California North Coast
This spectacular region stretches over some 400 miles of rugged coastline from north of San Francisco to the primeval redwood forests below the Oregon border. This region reaches 40 miles inland to lush vineyards, pastoral farms and quaint villages filled with antique shops.
Sunshine: 75 percent in spring and fall, when days are typically fog-free.
North Coast, land of Sequoia sempervirens, the mighty redwood. They grow them big enough in Humboldt Redwoods State Park to drive a car through.
The heart of this Redwood Empire is Eureka, where you can pick up a life-size statue of a lumberjack-chain-saw-carved out of redwood, of course-or soak up the town's Victorian charm with a walk around Old Town.
Picturesque Mendocino, with its herd of historic wooden water towers grazing amid the clapboard village, has dozens of beckoning bed-and-breakfasts, where you can cozy up in a Queen Anne bed while watching the waves pound the rocky headlands below. Just north of town, the Skunk Train runs from Fort Bragg inland to Willits. East of this quintessential California small town is Lake County, where you'll find quiet country roads passing through rolling vineyards, as well as pear orchards, walnut groves, and, in the summer, farm stands offering locally grown fruit and vegetables. Here you'll also find Clear Lake, the state's largest natural lake, where anglers from all over try to land one of the trophy-size bass lurking in the warm waters off its 110 miles of shoreline.
Getting Around North Coast
Sonoma County (STS) 2200 Airport Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403; 707/524-7243 ; served by United Express; Hertz, Avis, Budget car rental agencies, airport transport, buses, taxis.
Amtrak 800/872-7245 ; there are no staffed Amtrak stations/ticket offices in the area.
California Welcome Centers
Napa and Sonoma are California's premiere wine producing regions as well as lands of romance and enchantment. Discover wine tasting at individual wineries, or board the Wine Train for a full service experience. Bicycle along the rolling hills and see the golden mustard fields along the vineyards. Walk through charming towns while enjoying quaint shops, boutiques and world class restaurants. Relax and stay awhile at any one of the spas or bed and breakfasts throughout the region. Whatever your interest, the wine country has something for you. Located just 50 miles north of San Francisco, on Highway 101, the California Welcome Center, Rohnert Park is your information source for a great getaway.
California Welcome Center, Rohnert Park
5000 Roberts Lake Road
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
From Highway 101, exit Golf Course Road and follow the Traveling Bear Signs.
California Welcome Center - Arcata
Drenched alternately in sun, fog, mist and rain, the North Coast changes moods with the weather. Forests of lofty redwood trees thrive in this moist, cool climate. Wild salmon swim up the Klamath, Eel, Smith, and other ancestral streams. Eagles soar overhead, whales cruise offshore, and sea lions lounge on the rocky outposts amid wild, crashing surf. Travel north on the rocky, wind-swept coast on Highway 1, then venture inland to Highway 101- head further north to verdant redwood groves or southward to beautiful vine covered river valleys and dense forestlands of the wine country.
Located on Coastal Highway 101, at the junction of Highway 299, the California Welcome Center, Arcata is the information source for the very diverse North Coast.
California Welcome Center, Arcata
1635 Heindon Rd.
Arcata, CA 95521
Near the Interchange of Highways 101 and 299; Exit Giuntoli Lane/ Janes Road from Highway 101, heading west to Heindon Road.