Kid Friendly Hikes Northern California

If you are anything like me, one of your main goals for the summer is to get the kids outdoors. Pulling children away from their screens and getting them connected to nature is a theme I often hear other parents discussing. From experience I know that exploring the many kid friendly hikes Northern California has to offer is by far one of the best ways to get our children engaged with the great outdoors. The magnificent kid friendly hikes both in and around Redwood National and States Parks have the tendency to instill a sense of awe and wonder for nature and her beauty, not only for the children, but the entire family as well.

We have compiled a list of some of the most kid friendly hikes Northern California offers….

While the Redwood National & State park system boasts some pretty amazing trails, the surrounding area of the entire Redwood Coast has some spots to explore that you and the family really do not want to miss. Starting from the North and working our way South, these hiking trails are some of the local favorites for families with children.

Lady Bird Johnson Grove

kid friendly hikes northern california

Named after the late environmental activist and former first lady, Lady Bird Johnson Grove is easily one of the favorite and most popular kid friendly hikes Northern California provides. You can walk among ancient redwoods on this 1-mile loop that lies near the top of a ridge in Redwood National Park.

One of features of the trails that families seem to like most is the brochure provided at the trailhead which corresponds to marked posts along the trail guiding you along this historically significant trail making it an education experience for all.

Featured Vacation Rental Near Lady Bird Johnson Loop Trail:

kid friendly hikes northern california

Trinidad Head Loop

kid friendly hikes northern california Ocean views, spouting whales, and endless coastline. Trinidad Head Loop is an 1.3 mile trail located just outside of the quaint fishing village of Trinidad, CA. The trailhead parking is found at Trinidad State Beach and Trinidad Pier, which are also great places to explore with little ones. Trinidad head is actually one of the most accessible kid friendly hikes Northern California provides. It also boasts one of the best views along the entire pacific coastline. Grey whales, sea lions, and dolphins are often spotted from the trail’s numerous viewpoints.

Featured Vacation Rentals Near Trinidad Head Loop:

kid friendly hikes northern california

The Hammond Trail

Often referred to as the “best place to walk, jog, or bike” by Humboldt county residents, this popular trail cruises along spectacular bluffs that allow you to gaze out over onto the Pacific ocean. This is a well maintained, smooth trail consisting of a combination of dirt and asphalt. It starts off at Clam Beach State Park and ends at the Mad River Bridge in McKinleyville, CA.  In total the trail is 5.5 miles but can easily be done in smaller sections. If you are wanting to take the family on a bike ride while visiting the Redwood Coast this is the trail for you. There is a great little park located direct on the trail as well. There are also several places along the trail where you can spot whales.

Featured Vacation Rental Near The Hammond Trail:

kid friendly hikes northern california
The NorCal Garden Casita

 

Humboldt Bay Trail

kid friendly hikes northern california While only sections of this trail are complete at this time, you do not want to miss out on one of the most kid friendly hikes Northern California and the Redwood Coast offers. At the moment, the northern 3- mile portion of the Humboldt Bay Trail seems to be the most popular section. It runs through the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary where you can spot a variety of migratory birds and native plant species.

Make sure to stop by the Visitors Center located at the Marsh. There’s lots of great interactive exhibits for kids and educational info about the marsh and its inhabitants.

The southern-most potion of the Humboldt Bay Trail is a 1.5 mile stretch known as the Hikshari’ Trail. This section winds along the Elk River and through the Elk River Wildlife Sanctuary. This is paved trail which makes it great for biking and skating. It is also pet friendly for those of you traveling with fur babies. Eventually the Humboldt Bay Trail will trace the length of the bay, connecting these two section of trail, spanning some 13 miles between Eureka and Arcata, CA. For now the various sections are all worth exploring.

Featured Vacation Rental Near The Humboldt Bay Trail:

kid friendly hikes northern california
Yashi Stay, Arcata CA

Cheatham Grove

kid friendly hikes northern california Heading away from the coastline and a bit deeper into the redwood forest, Cheatham Grove at Grizzly Creek Redwood State Park offers a wonderful kid friendly trail that the whole family will enjoy. This 0.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located just off of Hwy 36 near Carlotta, CA. Chatham Grove features beautiful wild flowers and a particularly beautiful stand of ancient Redwoods. The beauty of Cheatham Grove is famously reflected in the movie Return of the Jedi which was filmed here.

Featured Vacation Rental Near Cheatham Grove & Grizzly Creek Redwood State Park:

kid friendly hikes northern california
Cream City Cottage & Studio, Ferndale CA

 

With trails like these it is easy to get the whole family out this summer to explore the serene splendor of the Redwood Coast. As we all know, kids grow up entirely too fast. Making memories to cherish for a lifetime is what it is all about. And trust us, you and your family will never forget the natural beauty that exists along this most magical stretch of the Northern California coastline.

See More Kid Friendly Activities On Northern California’s Redwood Coast

Meet the Beer Gardens of Humboldt County

Best Beer Garden Humboldt

With October just around the corner right now is the perfect time to book vacation rentals Northern CA style. Just like Germany, Humboldt knows how to celebrate a good Wiesn… Oktober Fest that is.

Every year 6 million people from around the world attend Germany’s 16 to 18-day beer festival held in October. While Humboldt County does not generate nearly quite as much buzz, we still put on our own annual “Hoptober Fest” modeled after the world famous Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich. Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals has the perfect vacation rentals Northern CA to get you up close and well acquainted with the fine craft beers of the Redwood Coast, not only in October but year round in Humboldt’s many beer gardens and tap rooms.

Like Germany, beer drinking is almost culturally ingrained in Humboldt County.

With so many local microbreweries including the U.S.’s first certified organic brewery as well as one of the first female owned breweries, Humboldt has come to be quite proud of our beer brewing heritage here. It is no wonder why the area pays homage to the art of beer brewing each October, but to be completely honest, beer is a year round celebration in these parts.

The beer gardens of Humboldt County are a place to gather, relax, and soak up some serious suds. Whether you are here specifically during the time of Hoptober Fest or not there is always a chance to sample some of the worlds finest craft microbrews while on the Redwood Coast. Here is a list of some of our local faves:

Craft Beer, Vacation Rentals Nothern CA, breweries norther california, microbrewery, oktober festMad River Brewery 

Creating quality craft beer since 1989, these guys are cranking out some of my personal favorites. Jamaica Red, beers are Porter, and Redwood Stout are all quite unusual and unique. Mad River Brewery truly gives you the Northern California experience every time you raise your glass. Check out their tap room and pet-friendly outdoor beer garden in sunny Blue Lake CA to sample some of their award winning ales, grab a bite to eat, or play a round of cornhole.

craft beer, norther california breweries, vacation rentals northern ca, microbreweries, oktoberfestSix Rivers Brewery 

Dubbed “The Brew with a View” this is the place to be if you want to try some of Northern California’s best craft beers while overlooking the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. Located in McKinleyville, CA the pet-friendly beer garden of Six Rivers offers not only sweeping views but also a full menu of quality and distinctive beer plus great food that features local and organic ingredients whenever possible. The Hammond Trail Ale is a must try and for something on the darker side be sure to try their Moonstone Porter. At Six Rivers you will find some of the best small batch craft beer coming out of the heart of Humboldt County.

craft beer, vacation rentals northern CA, northern california breweries,
Humboldt Regeneration

Humboldt Regeneration

This is Humboldt’s only locally grown beer. That’s right.  Regeneration is increasing their own grains and hops and brewing up exceptional craft Farm to Glass beers and serving them up in their sweet little brewhouse and tasting room in McKinleyville, CA. Stop by and enjoy Pizza & Beer night with local fave Pizza Gago serving up some beautiful wood fired pizzas made with fresh, local ingredients. Or get the educational scoop at their Beer Farm Night where Regeneration’s harvesting combine and a tractor is on site along with some demonstrations.  Bring the whole family and the dog too. 

vacation rentals northern CA, northern california breweries, craft beer, tasting rooms, arcata ca
Redwood Curtain

Redwood Curtain

Located in Arcata, CA, Redwood Curtain brews up multi-dimensional hand crafted ales and lagers for beer lovers of all types. Their Belgian Style beers are highly recommended as well as the very unique Oak-Aged Blackberry Saison. No food is served here, however, you can feel free to bring in your own while enjoying this fantastic beer garden. Also, you can catch their Happy Hour Monday through Friday for $1 off most pints and goblets. Children are welcome as well.

vacation rentals norther ca, norther california breweries, craft beer, eureka ca
Lost Coast Brewery

Lost Coast Brewery

Now one of the most famous breweries and beer gardens on the North Coast of California, Lost Coast first started brewing when there weren’t a lot of craft breweries in existence, especially in California. With their new facility located in southern part of Eureka CA, Lost Coast now bottles up to 135,000 beers and fill 1,000 kegs every day! Their Tasting Room serves up year round favorites such as Great White and Downtown Brown as well as seasonal specials. For the kids, they serve ice cream and floats, and everyone is welcome to join a free tour of the Lost Coast brewing facilities. Also located nearby is the Lost Coast Brewery & Café where their first beer was brewed, and they still serve up some of the best food and beer along the California coast.

vacation rentals norther ca, northern california breweries, craft beer, fortuna ca
Eel River Brewing Co.

Eel River Brewery 

Eel River Brewing Company has been blazing a trail in the craft brew industry over the past twenty years. America’s first Certified Organic brewery is located in Fortuna CA, only 15 minutes from the famous Avenue of the Giants where you can see some of the worlds tallest trees. The beer garden and restaurant at Eel River was voted “Best Brewery of the North Coast” in 2006, 2009 and 2010! They serve up great pub style food along with amazing pure, naked and clean brews. Join them for a beer and a meal, or a horseshoe game in our outdoor beer garden where you can catch some of that wonderful Fortuna sunshine. Eel River’s Tropical Blonde is definitely one of my personal favorites on a warm sunny day.

northern california microbreweries, craft beer, redwoods
Vacation Rentals Northern CA

When searching for vacation rentals Northern CA, Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals offers vacation properties that provide the best way to experience all six Humboldt County Beer Gardens and Microbreweries. From Crescent City to Fortuna, CA they will provide you with the perfect home base for exploring all that the Redwood Coast had to offer, including the best microbrews of Northern Cali where locals and visitors alike are welcomed as old friends.

Search Vacation Rentals Northern CA at Redwood Coast Vacation Rental

 

Northern California’s Best Kayaking Destinations

With 100+ miles of coastline, a sprawling bay, and pristine rivers, Humboldt County is definitely a premier kayaking destination…. Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals offers coastal vacation rentals near some of Northern California’s best kayaking spots. 

When preparing for your redwood forest vacation be sure to scout out these top kayaking destination and the amazing coastal vacation rentals located nearby….  

best redwood coast kayaking spots
Freshwater Lagoon Nature Retreat

Humboldt Lagoons – Comprised of Big Lagoon, Stone Lagoon, and Freshwater Lagoon, these large protected bodies of water are wonderful for kayaking, paddle boarding, wildlife viewing, and fishing. The lagoons provide many points of access and boat ramps for small craft. Visitors to the lagoons have the opportunity to see otters, elk, migratory birds, and much more. For guided tours and equipment rental stop in a Kayaks Zak’s located at the Stone Lagoon Visitor Center. 

All 3 of the Humboldt Lagoons are located just moments from Redwood National Park and the town of Orick. There are several coastal vacation rentals located nearby. The Freshwater Lagoon Nature Retreat is pretty spectacular if you are looking to be near the waterways and the national park. This property boasts sixteen private waterfront acres which sit at the entry way to Redwood National and State Park just minutes from the tallest trees in the world. The giant floor to ceiling windows throughout the house allows you to gaze out at the beautiful natural setting of scenic 200 acre Freshwater Lagoon. Beautiful sunsets over the Pacific Ocean await you here!

kayaking redwood coast, northern california kayaking
Trinidad Pier – Coastal Vacation Rentals

Trinidad Pier – Trinidad sits on one of the most phenomenal stretches of the entire northern California Coastline. You don’t want to miss out in launching out here for some sea kayaking. Located at the pier you will find a small beach launch for kayaks and other small craft. When exploring here you will get the chance to discover ancient kelp beds, lots of interesting rock formations, several types of migratory birds, seal colonies, and loads of other marine life.

Coastal vacation rentals in the town of Trinidad are abundant, but for the absolute best view of the Trinidad Pier and Harbor itself check out the Seascape Home. This 3 bedroom & 1 bath main house and 1 bedroom with 1 bath suite provide stunning views of the Trinidad Harbor and put you just steps from the beach launch.

Mad River Slough – Meander by boat along the channels where the Mad River diverts into the Humboldt Bay. This is hands down one of the best places for birdwatching in the area. Located at the North end of Manila, the Mad River Slough offers a ramp to launch off of and is a great place to set out to explore this local waterway. Pacific Outfitters leads a 2 to 4-mile tour of the Mad River Slough. This is truly a must see for all birders!

kayaking redwood coast, coastal vacation rentals, northern california
Birders Paradise – Mad River Slough Kayak Tour
kayaking redwood coast, coastal vacation rentals, northern california kayaking
Photo Credit: @eelriverestuarypreserve

Eel River Estuary – This is by far one of the richest areas for wildlife in the region. And with a new boat ramp at Pedrazzini Park in Loleta, this is a great place to launch your boat. Offering tidal wetlands, fresh water marshes, sand dunes, grass lands, beach frontage and a half moon bay on the Eel River, this is an excellent spot for viewing river otters, harbor seals, migratory birds, salmon and steel head. During the winter this estuary is also a refuge for tens of thousands of Aleutian Geese.

Located just minutes from the estuary and beaches you can find several coastal vacation rentals. The Eel Valley Guest House in Fortuna offers 2 Month Minimum Stays for explorers looking for an extended vacation in the region. This 3 bedroom home is perched on a hillside overlooking the gorgeous Eel Valley and is the perfect place for an extended play /stay on the Redwood Coast. More short term coastal vacation rentals are also available in Fortuna and the nearby Victorian Village of Ferndale, one of “America’s prettiest towns.”

 

Summer in the Redwood Forest


summer in the redwoodsSummer in the Redwood Forest

Get your luggage ready, and grab the family this summer season, then spend your days along the Northern Coast of California for an amazing Redwood Forest vacation. With much to do in and around the Nation Forest that you’ll want to spend more than a few days visiting. Here at Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals, we offer beautiful vacation homes throughout Humboldt County. You’ll want to head out on an incredible summertime adventure through the forest while sitting back and relaxing at one of our wonderful retreats.

Summer in CA?

Summer in the National Redwood Forest or Northern California is cooler than you’d expect. If you are not used to warmer, drier air, you’ll want to make sure you are prepare for that. You might also notice a thick fog that rolls through the forests. This summer fog is normal and a part of coastal California life. The fog helps the large redwood trees survive during the dry season by pulling moisture from the ocean inland to keep them alive.

Along with the drier season, many people have summer vacations as children aren’t usually in school and it’s a nice break when the days get longer. Meaning that there will be a lot of people at the National Forests and State Parks because summer always brings an influx of visitors to the coast.

Planning your Redwood Forest Adventure RCVR Blog June 2

When choosing one of our rentals and planning your day trips out to the National Forests or State Parks, you’ll want to make sure you have the right clothing for summer hiking. Hiking boots, shorts, and tee-shirts are great options, especially items that are made of cooling material like cotton or lightweight moisture wicking garments. As there are over 170 miles of walking trails throughout the Redwood National Forest and State Parks combined, you’re exploring might take awhile and you will want to be comfortable the entire time.

Along with the right clothing, you’re going to want to either pack a meal or make sure to stop somewhere along the way. After burning all those calories from hiking, we’re sure you’ll be hungry! You’ll find great dining options in Eureka and Arcata as the parks, unfortunately, do not offer any restaurants (for a good reason). If you’re willing to spend a little more, try out Trinidad Bay Eatery and Gallery. Enjoy their famous clam chowder which is known as the best on the West Coast or their delicious blackberry cobbler. Wildberries Marketplace in Arcata is a great option for those hungry for picnic food to take on their trip. Lots of Deli selections and fresh local produce are perfect for lunch. Cafe Waterfront Oyster Bar and Grill is a fabulous, local restaurant in Eureka that sells excellent seafood dishes or head right to Living the Dream Ice Cream for an after adventure snack along the coast.

But, be warned, the small town joints can close as early as 8 pm. Whether you need the fuel before your hike or keep you going throughout the night, these restaurants are places to try out.

When visiting the forests, pack binoculars and keep your eyes peeled for Black Bears as they tend to come out of hibernation from spring to fall. Along with bears, you’ll find an abundant wildlife roaming the forests, everything from Roosevelt elk to marine animals both on and off shore. But you’ll also find that there are plenty of park activities for everyone. Park Ranger programs help guests throughout the parks with guided nature hikes, information on coastal tidepools and history about the culture and ecology of the area. Summer is a time to visit the state parks if you want a lot of information on the beautiful Redwoods and those that call the forest home.

RCVR Blog June 3Featured Rental

While there are plenty of animals who call the redwood national forest home, so can you this summer season when you vacation with us! Our beautiful and diverse set of vacation rentals offers a great option for families, couples, and groups traveling together. Centrally located in Orick, CA, a small town right on the coast of the Pacific. You’ll find one of our beautiful rentals at Viewcrest Retro Country Home. If you’re looking for a spectacular view, this is the place for you! Fantastic mountain views or watch the waves crash against the shoreline, all from the comforts of this homes’ patio. Featuring three bedrooms and two bathrooms and surrounded by nature, and near the Redwood Forest, you’ll be set for your entire vacation!

Let your redwood forest vacation shine this summer season when you stay with Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals. We have just what you need to make North California your home away from home – even it’s just for a few days. You’ll get to experience everything from the massive sequoia trees to beach shores of the Pacific Ocean. So, what are you waiting for? Book your summer retreat with us and get ready for your redwood forest vacation!

 

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