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Old 01-30-2008, 12:38 PM   #1
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Question about visiting Northern California
I live in Oregon, have all my life and have only been to CA once and that was 4 years ago with friends and kids. We drove all the way down I5 to Disneyland. So that is all I've seen of it. Obviously I am not all that familiar with CA. Actually I'm not that familiar with Southern Oregon either.

However on that trip we stopped in Sacremento and visited the National Railroad Museum. My son really liked it and my husband would like to see it. So we are planning to visit Sacremento and either on the way down or on the way back go up 101 and visit the Redwoods.

So I have two questions. What town is the best to stop in to be near one of the Red Wood visiting areas? I was very confused by the various websites because so many different towns are mentioned and there seems to be a difference between private and National Forest area. I ordered some guide books from AAA and still cannot figure out which place to stay to go visit a park. It would be helpful to know that I am not a hiker or a big out doors person. I want to go and see the trees and do a walking trail. Go some place the kids would find interesting but nothing exhausting. It will be okay if we only see a little bit of the huge forests. We'd probably stop and stay at least one night in the area so as to have enough time to see a park.

My other question is that while in Sacremento we will visit the train museum and Old Town. We will stay for a few days. I know there is lots to do there but what is really worth it, easy to get to and interesting for kids ages 8 and 13?

Oh, and most importantly where are the best yarn shops?
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:28 PM   #2
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Oh boy. I should know this since I've lived here all my life and traveled/camped around the state.

Sutter's Mill is a fun place to visit. I went there every year when I was in school.

Redwood National Park is good, but I don't know exactly what's around it for lodging. Here's a website that might help.

I'm pretty sure some other members live up there now so they are probably a better source.

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Old 01-30-2008, 02:04 PM   #3
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Ferndale is close to Redwood National Park:

And look, there's even a yarn shop

Oh - and I would suggest going through towns on the 101 like Arcata and Garberville. If you're in Garberville stop by Nacho Mama's for a burrito! I swear I have nearly taken a trip from Southern California just for one of their burritos!!! There's also a restaurant called Calico Corner that is pretty good.

If you swing by Arcata go on the day of Farmers Market (Saturday). There is a woman there affectionately called "The Bunny Lady" and she spins beautiful angora yarn.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:16 PM   #4
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I was born and raised in Humboldt County and the redwoods are something that I think everyone should see. There is a great park in Humboldt, Patrick's Point ( that is absolutely beautiful. Also see if you can check out Fern Canyon, that is simply beautiful also, a canyon you walk into that is covered in ferns. That is in Prairie Creek S.P. which is just north of Humboldt in Trinity County.

Both Eureka and Arcata are both on the small side, but there is so much to see in the redwoods.

In Redding, there is The Turtle Bay Exploration Park, I have never been there, the one time we went, it was closed. But I did see a special here in NJ about it, I think it would be worth checking out also.

Make sure you bring a camera with lots of batteries to the redwoods, and a flash would be helpful too!

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:22 PM   #5
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Check out Avenue of the Giants and Trees of Mystery (their website kinda sucks, but in person it's fabulous) for great redwood attractions. These are both places we went when I was a kid and I loved them (still do, in fact). Basically, as you drive up (or down) 101, plan on pulling over if you see something interesting. I'm not so sure about right now, but once you get into Spring/Summer, there's all sorts of road-side stands/attractions/shops.

You don't say when you'll be taking this trip, but once the weather starts warming up, plan on warm weather clothes for Sac (it can break 100F during the summer) and cold weather clothes for the Redwoods (not much sun among those giants).
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:30 PM   #6
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i can't tell you about much to do in sacramento. sacramento is known to be a great place to live because "it's close to everything"... not because of anything else. we're "between reno and the bay area", or "between tahoe and the bay area". a nice rest stop. lol.
but i have to say one thing. if you are coming through sacrament, you MUST stop at Filati. it's in Rocklin, (about 1/2 hour north of Sacramento) but it's probably the biggest yarn store anywhere near here. it's a gorgeous shop.
there are also a few smaller shops, Rumplestiltskin, which is probably 5 minutes or 20 blocks from the train museum. Two great shops in Elk Grove, Knittique and the Yarn Shoppe. i'm not familiar with the other ones towards the north besides Filati. sorry. but Filati is definitely a MUST SEE.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:48 PM   #7
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The biggest place would be Eureka, it's the county seat, has a nice harbor and is close to the redwoods in both directions. Arcata (7 miles north) has a lovely community forrest filled with Redwoods as well. Crescent City (about 80 miles north) is more of a harbor town but is surrounded by redwoods on all sides. Highway 101 is the main corridor and is beautiful to drive through. You won't be disappointed by taking that.

As far as lodging goes, Eureka or Arcata will be your best bet.

Hope that helps and have a great vacation!

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Old 01-30-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far, keep them coming! I knew this was the right place to ask.
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