What We Love About Humboldt:
Thirty Minutes in Any Direction
by Linda Stansberry
Admit it: we proud Humboldtians who live in the bustling metropolises of Arcata and Eureka occasionally get a bit city-centric. We long for vacations away from the fog and spend grim hours in front of our computers researching timeshares on foreign coasts. Sometimes we forget how close it all really is: the redwoods, the river, the surf and the sand. Thirty minutes in any direction will take you a long, long ways when you live in the most beautiful place in the world.
Humboldt County is home to over a dozen feisty little wineries that give Napa a run for its money. Thirty minutes south along the Avenue of the Giants will get you to Riverbend Cellars in Myers Flat. Enjoy their award- winning vintages in the shade of the ancient redwoods, and then maybe go for a dip in the Eel.
Thirty minutes west and you’re passing through the Vic- torian Village of Ferndale and up onto the Wildcat. A fa- vorite route for Sunday drivers, this narrow, winding road takes you along verdant coastal hills and down breathtak- ing cliffs to Petrolia and the Lost Coast. Consider a picnic lunch featuring Brio Bread, Cypress Grove Chevre and jalapeno jelly from Diane’s Sweet Heat.
A lot of locals head east along the 299 to break out of the fogbelt and into the sunshine along the Trinity River. But you don’t have to go all the way to Willow Creek to get your fill of Vitamin D. Artsy and charming Blue Lake boasts months and months of blue skies, as well as one of our region’s best breweries: Mad River Brewery, where they recently began serving food.
Finally, thirty minutes north will get you into some of the Redwood Coast’s most scenic territory. Stone Lagoon, Big Lagoon and Dry Lagoon hug the coast and make the perfect escape for kayakers. There are miles and miles of hiking trails in Redwood National Park, and campgrounds ranging from rustic to really fancy.
So turn off your computer and go fill up a growler at your local brewery, strap on your kayak and get going. Adven- ture is less than thirty minutes away in any direction.