The North Coast: Places to Explore

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  • Anderson Valley

    At the town of Albion, Highway 128 leads southeast into the Anderson Valley, where warm summer weather lures those weary of the persistent coastal fog. Most of the first 13 miles wind through...

  • Bodega Bay

    From the busy harbor here, commercial boats pursue fish and Dungeness crab. There's nothing quaint about this working town without a center—it's just a string of businesses along several miles...

  • Elk

    In this quiet town on the cliff above Greenwood Cove, just about every spot has a view of the rocky coastline and stunning Pacific sunsets. A few restaurants and inns do business here, but aside...

  • Eureka

    With a population of 27,191, Eureka is the North Coast's largest city. Over the past century, it has cycled through several periods of boom and bust—first with mining and later with timber and...

  • Ferndale

    Though gift shops and ice-cream stores comprise a fair share of the businesses here, Ferndale remains a fully functioning small town. There's a butcher, a small grocery, and a local saloon (the...

  • Fort Bragg

    Fort Bragg is a working-class town that many feel is the most authentic place on the coast; it's certainly less expensive than its neighbors to the south. The declining timber industry has been...

  • Fort Ross State Historic Park

    With its reconstructed Russian Orthodox chapel, stockade, and officers' barracks, Fort Ross looks much the way it did after the Russians made it their major California coastal outpost in 1812. An...

  • Gualala

    This former lumber port on the Gualala River has become a headquarters for exploring the coast. The busiest town on Highway 1 between Bodega Bay and Mendocino, it has all the basic services plus...

  • Humboldt Redwoods State Park

    Conservationists banded together a century ago as the Save the Redwoods League and scored a key victory when a memorial grove was dedicated in 1921. That grove is now part of Humboldt Redwoods...

  • Jenner

    The broad, lazy Russian River empties into the Pacific Ocean at Jenner, a wide spot in the road where houses dot a mountainside high above the sea. Facing south, the village looks across the...

  • Little River

    The town of Little River is not much more than a post office and a convenience store; Albion, its neighbor to the south, is even smaller. Along this winding portion of Highway 1 though, you'll...

  • Mendocino

    Many of Mendocino's original settlers came from the Northeast and built houses in the New England style. Thanks to the logging boom, the town flourished for most of the second half of the 19th...

  • Occidental

    A village surrounded by redwood forests, orchards, and vineyards, Occidental is a former logging hub with a bohemian vibe. The 19th-century downtown offers a top-notch B&B, good food, and a handful of...

  • Point Arena

    Occupied by an eclectic mix of long-time locals and long-haired surfers, this former timber town on Highway 1 is part New Age, part rowdy—and always laid-back. The one road going west out of...

  • Salt Point State Park

    Enjoy dramatic views, forested acres, and a rocky, rugged shoreline along Highway 1’s 5-mile route through this park. With 20 miles of hiking trails and a variety of picnicking, horseback...

  • Trinidad

    Trinidad got its name from the Spanish mariners who entered the bay on Trinity Sunday, June 9, 1775. The town became a principal trading post for the mining camps along the Klamath and Trinity...

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Fodor's Northern California 2014

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