Plan a Redwood Coast Vacation, Post Shelter in Place
By Allie Heemstra
Beauty and the Beachby Allie Heemstra
Photo by Dave Feral
Close your eyes and imagine it – a wide vista of the Pacific Ocean, a fresh coastal breeze sweeping over you as you take in the waves crashing past the sea stacks. Mild coastal weather is the perfect remedy for those hot summer days in the North State, but a trip to Humboldt County may be needed even more after months of sheltering in place.
Perhaps you had to put your spring break travel plans on hold with COVID-19. Or maybe you’re simply feeling the effects of cabin fever from hunkering down in your home for months. As the shelter in place orders start to lift, we’re left with the longing to get a change of scenery, but uncertain about how to safely explore.
Just a three-hour drive from Redding, winding west on the ribbon of Highway 299, lies the gorgeous coastline and breathtaking beauty of the Redwoods. And with a few extra precautions, you can easily and safely enjoy a coastal vacation. Here are some insider tips.
Where to Stay — Most important in planning your coastal getaway is finding the right accommodations. A crowded hotel or camping with communal bathrooms might not be ideal this year. The safer and certainly cozier option is to find a vacation rental. Not only will you easily be able to keep a safe distance from others, but the vacation rentals throughout Humboldt County offer some of the most charming spaces full of character and ideal locations to best enjoy all the Redwood Coast has to offer.
Take Treasure Cove, for example – a three-bedroom vacation rental with panoramic ocean views, a hot tub and a short walk to the beach. Jonna and Reed Kitchen, owners of Trinidad Retreats, have brought an attention to detail that makes the space truly feel like home away from home. “We love making our spaces feel hospitable,” says Jonna. “In light of COVID, we’re going the extra mile by bookending our guests’ stays with an extra day to ensure we can clean and sanitize everything in line with CDC regulations.”
What to Do—The Redwood Coast is a rural community with lots of room to spread out. You can easily find your own stretch of beach, whether you want to explore the tidepools at Trinidad State Beach or simply take in the crashing waves while strolling down Clam Beach.
If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, try a kayak paddle around Freshwater Lagoon. Pacific Outfitters in Eureka offers kayak rentals and guided tours. “There’s something so peaceful about being on the water, especially on Freshwater Lagoon,” says Pacific Outfitters Adventure Guide Jonathan Jones. “On a good day, you’ll get a front-row view of egrets wading in the shore, see an osprey dive to catch its dinner and hear the roar of the ocean, just on the other side of the highway.”
Where to Eat—There’s no shortage of delicious food in Humboldt County. And like everywhere, its restaurants have been finding new and creative ways to offer its menu in safe
ways. Order a famous potato cone from Lighthouse Grill and take it down to the beach to watch the sunset. For fancier fare, check out Larrupin’ Café. Known for its exquisite barbecued meats and delectable mustard dill sauce, it’s a meal that you’ll dream about for weeks.
If heading to a restaurant doesn’t feel like a safe option for you, Murphy’s Market has you covered. This local family market has just about everything you’d need to make a delicious meal in the comfort of your vacation rental kitchen. Pick up some locally made goods, like fresh-baked bread from Brio and award-winning wine from Moonstone Crossing Winery.
Before leaving, check to make sure traveling is safe and allowed within state and local guidelines. Take extra precautions to ensure you and your adventure buddies can follow all regulations while away from home, which may involve wearing masks and maintaining six feet of distance.
If it’s not OK to travel, don’t worry. The redwoods have been here for thousands of years, and they aren’t going anywhere. The wonderful coastline will be waiting for you when it’s safe to visit•