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-   -   No. Calif.: From San Francisco to Weaverville (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/no-calif-from-san-francisco-to-weaverville-205594/)

Faye Nov 6th, 2001 10:07 PM

No. Calif.: From San Francisco to Weaverville
 
Hi Fodorites. I will be driving from Los Angeles on Hwy 5 to quickly get to North. Calif. Beyond San Francisco I would like to go up Hwy 1 and cut across to Weaverville. I have searched this site back to 1998 and can't find any ideas or recommendations around Eureka and Weaverville. <BR>Does it snow in the passes from the coast to Hwy 1? I Any great ideas or favorite places to see or stay inexpensively along the route the week after Thanksgiving? Either on the coast or inland. It is nice to get personal advice from those in the know. <BR>Thanks.

Diana Nov 7th, 2001 09:01 AM

There's a little town called Ferndale about 25 miles south of Eureka that is <BR>charming--the whole town is a designated historic monument. It will be decorated for Christmas probably after Thanksgiving and is definitely worth a stop. I remember some fun shops and a local short hike.

Tory Nov 7th, 2001 09:32 AM

Faye, <BR> <BR>I'm assuming you mean cut across from I-5 to 101, because Weaverville is on the 299 between 5 and 101. Highway 1 is well to the south and ends by intersecting with 101 at Leggett. My advice is to stay off 299! My husband and I took that route when we moved to Arcata (near Eureka). By looking on the map, it doesn't seem that bad, but let me tell you, that route a SLOW go - 2 lanes, too many hairpin turns, and the go is even slower through the many towns (which aren't anything to speak of) along that route. Sorry to be a downer, but we've "been there, done that!" Ugh! <BR> <BR>Where at along I-5 are you starting your journey? Are you wanting to end up in the Eureka area? My suggestion is, if you're in that area of I-5, take highway 20 at Williams and go west, picking up 101 just north of Ukiah, then take 101 north. Route 20 is pretty scenic and not the highway-from-hell that 299 is. <BR> <BR>You won't have any problems with snow on 101. We lived in Arcata for 4 years and even in the winter months, never got snow. <BR> <BR>Are you planning to stay in the Eureka area? Going any father north than that? Eureka and Arcata have the standard hotel chains right off of 101. If you're looking for something a little more intimate/nicer, the Scotia Inn is excellent. Hubby and I stayed there one New Year's Eve. The restaurant in the hotel has excellent food! <BR> <BR>If you have a preference for a certain type of food (Italian, Chinese, Mexican, or seafood) I can tell you my favorites in Eureka and Arcata. Post back here and I'll give you specifics. <BR> <BR>One finally thing - be prepared for th possibility of a lot of rain! On the north coast, 75% of the annual rainfall occurs between October and April. There were many times in the years I lived there that it rained at some part of almost every day!

Tory Nov 7th, 2001 09:42 AM

Hi again Faye, <BR> <BR>Oooooops, just re-read your post (and more carefully time this - ha!) and now I'm thinking, IS Weaverville your destination? Or is it that you just want to pass through there on your way to someplace else? If you do want to end up there, then you only have 2 options - the 299 (gulp!) from either 5 or 101, or route 36 off of 101, which I never went on when I lived there. Sorry if my other post confused you. I can still give you Eureka/Arcata suggestions if you want them.

Faye Nov 7th, 2001 10:15 PM

Thanks for the tips Diana and Tory. Yes, my destination is Weaverville (for family history, they settled there in 1860's). I was thinking of making a loop coming north on 101 or 5 and then cutting over to the 1 and going north on it(so I will be on the inside lane) then cutting back to Weaverville and back down the 101 or 5. I will be coming from Los Angeles. I have been to Eureka and really liked it (Samoa Cookhouse still there?). The Scotia Inn is in Eureka? <BR>Well, now I don't know what to do, if 299 is Hell Hwy. The 3 south to 36 is a possibility I suppose, but I have no idea what to expect. Does the 299 get snow? I am getting worried about the time of year, but it is the only time I can make it this year.<BR>Hmmm, anyway, we have to eat so any good suggestions would be great.

Joe Nov 8th, 2001 07:45 AM

Faye: I used to take 299 from Redding to Eureka reularly. It is curvy and if you get behind a truck, motorhome, slow car, etc., it can be slow. But you drive through some beautiful Country. The two-lane road is well paved. On a vacation trip, I wouldn't imagine that freeway speeds are essential. I took this trip monthly and enjoyed it very much. Just don't drive it at night. Fog can be a real problem at higher elevations. Eureka is great fun and Tory has made some good suggestions. Ferndale is a totally Victorian Town and well worth a visit. In Weaverville, don't miss the Chinese Joss House. Tours are given. When we were there, the Son of the Founder was conducting tours. He had great stories to tell about the Chinese initial entre into Northern California.<BR><BR>Also, on the way up the Coast, plan to spend some time in Mendencino. Like a New England Seaside Village. Fun place. Have a great trip.

kam Nov 8th, 2001 07:52 AM

Boy, I know next to nothing about that area except some friends went camping/fishing and showed us photos. Gorgeous. Somewhere I think I heard 36 was a fairly decent road. I think it probably snows at the higher elevations but the Shasta/Trinity mtns. aren't as high as the Siera so I would gamble on not having snow on the roads, but might take chains just in case. I hope you get some more help--please don't rely on this bit of sketchy stuff. Try www.trinitycounty.com

Tory Nov 8th, 2001 08:37 AM

Hi again Faye,<BR><BR>First I'll say that Joe is a brave man to have taken the 299 so many times! ;-) He IS right, it is beautiful in that area, so going slow, you'll be able to enjoy it! ;-) Maybe my opinion is a little jaded, because taking the 299 was our last stretch on a cross country move to Arcata.<BR><BR>Fog will be a problem at the higher evelations on 101, but I can't remember how high on 299 goes. You can call the CA highway info line (don't know the #, sorry) to get updated info regarding them on your travel days. On 101 north to Eureka, the chance of snow will be practically non-existent. <BR><BR>Yes, the Samoa Cookhouse is still there and the Scotia is in the town of Scotia, right off of 101, about 30 minutes or so south of Eureka.<BR><BR>My suggestions for restaurants are:<BR><BR>Italian - Tomasos in Eureka (excellent lasagna)<BR>Mexican - Fiesta Cafe in Arcata (quesadillas - yummy!)<BR>Chinese - Hunan's on the Plaza in Arcata (NOT the one in the 1700 or so block of G St., you want the one on the town square/plaza)<BR>Seafood - Seafood Grill in Eureka <BR>Pizza - Celestinos in Arcata<BR><BR>Joe and Diana are right about Ferndale. It's worth the drive there to see the Victorian houses and visit the shops along the main street. If you're into cemetaries (I am - weird, I know!), the one just a few blocks off of the main street is interesting - lots of unique headstones.<BR><BR>Are you into hiking? If so and you have the time, Patrick's Point state park (about an hour north of Eureka) has some easy trails that lead to gorgeous views of the ocean.<BR><BR>I hope this information has helped. If you think of any other questions about that area, I'll be glad to answer them.

Tory Nov 8th, 2001 06:04 PM

Faye,<BR><BR>I've been strolling down memory lane as a result of these posts and looked to see if the Scotia Inn has a website and it is:<BR><BR>http://www.scotiainn.com<BR><BR>Lots of pictures and info at the site. The rooms are more expensive than standard hotel chain prices, but if you're wanting to do a spurlge night on your trip, I really would recommend the place.

Faye Nov 8th, 2001 09:01 PM

Thank you so much everyone. It really helps to have person recommendations, a guide book and map only go so far. I will look into these sites and use your notes. A friend of mine suggested Lasio's in Eureka for fresh fish. Is it still there? <BR>I am spending the rest of the evening sorting this all out.

Tory Nov 9th, 2001 04:55 AM

I don't recall a Lasio's from when we lived in Arcata, but that doesn't mean it didn't (or now doesn't) exist. The area code for Eureka/Arcata is 707, you could call information and find out. Two othere websites you might find helpful:<BR><BR>http://www.arcata.com<BR>http://www.eurekawebs.com<BR><BR>Enjoy your planning, Faye and have a safe trip.

Joe Nov 9th, 2001 09:21 AM

Faye: When I was going to Eureka reularly, Lasio's was terrific. Down by the water (good walking area). Been there for ever.

Gerry Nov 9th, 2001 09:42 AM

Faye:<BR>Lots of excellent suggestions have been given. There are a lot of things to do and places to see along your route. And, suprisingly this is an under visited area. <BR>Very approximate times: From SF it is about a 5 1/2 hour drive to Eureka on 101(the Redwood Highway). I have never seen snow on this highway on my many winter trips. This is the most scenic route. You can detour to the Mendecino coast. There are also many worthwhile stops(too many to list) along the way. It's about 3 1/2 hours on 299 from Reading to Weaverville. It is a typical 2 lane mountain highway. I's OK but requires you attention. Add your time to Reading (4hrs from SF) and this will be a longer drive. This is entirely a moutainous rural area. (The land of bigfoot.) The scenery on these 2 routes is totally different.<BR>Lasio's was by far the best seafood restaurant in Eureka. Alas, when I was in Eureka last year it seemed to be gone. If anyone knows what happened to it, I would like to know.<BR>The next best is the Eureka Seafood Grotto. It's on the right on 101 as you enter town. This is not a fancy place but the seafood is the best and very reasonable.<BR>They keep saying that the Samoa Cookhouse is going to close but as of last fall, it was still there. There are a lot of very good restaurants in Eureka and the area. I<BR>might be able to help with more questions?<BR>Have a great trip.

GP Nov 9th, 2001 10:23 AM

Hi Faye<BR>I am a local from Humboldt Co. (29 years in Arcata\Eureka area) If you plan on going on highway 1 instead of 101 plan to add a day or 2 to your time. From SF to Ft Bragg on 1 will take you 8 hours Ft Bragg to Eureka is 3.5 hours Highway 1 makes 299 look like I-5 I say save 1 for later and cruise up 101 Stop in Hopland and to to the Fetzier Winery. I am suprised no one said stop in the redwoods along 101. Take the Avenue of the Giants, get out of your car and take a short walk in these trees, you will never forget it. Do the walk even if it is raining. There are a lot of nice beaches up here with nobody on them. I think the best place to stay in town is the Red Lion, north end of town on 101. Lazio's and Eureka Seafood grotto are gone. Hurricane Kates in old town has great food but very expensive. Lots of good mexican resturants here. From 101 Weaverville is about 100 miles east on 299, 2.5 hours max. It is not a bad road I have been on it in rain and snow. There are two passes both under 3000 feet. Snow at that time of year would be a real suprise. (this goes for 101 too.) Just do me a favor and after you visit do not tell anyone of our wonderland up here. If you have more questions post them I'll check back<BR><BR>GP Moloney<BR><BR>

Gerry Nov 9th, 2001 12:30 PM

Faye:<BR>Error: I meant 3 1/2 hours Redding to Eureka. From Redding to Weaverville is about 1-1 1/2 hours. This is a good 2 lane highway but keeps going up and down over mountains(hills). <BR>molony:Eureka Seafood Grotto is closed too? It was my favorite place to eat in Eureka. Please tell your people to stop closing your best restaurants. Where do you go for seafood now?

Gerry Nov 9th, 2001 12:33 PM

Also the Red Lion's Sunday brunch is a do not miss experience.

Tory Nov 9th, 2001 12:38 PM

Gerry - Hubby and I always went to the Sea Grill for seafood during the 4 years we lived in Arcata. It's in Old Town Eureka. You'll find this site of interest - <BR><BR>http://www.humboldtdining.com<BR><BR>There are links to every town in the county. Enjoy!<BR><BR>

Gerry Nov 9th, 2001 12:46 PM

Tory:<BR>Thanks. I'll try it on my next trip. But, I still miss the old places. Maybe I just hate change:&gt;).

Faye Nov 10th, 2001 11:55 AM

Thanks, everyone. <BR>I remember many years ago, a long sweeping beach with driftwood and small sand dunes, where I ran with my dogs.<BR>Is it by Arcata? <BR>Also, where would we go to meet the locals near Eureka/Mendocino? My co-worker says locals avoid tourists up there, but we would like to meet the lucky people who live in such beautiful country. <BR>We would like to see artists studios/galleries, but I suppose they are all over the place, right?<BR>Any more restaurant rec's would be great, we will probably just stay in nicer motels, as we are two platonic friends and don't want any place "romantic". <BR>GP: Which nature preserves do you recommend?<BR>Thanks again, Faye.

Tory Nov 10th, 2001 06:06 PM

Faye,<BR><BR>I'm trying to think of the "long sweeping" beach with sand dunes you've described and two possible places comes to mind - either the beach in Trinidad (10 miles or so north of Arcata) or possibly at Patrick's Point state park that I mentioned in a prior post. Maybe GP can be of more help, since he's a local who's lived there for many years and it's been over 2 since I've left Arcata. <BR><BR>Can't really help you with the artist stuff, since that's not my "thing."<BR><BR>I'm not sure why your co-worker feels the way he/she does concerning the locals. I found the people, especially in Arcata, to be very nice and interested in getting to know my husband and I when we moved there. As far as meeting the locals, if there are any festivals, etc., going on during your visit, that's a good way. Also, if you and/or your friend are beer drinkers, stop in at the Lost Coast Brewery on 4th in Eureka - lots of microbrews and great food in a rustic, friendly atmosphere. There are pool tables, etc., there and a nice bar area to enjoy yourselves and shoot the breeze with people.


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