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Overview

Step back into the 1800s and experience a dollhouse world stripped of its petticoats and carriages. This former dairy farm village thrived in the 19th century, and her inhabitants quickly crafted what they called Butterfat Palaces, creating the Victorian village of Ferndale. Ornate Queen Annes, Edwardians and candy store colored buildings have been cared for with the delicacy of a nervous parent — a tough task considering the fog, wind, and salty air that just love to strip the paint from seaside architecture. Though the community looks like it popped off the pages of Grimm's Fairy Tales, you'll find an authentic small town, complete with ...

Step back into the 1800s and experience a dollhouse world stripped of its petticoats and carriages. This former dairy farm village thrived in the 19th century, and her inhabitants quickly crafted what they called Butterfat Palaces, creating the Victorian village of Ferndale. Ornate Queen Annes, Edwardians and candy store colored buildings have been cared for with the delicacy of a nervous parent — a tough task considering the fog, wind, and salty air that just love to strip the paint from seaside architecture. Though the community looks like it popped off the pages of Grimm's Fairy Tales, you'll find an authentic small town, complete with farmers, shop owners, and good ole boys sipping coffee at the local diner. In town, you and your sweetheart will stroll the peaceful lanes, stopping in for a candied apple, a plate of eggs, or a fireside dinner in your bed and breakfast. Just a five mile drive to the Lost Coast beach area, and a bit more to the Redwood State and National Park, Ferndale doesn't leave outdoors lovers at a loss for ways to spend the day. Tour dairy farms, embark on kayak trips of the Humboldt Bay, take a day trip to Eureka and Arcata, and then explore the antique shops that carry the torch for an era gone by.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Early fall or December