Self-Guided Northern California Beer Trail

The state of California has over 900 craft breweries, by far the most in any state and more than twice the amount of second-place Washington. We love our craft beer. California is home to some of the best craft beer brands in the nation: Sierra Nevada, Stone, Green Flash, Ballast Point, and Bear Republic. In 2016, craft breweries in California produced nearly 3.3 million barrels of craft beer, according to the Brewers Association. Which means craft beer accounted for $7.3 billion in sales that year. If you’re not already a self-proclaimed beer aficionado, now might be the time to hop aboard the phenomenon. Luckily for you, many of our Northern California vacation rentals are minutes away from some of the region’s best craft breweries.

Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals has properties scattered throughout beautiful Northern California. Embark on a self-guided North Coast craft beer tour with stops at these exemplary breweries. Remember to plan a sober ride and to please drink responsibly!

Eel River Brewing – Fortuna

Start your craft beer journey in the growing city of Fortuna. Exit off US-101 for a beer flight and an organic grass-fed burger at Eel River Brewing. The brewery is steps from the Eel River, which flows northwest into the Pacific Ocean. Eel River Brewing is the first certified organic brewery in the U.S. The interior is reminiscent of an unpretentious Irish pub thanks to hanging flags, tin signs, green paint, and a long bar. You’ll likely want to enjoy your flight and burger in the inviting attached beer garden. The locals consider Eel River Brewing the best restaurant in the city. You can also try their creamy macaroni and cheese or the fish and chips. Don’t leave without sipping on their Raven’s Eye, a creamy and roasty 9.5% ABV imperial stout with hints of espresso and dark chocolate.

Lost Coast Brewery – Eureka

Choose from many beers on tap.
Choose from many beers on tap.

Your next stop should be at the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka. Lost Coast was named a top 50 U.S. brewery in 2017 by the Brewers Association. Their taproom is connected to the brewery and distribution center. Stop in for free brewery tour where they bottle over 135,000 beers a day. Meet the giant Lost Coast shark and finish the tour with a delicious pint of the Revenant, a refreshing, full-bodied Citra IPA. Lost Coast also has a popular brewpub on the north end of Eureka, if you happened to skip a meal at Eel River Brewing. They offer some of the best fish tacos and jambalaya in town!

Redwood Curtain Brewing – Arcata

A pint at Redwood Curtain Brewing on the south side of Arcata is an absolute must. The taproom has concrete floors, hanging bulbs, comfy stools, and repurposed whiskey barrels. Of all the breweries on this North Coast beer trail, Redwood Curtain has the best overall beer. Their well-balanced signature IPA utilizes three hop varieties to provide hints of honey, orange, citrus, and pine. Redwood Curtain brews a new flavorful IPA nearly every month, so check back often to see what’s on tap. Regardless of the season, don’t skip the dry nitro Irish stout. This velvety, roasty and chocolatey stout may end up being the best beer of the trip.

Mad River Brewing – Blue Lake

Hop off US-101 for a piney pint of Slammin’ Salmon Double IPA and a beer-battered Pacific cod burger at Mad River Brewing Company in Blue Lake. Mad River slings delicious fish tacos on occasion, although they aren’t on the everyday menu. The taproom is steps away from the scenic Mad River. In the summer months, patrons slip down the road and for a refreshing swim in the river or a beautiful riverwalk. Their spacious patio often has live music with the lush valley as a backdrop.

Six Rivers Brewery – McKinleyville

Six Rivers Brewery is unique for many reasons. Firstly, it’s 500 feet from our offices at Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals. It’s fair to say we’ve tried each of their delicious craft beers more than once. Secondly, this brewpub is known to locals as the “brewery with the view,” because of the sweeping pasture vistas from the back patio. The Pacific Ocean is visible in the distance! Six Rivers recently upgraded their outdoor seating, for those who’ve visited this McKinleyville staple before. Their Moonstone Porter, which was named after nearby Moonstone Beach, is a robust English-style porter worth savoring.

Humboldt Regeneration – McKinleyville

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Beer flight with pretzels and nuts.

Finish your journey in McKinleyville, seven miles north of Arcata. The premier brewery in McKinleyville is Humboldt Regeneration, the first California brewery since 1933 to brew a 100 percent home-grown and malted beer. This entirely organic and sustainable brewery is equal parts family-farm and brewery. Humboldt Regeneration grows every ingredient that goes into the finished product. Taste the incredible difference by visiting their taproom, complete with 19 taps of homegrown beer. Don’t worry about what’s on tap, simply show up, say hello, and guzzle one of the best beers in California!

Northern California Vacation Rentals

All six breweries are a short distance from US-101, covering 35 miles in total distance. The breweries have been chosen, the day has been picked, and the sober ride has been arranged. Now it’s time to determine which charming accommodation is right for your beer-loving ensemble.

Cottage Americana

Cottage Americana, Fortuna, CA
Cottage Americana, Fortuna, CA

Cottage Americana is a quick one-mile drive from Eel River Brewing in Fortuna. This quiet, clean, and cozy cottage has a lovely back patio with a built-in koi pond. Cottage Americana is the ideal cottage for a romantic weekend escape or a Redwoods honeymoon.

611 Flat in Old Town Eureka

The 611 Flat in Old Town Eureka
611 Flat in Old Town Eureka, Eureka, CA

611 Flat is one block from the Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe in Old Town Eureka and two blocks from the scenic Arcata Bay. Most of our Northern California vacation rentals have a quiet elegance, modern amenities, and are walking distance from all of the best area shops, restaurants, and beaches.

Plaza Casita

Plaza Casita, Arcata, CA
Plaza Casita, Arcata, CA

Stay in downtown Arcata at this fresh and modern cottage, one of the best Northern California vacation rentals on the market. The Plaza Casita is a Spanish-style modern home with a charming, contemporary interior and a secluded backyard. Cozy up by the fireplace, crack open a beer on the patio or stroll through downtown Arcata.

Visit our website to view our entire list of Northern California vacation rentals, many of which are conveniently located on the North Coast beer trail. You can always give us a call at 1-707-834-6555 for more information.

The Creamery District – Arcata’s Premier Arts Destination

“Of the 58 counties throughout California, Humboldt County boasts more artists per capita than anywhere in the state.”

Creamery District, Arcata CA
Creamery District, Arcata CA

For all involved, converting a 100 year old cheese factory into a bustling art district has been a pure act of love. Love, that is, for  the city of Arcata, CA and the lively community of artists and freethinkers which reside there.

In the 1970’s what were then the new owners of the once California Central Creamery had a vision of turning this ran down, yet very industrial chic part of their quaint little Northern California town into a full blown art district. Over the years, what started off as a few artist and musician studios, eventually blossomed into a very special arts and business district within Arcata. The Creamery District, which is located just blocks away from the downtown Arcata plaza, now boasts all sorts of unique and interesting offerings, including wonderful community events and festivals.

Street-MuralOver the last few years specifically, the Creamery District of Arcata has undergone its greatest metamorphosis. Starting in 2012 the Arcata Playhouse, a live performance theater located in the district, began its efforts to revamp this vital art “neighborhood”. Thankfully, due to the Playhouse’s efforts and their commitment to building community through the arts, the city’s zoning laws for the district were eventually changed from solely industrial to mixed use commercial thus inviting an even more types of businesses to set up shop. The Creamery District is now home to not only the Arcata Playhouse, but dance studios, fiber artists, a stained glass studio, the Kinetic Sculpture Lab, jewelry factories, a self defense academy, a cider brewery, retail shops, a yoga studio, and a wide array of other creative enterprises. Also for the first time, the district is beginning to see restaurants and cafes pop up around in the hood.

craft cider, cider, hard cider,
Tasting @ Wrangletown Cider Co.

When asked why she chose to open her business in the Creamery District, Patricia Knittel, owner of the district’s very own Wrangletown Cider Company, said in a interview with Times-Standard’s Tabitha Soden “The zoning was appropriate for it as well as the fact that there are a lot of interesting places here”. Wrangletown Cider Company produces small batch hard ciders made from select apples sourced from a variety of Northern California Orchards. Wrangeltown craft ciders honor the rich history of apple farming in Humboldt County and it seemed very fitting to Knittel to house her business in such a historic Humboldt County location. Be sure to drop by Wrangletown Cider Co. for a tasting during their business hours on Fridays and Saturdays or call them directly to schedule an appointment for a private tasting and tour!

Presto Cafe by Holly Yashi
Presto Cafe by Holly Yashi

Another sweet little spot that has opened its doors to business in the district recently is Cafe Presto, a coffee cart housed in a one-of-a-kind, fully restored Piaggio vehicle. Holly Hosterman and Paul Kibitz, owners of Holly Yashi, an artisan jewelry company also located in the Creamery District, feel in love with a similar mobile espresso cafe while on vacation in Italy and decided to recreate the cafe in the Arcata’s very own arts district. This is the perfect place to visit after taking a tour of the Holly Yashi design studio. Apparently Cafe Presto prepares all of its drinks with a La Speziale S40 Suprema espresso machine which was specially imported and is the only one of its class in all of North America!

summer festivals, art market, arts and crafts
Saturday Arts Market, Arcata CA

Perhaps the best way to check out the Creamery District is by visiting the Saturday Art Market on the last Saturday of each month from June through September. This free, outdoor, family-friendly event showcases local artists selling high quality arts and crafts and a flea market where folks sell other treasures. The market is usually features live music from local musicians as well. A super fun thing to check out especially after the Saturday Farmers Market on the Arcata plaza just a couple of blocks away.

Creamery District Art Festival, Arcata CA

Creamery District Community Arts Festival features “pageantry, music, art, comedy” as well as a big top circus each year. This super fun event is great for the entire family. Arcata’s revived Creamery District and its multitude of businesses present this three-day festival every August and invites outdoor spectacle performers, Vaudeville Variety shows, and a plethora of vendors and live musicians to celebrate the arts with them in the amazing little community that they have created.

So if you are exploring downtown Arcata don’t forget to mosey a little ways off of the Arcata Plaza and visit the Creamery District and all of its liveliness, just a few blocks away. Catch a show at the Playhouse, take a tour of a design studio or brewing facility, sip on some cider or a latte, or attend a fun outdoor summer festival or event. The Creamery District is truly one of the many gems of the Redwood Coast.

Downtown Arcata's Very Own Art District
Downtown Arcata’s Very Own Art District

 

 

The Kinetic Sculpture Race of Northern California

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Kinetic Sculpture Race, CA

Memorial Day weekend on the Redwood Coast is not quite like any other. For over 45 years now a human powered art race makes it way through Humboldt County over this 3 day holiday weekend. The Kinetic Sculpture Race of Northern California features huge pieces of unique and interesting people-propelled art. These contraptions travel 42 miles along land, sand, water and mud, to compete for nothing more than glory. It is quite the spectacle to be seen.

It all began back in 1969 when artist Hobart Brown challenged Ferndale artist Jack Mays to a race down Ferndale’s Main street. Since, the Kinetic Sculpture Race event has grown and has now became an annual attraction that draws people from all over the world every Memorial Day weekend.

13179266_987195534649955_2144936198630747155_nDay 1 of this Kinetic Grand Championship, otherwise known as the “Triathlon of the Art World, begins at noon on Saturday in downtown Arcata. This kick off is a great opportunity to spectate as all of the racers make their way around the plaza square so you can get an up close and personal view of these unique vehicle (a great way for families with children to attend). The Kinetic Sculpture race then make its way to the Manila Dunes for a sand trek!

Kinetic Sculture Race, Humboldt County CA
Kinetic Sculture Race, CA

Day 2 begins at the waterfront in Eureka, CA on the Humboldt Bay, where “Kinetic Pilots” put their crafts floating abilities to the test. And finally, on Day 3 the racer make their way from the mouth of the Eel River, through Morgan slough, and back onto dry land where they then cross the finish line on historic Main street of the Victorian Village of Ferndale, CA.

228129_204784606224389_2827416_nAnybody can sign up to participate in the Kinetic Sculpt Race as long as they have an idea, the ability to make it come to life, and a good team to help it all move along. But honestly, it is almost equally as fun to just watch these works of art pedaling along roads, the beach, and Humboldt Bay! As Hobart Brown himself put it, it’s all about “Adults having fun so children will desire to grow older.”

Arcata, CA Vacation Rentals
Arcata, CA Vacation Rentals

Words can’t fully describe so see more at Kinetic Grand Championship Video or better yet started planning to see the race in person this Memorial Day Weekend which falls on May 27, 28, 29, of 2017. Check out vacation rentals Northern California style for the perfect Memorial Weekend getaway.

Eureka, CA Vacation Rentals
Eureka, CA Rentals

Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals offers a wide array of northern California vacation homes from Arcata, CA vacation rentals to Eureka, CA vacation rentals and more.

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See more of the Kinetic Sculpture Race Here

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Kinetic Sculture Race, Northern California