California Journals

Couple's 5th Anniversary - Road Trip: Northern California Coast

An April 2006 trip to California by CoupleTravels

Quote: Our 5th Anniversary road trip with major stops in Eureka, Ferndale, and Fort Bragg.

Redding to Eureka

Arby's

Restaurant

Quote:
Arby's! Boy has Jason missed their Roast Beef sandwiches.

We came here just for those Roast Beef sandwiches. Jason had three and he enjoyed them oh, so much. With some horsey sauce and Arby's sauce, he was practically in fast food heaven.

Megan had a crispy chicken cordon bleu sandwich. Add in some fries and soda and we got out for about $12.

Service was friendly (we even got an extra roast beef sandwich for free) and quick!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Arby's
65 Lake Blvd.
Redding, California 96002
(530) 246-2421

Eureka KOA

Hotel

Quote:
Best Things Nearby:The campsite is near Eureka and Arcata.Best Things About the Resort:Friendly staff, low prices, great location.Resort Experience:The campground was nicely laid out with various types of sites available for rental (RV, tent, cabin, cottages). There are several "hot deals" going on and we were able to secure a cabin of about 150 square feet for $25 a night. The campground staff was friendly and helpful. They were knowledgeable about local places to dine and be entertained—there were even coupons available for local eateries. There is a small store with gift and food items, a hot tub, seasonal pool, recreation room (wasn't open at the time of v...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 24, 2006

Eureka KOA
4050 North Highway 101
Eureka, California 95503
(707) 822-4243

Chapala Cafe

Restaurant | "Chapala Authentic Mexican Restaurant"

Quote:
My mom raved about Chapala, so when we were in town we decided to stop in.We came in at 8pm on a Tuesday and were seated right away with a bowl of chips and salsa. I noted that they charge $1.50 for this, but we weren't.We ordered, and the food was delivered quickly. Jason had the two burrito special, which came with rice and beans for $8.50. It was good, but nothing special. Megan had three Flatuas for $7.75. The flatuas were filled with meat that was tasty but not very flavorful.The restaurant is very nice inside, with a large mural and several paintings lining the walls. There is a large second floor for banquets and the staff was friendly, although not at the to...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 26, 2006

Chapala Cafe
201 Second Street
Eureka, California 95501
(707) 443-9514

Quote:
Blue Ox Millworks, Historic Park and School of Traditional Arts, is famous worldwide, but practically unknown in it's hometown.The craftsmen here have fashioned pieces for Victorian homes and the White House. At this working wood shop you can see artisans honing their craft and on the right day, teenagers learning a trade as well.At $7.50 for adults you get a self guided tour that starts off with a 20 minute talk by a worker who demonstrates some of the equipment and talks about the history and future of this place.At Blue Ox you can see the following: wood working, printing presses, stains and varnishes, saw mill, shingle mill, lath house, ceramics, blacksmith shop, mach...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Blue Ox Millworks and Historic Park
1 X Street
Eureka, California 95501
(800) 248-4259

Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
When you walk in to this funky atmosphere you realize you are in for something different. The locals are here in droves, bellying up to the bar for a beer. The menu is a little different for a brewery, offering a welcome change to the ordinary.There's soup and chowder, nachos, wings and soft pretzels. They have six different salads ($6.99 to $8.99), Burgers and chicken sandwiches ($6.99 to $8.50), Fish and chips, quesadillas, Eight Ball Stout Beef Stew, Tacos, Pasta ($8.99 to $11.99) and Pizza.Jason had the Famous Hot Brown ($7.99), sliced beef roasted in Downtown Brown beer with bacon, cheddar and ranch. Megan had the Navajo Chicken Sandwich ($7.99), Indian fry bread, chick...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
617 Fourth Street
Eureka, California 95501
(707) 445-4480

Ciara's Irish Shop

Attraction

Quote:
Ciara's Irish shop was warm and bustling the day we stopped in. There was a large variety of men's hats, which my husband immediately starting trying on.Prices were a little on the expensive side, but everything was beautiful and of high quality.The shop featured items from Ireland as well as Australia and other far flung countries. There were tons of sweaters and clothing, especially for women under a size 12. Not much men's clothing, and nothing for larger sized ladies.The jewelery section was small but tasteful and there was even a sale case. I was able to purchase a small charm for $14.50 which was 50% off.Phone number: (707)443-0102 Open...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 26, 2006

Ciara's Irish Shop
334 Second Street
Eureka, California 95501
(707) 443 0102

Quote:
Scrapper's Edge is right across from the main post office in Eureka.

Friendly staff who also double as a copy shop with binding options. Nothing really unique or different, but there were several specials going on that were good.

Phone number: 707-445-9686
Website: www.ScrappersEdge.net
Hours: Monday-Friday 9-5:30, Saturday 10-3, Thursdays until 6:30.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 26, 2006

Scrapper's Edge-Copy Stop and Scrapbook Shop
509 H Street
Eureka, California 95501
(707) 445-9686

Quote:
This had to be one of the funnier moments on our trip. We decided to get into nature and go for a walk at the Azalea State Reserve.Megan expected trail maps and maybe a ranger. Instead we got a gravel lot with a picnic table and a sign stating the park was open sunrise to sunset.We also didn't see any flowers. Azaleas are supposed to bloom in April and May, but due to the heavy rains, blooming had been delayed. Well, actually we saw one flower, it was at that point that we realized neither of us knew what an azalea looked like!The main trail is a loop and it's a pretty easy walk. Even us two out of shape people and a toddler we saw made it around in about 20 minutes....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Azalea State Reserve
North Bank Road
Eureka, California
(707) 488-2041

Loleta to Fortuna to Fernbridge to Ferndale

Quote:
The Loleta Cheese Factory is located in Loleta and it's a great place to stop off and enjoy a tiny town.The cheese factory is easy to find because there's not much to Loleta. It is a family run business that produces award winning cheeses, all of which you can taste!When you walk in you are greeted by a friendly lady who explains the business and exactly how cheese is made. You can watch the cheese-makers in action behind large windows as they go about their business. We tasted so many kinds of cheese and they don't care how much you eat! We brought home organic sharp white cheddar for Megan, hickory smoked natural cheddar for Jason and smoked salmon natural cheddar for Daddy. They do have other types...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 29, 2006

Loleta Cheese Factory
252 Loleta Drive
Loleta, California 95551
(707) 733-5470

Redwood Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
A little place that's open for breakfast and lunch, Redwood Cafe was the perfect spot for a bite in Fortuna.Cheap eats that are tasty could be the slogan for this place. The decor is standard luncheonette, but the tables had the various cattle brands on them, along with pictures and captions of local ranching families.Jason had a patty melt ($7.15) on rye with onion, cheese and fries. Megan had the Redwood Club ($7.75) grilled chicken with bacon, avocado, tomato, and Swiss on grilled sourdough. Both meals came with a huge pile of french fries.There were also myriad breakfast choices, burgers, salads, Mexican items and baked potatoes. No dessert.We would...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Redwood Cafe
1206 Main Street
Fortuna, California 95540
(707) 725-3998

Quote:
The Fernbridge Antique Mall is a large rambling space that houses various items from old doors to jewelry to books to pictures to kitchen items. There were also several larger pieces, including trunks, dressers, even a slot machine!

Some items were priced high, others really low. I got a very nice ring for $8. Items are from various dealers which explains some of the price discrepancy.

It was a great place to wander around for an hour to search out some treasures. There is no bathroom, but the restaurant next door let me use theirs.

Open 7 days a week 10am to 5pm.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Fernbridge Antique Mall
597 Fernbridge Dr.
Fernbridge, California
(707) 725-8820

Blacksmith Shop

Attraction | "The Blacksmith Shop"

Quote:
The Blacksmith Shop has two parts, a gallery and main shop. The gallery focuses more on the art of blacksmithing with items spaced out giving you room to wander and appreciate the items. The more upscale, larger and more expensive items are housed here. The gallery is unmanned and you just had to walk a few doors down for help.

The main shop boasts more items and a blacksmith set up. There are more practical items along with metal jewelry, hand forged nails and silverware.

A great place to visit and take in the wondrous work that can be done with heavy metal.

Jason found the larger items to be reasonably priced and the smaller items to be way too expensive.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Blacksmith Shop
455 Main Street
Ferndale, California 95536
(707) 786-4216

Sweetness & Light

Attraction | "Sweetness and Light"

Quote:
A chocolate shop with a lot of praise, Megan found this place to be overpriced. A 1 pound box is $18.50, 2 pounds $36.50.The chocolate was good and the service was friendly and informative.Preservative free chocolate with truffles, fudges, and caramels are offered in about 30 different types. Both milk and dark chocolate are available for most flavors.They also have an espresso window that opens earlier for those wanting a coffee fix.Megan likes to support small, women owned businesses and young Matthew and Tami Toste are making a go of this chocolate shop.Website: www.sweetnessandlight.comHours: Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Sweetness & Light
554 Main Street
Ferndale, California
(707) 786-4403

Ferndale Cemetery

Attraction

Quote:
The Ferndale Cemetery is a popular tourist attraction. The cemetery is built onto a hill and has markers going back to the 1800s. From the top are great views of the ocean, town, and Eel River Valley.Most of the graves are lovingly cared for, with many flowers and trinkets.The cemetery does close at dusk time and it is a narrow road, traffic goes in one circular loop type pattern. If you are in good shape, consider walking.If you are interested in genealogy or in mapping the cemetery, that work has already been done for the most part. You can contact the Ferndale Museum for more information, as of now it is not available on the web.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 4, 2006

Ferndale Cemetery
Bluff Street
Ferndale, California

Quote:
The Collingwood Inn was a delightful place to spend the night in Victorian Ferndale.Our room Renaissance, one of four, had a queen featherbed and was adorned with fresh flowers, a fruit basket and the best bubble bath I've ever used.Chris and Peter, the innkeepers, are friendly and personable and are willing to offer suggestions on local places to eat.Chris is a wonderful chef and everything is organic. For breakfast we had a quiche (in fact for a small charge they'll bring it to you in bed) and Odwalla orange juice. Coffee and tea were also offered.Tea and sweets are offered at check in followed by port. Soft music plays in the lounge where you are invited to spend time. Collections and paintings ar...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 25, 2006

Collingwood Inn
831 Main St.
Ferndale, California 95536

Quote:
Once 5 o'clock rolls around, one of the cheaper places to eat in Ferndale is the Ferndale Pizza Company, which is open until 9pm.Everyone we asked in town pointed us to the Ivanhoe, but we wanted cheap eats and so off we went for a pizza.We had a medium cowboy (Canadian bacon, salami, pepperoni, mushrooms and olives) for $15.90. The pizza was good, although the dough was weak in the middle of the pie. The day after the pizza tasted good cold, but the toppings slid off in a great big heap. It was greasy the next day too.They also have a cheap salad bar that gives you one trip. There are sandwiches, ravioli, spaghetti, lasagna and cheesy garlic bread.Soda...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Ferndale Pizza Company
607 Main Street
Ferndale, California 95536
(707) 786-4345

Centerville Beach

Attraction

Quote:
Centerville Beach is a secret only the locals seem to know about. There are a few visitors who are staying in Ferndale, but it's mostly quiet with less than 20 people present at sunset.  Centerville Beach is unsupervised, there are no lifeguards and it looks like a good place to surf. People were starting beach fires and cooking their dinner right on the beach.  The beach has two parts an upper and lower. The upper part is where most of the people are cooking. The lower part is where you can splash around. To get to the lower from the upper, there is a drop off of about 1 to 3 feet depending on where you make your way down. It's all sandy and it's not much trouble to get up or down....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 4, 2006

Centerville Beach
Centerville Road
Ferndale, CA

Ferndale Museum

Attraction

Quote:
The Ferndale Museum was a complete surprise. There was a surprising amount of history inside that was lovingly and thoughtfully placed together. The quality of research was truly astounding for such a small place.Victorian Ferndale is California Historical Landmark Number 883 and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum is filled with the history of the area and boasts a telephone switchboard, a working seismograph and a large collection of farming and blacksmithing equipment. They have also cataloged the Ferndale Cemetery and have a display about it.What Jason liked best: The working player piano that they will play for you upon request, Victorian era room displ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 29, 2006

Ferndale Museum
515 Shaw Ave.
Ferndale, California
(707) 786-4466

Quote:
Itsy Bitsy Quilt Shop is cute, itsy bitsy and quaint. The owner sits right outside and works. Inside are fabrics and hand dyed wool. There might also be quilts available for sale.

There is also a large studio nearby for classes. There are quilting classes, rug hooking, doll making, and fabric applications. They also have an art day where they "go down the unbeaten path".

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday noon - 5pm, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day.
Phone: (707) 786-9002
Website: www.itsybitsyquiltshop.com

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 29, 2006

Itsy Bitsy Quilt Shop
580 Main Street
Ferndale, California 95536
(707) 786-9002

Quote:
The Ferndale Kinetic Museum is pure wackiness!

The Kinectic Museum is a collection of human powered machines that are raced in the annual Arcata to Ferndale Kinetic Sculpture Race held each Memorial Day weekend.

Not only are some of the machines from the past 35 years or so displayed, but so is a video of the race. It's an interesting little place to spend half an hour and it's free!

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10-5, Sundays 12-4.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Ferndale Kinetic Museum
580 Main St.
Ferndale, California

Quote:
The Ferndale Arts Cooperative had a wide selection of various types of art that is all available for sale. It is also a great place just to browse.

The volunteer at the front desk, who will also sell you pieces, is also one of the artists featured in the gallery.

There is photography, calligraphy, paintings and sculpture. All of the work is done by local artists, mostly from Ferndale and the few surrounding communities.

Don't expect low prices though! Although there were several things at low prices, most of the stuff is priced at, or just below, what you would pay at any other gallery.

Hours are 10am - 5pm.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 29, 2006

Ferndale Arts Cooperative
580 Main St.
Ferndale

Redcrest to Fort Bragg

Quote:
Everyone says you have to do it, and you know what? They are right!Driving Highway One is a fantastic experience that is not to be missed. We drove on Highway One from Leggett to Valley Ford and let me tell you, it is beautiful!When you get off 101 in Leggett you are still in the forest close to the Avenue of the Giants and the Drive-thru tree, you wind through private property with the towering redwoods soaring high above as you come closer and closer to the ocean. Then, all of a sudden, you're there! The Pacific crashes out to you and you stare in amazement as you imagine this endless ocean going all the way to China.Jason always says that staring at the ocean re...Read More
Quote:
It's the roadside kitsch you've been looking for, along with some nicer things and the typical mugs and redwood items. The novelty shop has the same items that you are going to see elsewhere on the Avenue of the Giants, but there's a lot more of them (variety and amount) and they have the friendliest employees that we found. There was also a large selection of different large redwood pieces and a discount area for things with minor "bumps and bruises". Prices were quite reasonable.They have the cleanest restrooms I have ever seen! They were also large and spacious. Free picnic area, a great photo opportunity, with a slice of a hollowed out tree, and home of the Immortal Tree which has survived...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Ancient Redwoods Resort Novelty Shop
28101 Avenue Of The Giants
Redcrest, California 95569
(707) 722-4396

Glass Beach Inn

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
The Innkeepers are Rich and Nancy, a nice friendly couple. They were happy to suggest local activities and had plenty of information about the town, along with the typical tourist brochures.We stayed in Forget Me Not. The website says it has a microwave, but when I made the reservation it didn't. Not a big deal because there is one in the breakfast room that you can use anytime of day, along with microwave popcorn. We saw most of the rooms (they were booked solid both nights we were there, but we got peeks when people had checked out) and it appears Forget Me Not is probably the worst. It badly needs re-wallpapering as you can clearly see the outlines of what used to be hanging up due to the s...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 27, 2006

Glass Beach Inn
726 N Main Street
Fort Bragg, California 95437
(707) 964-6774

Quote:
Mendocino Cookie Company has been family owned since 1984 and they cook up their cookies at The Company Store, a little shopping center in Fort Bragg.Cookies are pricey at a bit over a dollar, but they are a nice size and a little way to treat yourself. Cookies come in various varieties and Megan had the peanut butter chocolate chip which was good. Jason had walnut and semi-sweet chocolate chip, which was soft and yummy. They also have muffins, scones, pastries, ice-cream, and espresso drinks. Look around for coupons that give you a free cookie when you buy an espresso drink.If you want to bring your laptop there is a little dining area where free wi-fi is provided ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 29, 2006

Mendocino Cookie Company
301 N. Main St.
Fort Bragg, California 95437
(888) 937-4842

Bamboo Garden Spa

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
The Bamboo Garden Spa is a peaceful serene place that is located in The Company Store, a large building in Fort Bragg that has a few small shops.You check in at the retail store where you are given your pass to relaxation and bliss. You then take a short walk to the back of The Company Store where you can enter the spa itself.Megan was immediately struck by the beauty and quiet atmosphere. Hardwood floors and large slate gray tiles cover the floors, while bamboo mats are on the ceiling. The receptionist welcomes you in her stocking feet as shoes make too much noise. We were invited to sit in the lounging room and have water or tea until we were escorted to our treatment room.Our first stop...Read More

Piaci

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Piaci is a pizza gem and not only is it "Home of the Adult Pizza", it is also taking top honors in one of the best pies we've ever had!Piaci is a tiny place tucked on a side street next to The Company Store. There is a bar that seats about ten, and three large tables for four people each, and two tables for two in the walkway to the bathrooms (although that's not a bad place to sit). The locals are here in droves, getting some pizza or having beer at the bar.We had about a 20 minute wait to get a seat, but that's mostly due to the fact that we didn't want to sit at the bar and this one couple was taking a really long time.We really wanted to get one of the starters,...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 29, 2006

Piaci
120 West Redwood Avenue
Fort Bragg, California 95437
(707) 961-1133

Quote:
North Coast Brewing Company has a brewery tour Saturdays at noon, there is no cost for the tour. No reservations are necessary. The talk begins in the gift shop and then goes into the brewery itself.One of the more informative tours I've been on, our guide encouraged questions and explained the different things that his brewery was trying. The tour guide was not just a beer maker, but a beer drinker who was able to talk specifically about making a craft brew.The tour wasn't just about making beer, it was about the rise of an industry and specifically what North Coast Brewing is doing to move itself forward. Currently (April 2006) they do not offer tastings, but they expect to have a be...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 27, 2006

North Coast Brewing Company
455 Main Street
Fort Bragg, California 95437
(707) 964-2739

Quote:
After taking the brewery tour we headed over to the taproom and grill across the street. The place was packed and crowded with others from our tour. You can wait to be seated in the dining room, or grab a table in the taproom where you can also get food.$5 buys you 4 tasters or $12 for 10 of them. Soda was expensive at $2.50, even though Megan was the designated driver and soda supposedly free for them. We looked at ordering some food, but the prices were crazy! $9 for a burger and $12 to $15 for an entree were not what we wanted. Prices were $2 to $5 more for dinner.Service in the taproom area was slow and despite us sitting next to the ordering kiosk, Megan had to practicall...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

North Coast Brewing Company Taproom and Grill
444 Main Street
Fort Bragg, California 95437
(707) 964-3400

Quote:
The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens were breathtaking! You want to plan for an extended stay here, at least 2 hours. The gardens are located right on Highway One and are laid out beautifully. There are blooms year round, so anytime you come there's something to see. There are several mini gardens set up, including vegetables, roses, rhododendron, roses, heather, iris's, succulents, forest, the list goes on and on. In the first major section there are deer gates up, in the later half wild animals (deer) are allowed to roam.There is a great walk from the entrance out to the coast cliffs that is spectacular. We plan to go back and take a picnic lunch (which is encouraged) to explore the garde...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 27, 2006

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
18220 N Highway 1
Fort Bragg, California 95437
(707) 964-4352

Mendocino to Gualala

Driving Highway One

Attraction | "Driving Highway One - Ocean to Inland"

Quote:
Everyone says you have to do it, and you know what? They are right!Driving Highway One is a fantastic experience that is not to be missed. We drove on Highway One from Leggett to Valley Ford and let me tell you, it is beautiful!The portion of One from Fort Bragg to Valley Ford is filled with twisty roads, and miles and miles of spectacular beach views. As you get closer to Bodega Bay there are plenty of places to jump out and get out on the beach. Highway One through here also offers pastoral views with sightings of deer, sheep and cows!Driving One has left us hungry for more and we can't wait to tackle the portion from Valley Ford to Baja.Tips:Gas...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 29, 2006

Mendocino Jams & Preserves

Attraction | "Mendocino Jams & Preserves"

Quote:
Mendocino Jams & Preserves is a cute, quiet little shop located at the very end of main street near the ocean. There are various types of jams, chutneys, mustards, preserves, dessert sauces and other condiments available.A free tasting table is set up with little spoons so that you can try the various offerings. Everything is all natural. Lots of unique varieties that we haven't seen elsewhere. Jason found the mustard to be quite good. Megan found the chutneys to have a prevalent vinegar taste, but the jams were all good! Products were a little on the expensive side, but well worth the price if you have the money. Prices for the jams were $11.50 for 16 oz, $5 for 9oz of mustard, ch...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 29, 2006

Mendocino Jams & Preserves
440 Main Street
Mendocino, California 95460
(800) 708 -1196

Quote:
The Park is located 3 miles south of the city of Mendocino on Highway One. If you are looking for the Pygmy Forest like us though, you want to drive down the airport road. At the fork go to your left and there will be the entrance to the Pygmy Forest.The Pygmy Forest is great! It's not quite what Megan expected, she thought the trees would be a lot shorter. But despite the trees being about 6 to 8 feet high, they are about 100 years old.An elevated bridge (you are about a foot or so off the ground) takes you through the Pygmy Forest with stops along the way that point out how the forest came to be. It is wheelchair accessible and it's all flat, no hills at all.There are n...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 29, 2006

Van Damme State Park
Highway One
Mendocino 95460

Bones Roadhouse

Restaurant

Quote:
Bones Roadhouse has great appeal, from the great sign out front to the roadhouse decor inside, which does include license plates from all 50 states, just in case you were wondering. Everything is perfectly executed when it comes to the decor.They feature BBQ, Brews & Blues with "Authentic Texas Style Wood Pit Meat". The BBQ is excellent! There are your typical pub appetizers (wings, potato skins, salad) and burgers (even a chicken and veggie one). Then there are the meats! Turkey, Memphis pulled pork, Texas beef brisket, New Mexico chop, Kielbasa, Steak and St. Louis style pork ribs. With your meal you get your choice of sides, choose from: beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, potato ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 29, 2006

Bones Roadhouse
38920 Highway One
Gualala, California 95445
(707) 884-1188