3 Places to Spot Migrating Gray Whales

There are very few sights on Earth that are more jaw-dropping than witnessing a mammoth 40-ton gray whale leaping into the clear blue sky above the Pacific Ocean. Not only is Northern California blessed with awe-inspiring Redwoods, but our coast fills with migrating gray whales every winter as they journey from the Arctic Ocean to the sunny, warm waters near Mexico. Northern California whale watching ranks among the best in North America because these majestic beasts swim so close to our sandy shorelines. You don’t even need to head out onto the sea to witness families of whales heading south for the winter. Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals has homes, condos, cabins, and cottages minutes from Northern California’s best whale watching locales.

Northern California Whale Watching

Most migrations span over 10,000 miles. The same whales that grace our bays in December and January make the same journey northward from March through May back to the chilly Arctic Ocean. If you’re intent on getting up-close-and-personal with a gray whale, we suggest voyaging on an ocean charter or sea kayaking tour. Gray whale migrations can also be witnessed from the beautiful bluffs in Eureka, Trinidad, and Shelter Cove.

Shelter Cove on the Lost Coast

northern california whale watching 4To spot a beautiful gray whale from land, you’ll need these five things: patience, high-quality binoculars, clear skies, early-morning sunshine, and calm winds. Shelter Cove rests 87 miles south of lively Eureka on California’s Lost Coast. Shelter Cove is home to Black Sands Beach and the northbound Lost Coast Central Stretch trail. Not only is this stretch of coastal wilderness genuinely breathtaking, but it’s one of the best places to spot migrating gray whales. The Lost Coast Central Stretch is a difficult hiking trail, but it provides sweeping ocean views. On a bright morning, Black Sands Beach is the perfect spot to relax and patiently wait for families of whales. Orcas are also often spotted near the black shores!

Trinidad Bay Kayak Adventures

Kayaking in the vast Pacific Ocean is fun enough, but Kayak Trinidad has brilliantly added gray whales into the fold. Embark on a kayak tour in Trinidad Bay, and discover the breathtaking beauty of Northern California. You’ll likely see orcas, seals, sea lions, and shorebirds on the journey to meet a 40-ton gray whale. Each tour meanders through rock islands and sea-stacks before and after your North California whale watching adventure. Each tour is led by expert naturalists who’re equally charismatic and knowledgeable.

Patrick’s Point State Park

northern california whale watching 4It’s worth noting that there are many more than three premier Northern California whale watching locations. The last one we’re going to discuss thoroughly is Patrick’s Point State Park, but we also love Table Bluff and Trinidad Head. Patrick’s Point State Park earns the nod because it offers nearly a dozen overlooks. This beautiful state park has views from Rim Trail, Mussel Rocks, Agate Beach, Wedding Rock, Palmer’s Point, Rocky Point, and Patrick’s Point. Each lookout provides gorgeous ocean vistas and advantageous whale watching on clear mornings. Patrick’s Point State Park is only five miles north of Trinidad.

Northern California Vacations

Shelter Cove Vista Cabin

northern california whale watching 4The ocean-view Shelter Cove Vista Cabin is minutes from Cape Mendocino Lighthouse and two miles south of Black Sands Beach. This lovely cottage is steps from fishing, kayaking, and whale watching. The sunsets at Shelter Cove are particularly beautiful (as are moonlit evenings). You’ll have 1,610 square feet of space, outdoor lounging, and a full kitchen all within walking distance of the ocean.

Famous Pink Lady

northern california whale watching 4Spend the whole week inside a classic Victorian mansion one mile from Humboats Kayak Adventures in charming Eureka. You’ll have the opportunity to take a step back in time during your Northern California whale watching getaway. This three-story manor was built in 1889 and has been meticulously preserved ever since. The Famous Pink Lady is a popular wedding, anniversary, and honeymoon destination, so please call well in advance to book a reservation.

Seawoods Farmhouse

northern california whale watching 4A quiet farmhouse in the lush Northern California wilderness rests within walking distance of Patrick’s Point State Park. Seawoods Farmhouse, a cozy, affordable, and secluded paradise, has an onsite hobby farm, enchanting pond, and organic vegetable garden. You’ll genuinely feel at home in this peaceful single-family home that sleeps eight comfortably. Whale watching and hiking adventures are always a short walk away!

There’s no better time than right now to book an unforgettable Northern California whale watching trip through Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals. We offer a variety of vacation rentals for groups and families of all sizes. You’re guaranteed to find a Eureka or Trinidad vacation home that’s ideal within our extensive catalog of accommodations!

Mountain Biker’s Paradise Near Arcata Vacation Rentals

arcata vacation rentals, mtb trails

Humboldt County is a mountain bikers paradise. From coastal trails to mountainous ranges, the Redwood Coast’s wide variety of trail systems take riders through some of the most gorgeous and scenic parts of the entire area. Arcata, CA alone has something special to offer riders though….

Mountain bikers staying at any of our Arcata vacation rentals have a pretty sweet surprise nearby. In addition to the many boutique shops and restaurants located within walking (or riding) distance, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the Arcata Community Forest. For mtb riders this means trails galore.

arcata vacation rentals, mtb trails The 790-acre Arcata Community Forest (ACF) takes riders through second-growth redwood forest on a wide variety of single track and fire road trails giving a glimpse into some of the best that the Redwood Coast has to offer. The north side of the ACF boast several trails for both beginner to advanced riders. Popular and easily accessed trails in this section located directly behind Humboldt State University include Trail 13 and the South Janes Creek Loop, a 2-mile multi-use trail that overlaps a 3/4 mile section of the also popular Arcata Ridge Trail. For more advanced riders the south side of ACF offers steeper terrain and technical rides.

Whether you are a rider visiting our Arcata vacation rentals looking for a mellow cruise through the forest or some serious downhill speed the Arcata Community Forest has a trail for you.

arcata vacation rentals, mtb trailsBiking through the ACF is a great way to see parts of Arcata unaccessible by car. This dense network of trails follow along amazingly beautiful old logging roads providing a variety of challenging mountain bike rides suitable for all skill levels. April is a great time to check out these rides too as spring has officially sprung and trilliums are popping out all over the place! The trails in the ACF are especially cool on rainy misty days too, but honestly, the natural beauty of the ACF is truly unparalleled at any time of year. If you are a rider from out of the area and have never ridden in a redwood forest, this is a must-do. For more about this extensive trail system, including access points, check out the City of Arcata Trail Maps.

arcata vacation rentals
Save 15% off Bike Rentals

Guests staying at our Arcata vacation rentals can rent bicycles from Revolution Bicycles, located in Arcata with a second location in Eureka as well. Revolution Bicycles is owned by cyclists, staffed by cyclists and actively supports cycling in the community, making them an excellent resource for all thing cycling in Humboldt County. With proof of your stay with Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals, receive 15% of bike rentals with Revolution Bicycles. Road rider, mountain biker, daily commuter or just cruising with the family on the weekend, Revolution Bicycles has a bike to suit your needs! Be sure to check out their Northcoast Bike Rides blog too for more great info about other nearby trails.

arcata vacation rentals, mtb trails
Mountain Biker’s Paradise

In addition to great trails, the Redwood Coast is also known for great bike friendly events. Some of of the most popular include the annual Kinetic Sculpture Race and the Tour of the Unknown Coast, both taking place in May. There are also some super fun weekend bike-and-hike days from October through May at Prairie Creek Redwood State Park. On the first Saturday of each month Redwood National & State Parks close the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway to all motorized vehicles providing a great ride for both families with young children looking for a safe and easy ride, to those looking for a more physically-challenging route as well.

Search our Arcata vacation rentals now and start planning the ultimate bike trip to the Redwood Coast! 

Pet Friendly Vacation: A Dog Lover’s Destination

pet friendly vacation
Pet Friendly Vacation for Dog Lovers

Life before Curtis was simple. We traveled and we travelled a lot. All we ever had to do was packed up, head out, and enjoy the trip. Soon after adopting this sweet furry guy though, we realized there were going to be a lot more logistics involve with travel. A pet friendly vacation would be a little more involved. Was Curtis going to be able come along at all or were we going to have to board him. If we did bring him, most importantly, would we be able to find pet friendly accommodations that would live up to our standards.

Don’t get me wrong. I have never regretted for a second the decision to make this amazing pooch a part of our family. Like many dog owners, I refer to Curtis as my fur baby. I love him so and am beyond happy to have such a well behaved and handsome pup in our lives.

While a pet friendly vacation may require a bit more planning, it can be done…..

pet friendly vacation rentals
Dog Lover Destinations

With the rise of independently owned pet-friendly vacation rentals such as those found through vacation rental management companies and sites like VRBO and Airbnb, pet-friendly vacation rentals are much easier to find. Gone are the days when traveling dog owners are limited to sub-par side of the road motels that basically only serves as a place to rest up for a night, but leave much to be desired.

pet friendly rentals humboldt
Redwood Coast – Dog Friendly

Humboldt County is a premier pet friendly vacation destination. Located in the far reaches of coastal Northern California and home to Redwood National and State Parks, Humboldt and its neighboring counties of DelNorte and Trinity, offer tons of dog friendly accommodations as well as outdoor activities that every pup will love. While dogs are not allowed in Redwoods National Park itself there are trails upon trails outside of the park that are dog friendly and also loads of dog friendly beaches as well. Here is a great list of pet friendly trails and beaches on the Redwood Coast. 

When staying in McKinleyville, CA don’t miss out on taking your dog to Hiller Park. This dog friendly county park features a huge off-leash area where dogs can run about and socialize before taking a walk on the 1.5 miles of trails that meander along bluffs overlooking the majestic pacific ocean. Hiller Park sits directly  on the larger Hammond Trail which is a really awesome 5 mile stretch of the California Coastal Trail that runs from the Arcata north to Clam Beach in McKinleyville. The Hammond Trail has been voted “best place to walk, jog, or bike” in Humboldt County and if they could, dogs would most likely vote the same.

Our little Curtis absolutely loves walking the trails at Hiller Park. When talking to other dog owners there many say Hiller Park is absolutely one of the best dog park they have EVER been too. I mean come on, there are even dog drinking fountains there! When in Arcata though, Curtis really enjoys the awesome on-leash trails found within the Arcata Community Forest as well as at the Arcata Marsh. And we can’t forget his fave in Eureka, Sequoia Park, location of the annual “Bark in the Park” event, which is a 5K walk/run to raise money for animal welfare groups in Humboldt County. Another fun annual event catering to canines that also held in Eureka is Woofstock, a family and dog friendly event with live music, food, shopping, doggie fun zone, and more doggie delights. When on a pet friendly vacation on the Redwood Coast these are all great stops to make with your furry friends.

Humboldt Pet friend;y vacation homes
Pet Friendly Vacation Homes in Humboldt

Now that you know where to take your dog while on a pet friendly vacation on the Redwood Coast, let’s talk accommodations.

 

 

Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals, the regions premier vacation rental management co., offers a large selection of pet friendly vacation homes. Their featured pet friendly vacation rentals include a brand new studio near the Hiller Park and the Hammond Trail, Downtown lofts in Arcata, oceanview condos in Trinidad, as well as waterfront cabins on the Humboldt Bay at Oyster Beach. They offer around 30 different pet friendly vacation homes in total. See more Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals pet friendly vacation home listings here.

Thanks to pet friendly vacation homes like these, life with Curtis is still pretty simple. We continue to travel and we have a great time doing with our dog. We are pretty sure he enjoys a little vaycay from time to time too ;). Where will your next pet friendly vacation take you and your fur babies?

Pet friendly vacations
Humboldt – A Perfect Dog Owner Destination