Ranger with visitor in fog on Lady Bird Johnson Grove footbridge, Redwood NP
Lady Bird Johnson Grove footbridge, Redwood NP John S Chao / National Park Service

From secluded beaches to the awe-inspiring Redwood Forest National Park, this rural swath of Northern California is a peaceful place to recalibrate your state of mind. And it won’t run your budget dry.


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“Humboldt County is a unique piece of California paradise,” says travel writer Ocean Malandra. “And [it’s] significantly less expensive than the San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles and the Socal beaches.”

There’s plenty here to keep you busy here for a weekend (or longer). The port city of Arcata has retreat-worthy wineries like Septentrio and Trinity River Vineyards. The nearby Cafe Mokka, Humboldt County’s oldest coffee shop, doubles as a Finnish day spa — you can book a lavish (private!) outdoor hot tub for $24 an hour.

Eureka’s historic Old Town is another big draw. Its brightly-hued Victorian buildings house indie bookstores, boutiques and curio shops galore.

A couple walking down the street, in-front of a victorian house, in Ferndale California
Ferndale Victorian Village Leon Villagomez / Visit Ferndale

Be sure to set aside an entire day to see the Redwood Forest, home to some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world. The area’s pristine beaches, the Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge and the Humboldt Botanical Garden should be your next priorities.

VISIT: Redwood Forest National Park; “The Pink Lady” Mansion; Ferndale Victorian Village
SHOP: Eureka Books; The Works; Golden Gait Mercantile
EAT: Humboldt Bay Provisions; Campground; Five Eleven
DRINK: Richard’s Goat; Humboldt Cider Company; Phatsy Kline’s