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Overview

Home to the planet's tallest — and oldest — trees, Humboldt County may be the most stunning region in California. A universe of redwood forests where ferns thrive, the scent of vanilla and butterscotch perfume the air, the ground gives under your tread, and the fog, which often hides the tops of these gentle giants, seems to embrace you in a bear hug, allowing you a moment of peace you may never have expected. Yet, while the landscape never ceases to inspire, the towns don’t have the same luster. With the demise of the timber industry, many of the communities seem to have closed up shop. Besides the week of the summer Reggae Rising festival ...

Home to the planet's tallest — and oldest — trees, Humboldt County may be the most stunning region in California. A universe of redwood forests where ferns thrive, the scent of vanilla and butterscotch perfume the air, the ground gives under your tread, and the fog, which often hides the tops of these gentle giants, seems to embrace you in a bear hug, allowing you a moment of peace you may never have expected. Yet, while the landscape never ceases to inspire, the towns don’t have the same luster. With the demise of the timber industry, many of the communities seem to have closed up shop. Besides the week of the summer Reggae Rising festival (when the region frankly gets too busy), the most interesting SoHum (southern Humboldt) destination is Garberville, a town that seems like a flower child driving a souped up Ford pickup, with her organic eateries, dive bars, gun racks, and miles of parkland to get lost in. Bypass the somewhat ironically named town of Fortuna (as well as Scotia) and head up to the picturesque beach village of Trinidad for fresh seafood, Cape Codish B&Bs and access to the beach and old growth sequoias.

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

  • Location: Located on the far North Coast, 200 miles north of San Francisco, Humboldt County is a densely forested, mountainous, and rural county situated along the Pacific coast in Northern California's rugged Coast (Mountain) Ranges.
  • Research: Wikitravel | North Coast, CA | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Anytime, though early fall offers the best weather.