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Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

edmond, oklahoma...
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Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

HI, All,

we just decided to make our first trip to the Redwood National Forest area, and after reading some of the forum posts, I realize how much I DON"T KNOW about the area and the possibilities offered, and am confused to the point that I don't know where to start.

Would appreciate any and all suggestions, including lodging. We realize this is a late start to planning so we may be limited as to nice, quaint places to stay. Would like to avoid chain hotels when possible.

1) Time of travel will be late June into early July this year. Right now we are thinking around June 26 or 27 until July 4 or 5, about 7 to 9 days.

2) Travelers are my husband, myself, and our adult son. We are flying in from Oklahoma, he is flying up from LA

3) Thinking of flying into Crescent City or San Francisco, will rent an SUV

4) Thought we would explore from around Crescent City vicinity down to Eureka area, but that is based on lack of knowledge so please suggest areas for exploration. Beautiful coastal areas also of interest

5) Our activity interests are varied, and although we are not athletes, we are reasonably fit

6) Interested in all types of spectacular scenery. Will be bringing lots of photography equipment

7) Relatively relaxed trip. Want this to be a restorative break from our busy lives, and quality time as a family.

8) Not concerned about budget

Appreciate all suggestions, from general information to day by day itineraries! Thanks so much for your time and assistance!

Oregon Coast
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1. Re: Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

HI, first, plan to fly into San Francisco. You should also look at then flying into Arcata/Eureka. Flights are limited and I think United is the only airline that flies there, but it's more convenient than flying into Crescent City ;-)

If you decide to go only to SF and drive from there, it's an easy run up 101 and takes around 6-ish hours to the Eureka area.

The actual park runs about 40 miles from north of Orick (north of Eureka) to Crescent City. Hwy 101 runs right through it and there are no entrance fees. There are lots of beautiful scenic areas all through this whole section of California.

You might also want to drive up to Oregon a bit - it's just a half hour north of Crescent City.

As far as picking a spot to stay, I favor Crescent City because it's closer to many of the areas you'll be visiting. Although the town has some nice mid range motels, it's decidely *not* upscale. With a population of about 9,000 it has all services. Good July 4th celebration.

Trinidad is another option to the south. It has three $$$ B&Bs plus one mid range motel plus some older cabins. It's teeny (pop 350) with some good restaurants.

Any place you stay, you'll be driving - that's the nature of this park ;-)

Have you checked the hotel review listings for each town?

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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2. Re: Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

Part two - here is your reading assignment, LOL. These links hopefully will give you some more information about the area.

shannontech.com/ParkVision/…Redwood.html

tripadvisor.com/…REVIEWS (Ferndale)

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g32363-c144314/Eureka…

…suddenlink.net/popenoe/scenes/Trinidad.htm (Trinidad)

http://redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=2464 (drive thru trees)

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g32830-Activitie…

http://redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=476 (Fern canyon)

redwoodhikes.com/Jed%20Smith/Jed%20Smith.html

tripadvisor.com/…REVIEWS

http://www.exploredelnorte.com/

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60944-c139445/Cresce…

Bowling Green...
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3. Re: Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

we just returned from there last night. we flew into SF, stayed a couple of nights, drove to Garberville ( a total marijuana town with nothing to eat or drink after 5pm) and drove through The Ave of the Giants the next day on our way to Crescent City. The forests and scenery there and throughout our trip were unbelievable. Again, it is all unbelievably beautiful but there is no good food. You might have better luck staying in Eureka. On the way back down, we stayed in Mendocino, a so cute town with shops and restaurants. We visited wineries down Hwy 128 from Mendocino. Our last night, we stayed in Bodega Bay, 2 hours north of SF. Our trip was spectacular, but, we drove a total of 1000 miles from SF to Crescent City and back. These are very slow miles! The scenery is beautiful, but the roads are very, very winding and up and down, plus the fog can really slow you down.. We spent a lot of time in the car. Fortunately, my husband enjoys driving and was happy to do the driving just to get the spectacular trip!!! Good luck

edmond, oklahoma...
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4. Re: Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

Dear half-Brit, THANK YOU!!! Great suggestions and links! I just completed my reading assignments and feel more capable of at least starting to map out an itinerary!!! HA! Appreciate the efforts on my behalf!

Checked out flying into ACV instead of Crescent City, and believe that is what we will do.

If we are able to schedule more days instead of less, would LOVE to drive some of the Oregon coast, it looks absolutely amazing. My husband's request is to see the Redwood forests, but if we are able to schedule 8 or 9 days instead of 6 or 7, that should give us time to explore farther north, right? Or, am I thinking everything is going to take more time than it is and a week would still give us time to go up into Oregon?

At first, I was thinking we would need to stay in 2 or 3 different places along the Redwood Forest drive, but it looks like maybe it's reasonable to just pick one lodging location? You kindly let me know Crescent City would be a good base for exploration.

Would love to find a cabin/private home in the woods somewhere, or a coastal location still close enough to the parks, but options appear extremely limited, especially at this late date! I'm a bit surprised and disappointed that we may have to go into little towns with more common hotel lodging options. Think I will search a bit to see if private cabin/home rentals might be an option. Something in a more country/rural setting would be wonderful!

Thank you again, half-Brit! You have given me a good start and I don't feel so overwhelmed!

kathy

edmond, oklahoma...
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5. Re: Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

paula m,

thanks for an overview of your trip! One thing your info has reinforced for me, I can't see flying into SFO and driving for 6 hours north. We will be spending lots of time on the car as it is, but driving approximately 1,000 miles over a week to 9 days is not how I want to spend this rare time away with my husband and son! Although I would love to go to Mendocino and some other wine areas, it seems like that should be a separate trip.

thank you also for info about the little towns. I need to try harder to find alternate lodging options. Guess I am just too used to all the lodging options inside Yellowstone and expected to have some choices within the Redwood National Parks.

thanks again for your assistance, glad you had such a good trip!

kathy

Oregon Coast
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6. Re: Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

You're most welcome :-)

Cabins - there are a couple of places with cabins in the woods. Here is one right in the middle, but I will warn you -- there are *no* eateries nearby! http://www.redwoodadventures.com/index.php These cabins are lovely and totally refurbished.

There are some other locations that have cabins, but to be honest, most are old. Quite old. I don't get the impression you would be happy in an old cabin?

Have you looked at the Requa Inn? If you're looking for something a little offbeat it might suit you. They do serve breakfast and dinner as eateries in Klamath are extremely limited. It's about 25 minutes' drive south of Crescent City:

http://www.requainn.com/

Look at www.vrbo.com also here on TripAdvisor in the Vacation Rental tabs.

Nine days would be great ;-) Since photography is one of your main interests, you'd have more days to be out at daybreak or early evening to get better light and possibly some fog, etc. The southern coast of Oregon is easily reachable in a day trip and you'll find lots of photo opportunities. You might be interested in the Mary D Hume in Gold Beach.... tripadvisor.com/Travel-g51887-d1911689/Gold-…

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>> Garberville ( a total marijuana town...) <<

LOL, you got it! Garberville is just about the last stronghold of aging hippies joined by some younger, crystal-waving woo-woo types :-)

>>it is all unbelievably beautiful but there is no good food.<<

Well, if you're looking for something dramatically upscale, you won't find it except in Eureka and Arcata. However, there is good food - but it's simply not new-agey, sustainable, "foodie" type. Although the Good Harvest in Crescent City comes close, as does Vita Cucina. Did you try those places, paula m?

Edited: 5:26 pm, May 10, 2013
San Francisco...
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7. Re: Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

I second Half-Brit's suggestion of the Requa Inn for a relaxing time and a central location to both the northern and southern parts of the spread out series of parks.

So Cal
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8. Re: Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

I was going to recommend Vita Cucina and Good Harvest, but (naturally) Half-Brit beat me to it! Anyway, there's another couple votes for ya. :-)

We stayed in Crescent City and easily could have driven down to Orick and the Kuchel Visitor Center area. The only reason we didn't spend time more time in the southern reaches was we had only three nights. With as many as you have, you could easily stay in one place and make day trips everywhere.

gp1
Eureka, California
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9. Re: Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

Hi kathylsmith

As a 40 year Humboldt county resident I have to comment on >> Garberville ( a total marijuana town...) and LOL, you got it! Garberville is just about the last stronghold of aging hippies joined by some younger, crystal-waving woo-woo types :-)

That is the whole county not just Garberville!

Make sure you spend at least a day down in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Check out the Bull Creek area I think that area has the finest costal redwoods on the planet. I have been down there twice this month and I still get a sore neck from looking up at the tall trees.

Have Fun

GP

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10. Re: Help! First trip, need advice/suggestions for itinerary!

LOL gp1, I don't want to scare them away from visiting ;-)

I've had relatives in Eureka and Trinidad from the mid 1970's on and my brother lives in McKville (20+ years)... so I've spent a lot of time in the area.

Edited: 8:54 pm, May 10, 2013
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