually much greater. Redwood Edventure Quests offered exactly that, theexperience of the redwood coast.

These quests are easy, fun, and educational for all ages. They usually last about 30 minutes to an hour. The Quests take place at 17 different park locations throughout the North Coast ranging from as far south as Richardson Grove, all the way to Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park in the north. Participants, both children and parents alike, get the chance to really observe the natural environment here and get to know about the flora and fauna, geology, animals, and natural history of the area.

For a map of participating park locations or for more information visit:

www.redwood-edventures.org.

If you are planning a Redwood Park vacation or a Humboldt County vacation in general and would like to take part in the Edventure there are several vacation rentals near participating parks. Available are several vacations rentals in Trinidad as well as Crescent City vacation homes located close to the northernmost Quest locations as well as others further to the south such as the vacation homes in Ferndale. There are many other Humboldt County vacation homes available throughout the entire North Coast region. Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals even offers a couple of spectacular vacation homes super close to Redwood National Park which is definitely an Edventure Quest location not to be missed. Here are links to just a few of these Humboldt County vacation homes and Redwood National Park vacation homes…

Prairie Beach Home – Beautiful Farm Setting wth Ocean & Beach Views & Access

Upscale & Authentic: Stone Lagoon Cabin-Gaze at Wild Elk, Hike to Beach

New Crescent City Beach House! Ocean & Beach Out Front Door! Great Views!

Trinidad Village Retreat – Great Sunroom and Patio – Walk to All

To see additional listings of Humboldt County vacation rentals that are available visit www.RedwoodCoast VacationRentals.com. You can view photos of vacation homes, see maps, check rates and availability and make your reservations online today. Come and explore the Redwoods with us (and earn some super cool patches too)!