1) Redwoods National Park & Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Roosevelt elk, canyons covered in bright green ferns and glistening with small waterfalls—oh yeah—and the tallest trees on the planet! Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (which is part of Redwoods National Park) has it all for world-class scenery. For the ultimate day hike, start early on an 11-mile semi-loop among the park’s greatest hits (including Fern Canyon). Or opt for something shorter to walk among prehistoric giants like the 1,500-year-old Big Tree, and Corkscrew Tree, whose four braided trunks coil upwards to the sky.
2) Fern Canyon & Gold Bluffs Beach
Located in Redwoods National Park, Fern Canyon is a must-do. Often referred to as the “Jurassic Park hike” because parts of the blockbuster franchise were filmed here, this 50-foot-tall gorge is covered in seven kinds of ferns, hanging like shining emerald silk, thanks to the tiny waterfalls trickling over them. Hike into the canyon and be surrounded by its majestic beauty. The first half-mile goes along the riverbed before you reach a network of massive fallen trees dramatically tangled for photo-worthy drama.
3) Old Town Eureka
With its storybook Victorian architecture, excellent craft brew and coffee scene, and plentiful options for food, Old Town Eureka is a smart home base. Right on Humboldt Bay, Eureka is just a short drive from the main attractions, and when you’re back in town you can easily stroll around … or take a horse-drawn carriage to and from the festivities! Altogether now: Eureka!