We would like to see the Redwoods the first week of June. We have never been up that way and we are wondering if anyone has any suggestions or ideas of things we can do or places we can stay. We have a 3 year old and an 8 month old. I don't think we can camp the whole time but maybe will try it for one night because our 3 year old really wants to do it.
I love the Albee Creek campground at the north end of the Avenue of the Giants area. In early June, Albee Creek should be still running (dries out later), but there's also the Eel River nearby, which has plenty of slow bends where the water is shallow and a three-year-old can splash around. All the campgrounds fill up fast; here's the website for reserving space at state park campgrounds in that area: http://www.ReserveAmerica.com/usa/ca/humb/ . There is a nature center/ranger station along the Ave of the Giants. Whether this or other nature activities will hold the interest of a three-year-old is a different question. Good luck, and watch out for poison oak.
I'm in the process of planning our summer vacation, a California driving/camping/cabin trip. I've been researaching the northern coast. There is a great book called Northern California Handbook, put out by Moon Travel Handbooks. It's a fabulous book and tells you in area sections which towns, parks, forests, etc. you can go to, what is there of interest, where to stay, camp, play, eat etc. Depending on how far north you want to go there is camping at Humboldt Redwoods State Park. About 25 miles south of that off of 101 is Richardson Grove State Park. I'm told it is a beautiful park, great for kids, has camping and maybe even cabins. Further north, just north of Arcata and Eureka is the town of Trinidad. There is camping in that area, as well as cabins to rent. A few miles north of Trinidad is Patrick's Point State Park, with camping, and north of there is Redwood's National Park which is amazingly gorgeous and lots of camping. I'd suggest going to AAA and getting a map of Northern California (Northern California Section so you can see where these places are.. The handbook I spoke of earlier has numbers to call, and some places have websites. Reservations are suggested for most places, but not taken for some. Usually if you arrive on a Sunday evening, or Monday many places are available. It can be cold and foggy along the coast (just like here) depending on what month you go in. Have fun. PS The Travel Store on Rose and Shattuck in Berkeley is a great resource for books and maps and good info from the people who work there
There are great spots up and down the coast for Redwood Camping. You don't have to go way far north. Samuel P Taylor SP in Marin is great and so is Big Basin SP in Santa Cruz. HendyWoods SP it's on the way to Mendocino is great (and sunny, usually). Have I said great enough times? If you really want spectacular and have at least 4 days (a week is better) head on up to Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Prairie Creek SP north of Eureka is incredible, great for biking around the campground. The dusty drive out to the coast for a hike in the fern canyon is worth it too. Jedediah Smith State Park near Cresent City is also a favorite and the Smith River is truly awesome. Plus, there are alot of places we've driven by on Hwy 101 that look equally alluring. Ah, yes, and when we had major car trouble in Eureka, we stayed at the KOA north of town....My then 8-year old was delighted with the Kozy Kabins and I have to admit, after a day like the one we had...so was I! Advice...if you prefer warmer weather, try to select a campsite that is inland (has a mountain between it and the coast) to avoid the fog. It might be a US Forest Service campground with fewer amenities and less busy. Lissa
A wonderful place to stay is the Benbow Inn, though a bit on the fancy side. It's a few miles south of Garberville. It's unlike anything else you'll find in the north. Check out the website to see if it's your style: http://www.benbowinn.com/index.html If you wish to stay in a town, I happen to love Garberville. The people are friendly, there are great places to eat and the surrounding area is breathtaking. There are accommodations listed on the Garberville website: http://www.garberville.org/frameset.html Another possibility is to stay in a cottage. These cottages are in the heart of Redwood country. You get the feeling of camping without actually camping. http://www.cottages.org/properties/CA_Redcrest_RedcrestResort.htm Shoshana