7 Must-See Historic Sites in Humboldt County CA

History is literally the story of the lives of those who have gone before us. Our hotel, The Redwood Riverwalk, is grounded in our community and proud of our heritage. We’ve selected 7 must-see historic sites in Humboldt County, CA.

“There is a history in all men’s lives.” 
—William Shakespeare

History is fascinating. It helps us understand people and societies. We begin to understand the changes that have occurred throughout the years. We also gain our identity from this rich foundation. When studying history we learn how to live better with each other — to grasp the beauty of our differences, to embrace other people and their cultures, and to learn to live in harmony with nature and its abundant resources.

Learn more about these historic sites and points of interest.

1. Carson Mansion

The Carson Mansion is one of the most written about and photographed Victorian homes in the world. It was designed and built between 1884-1885. The Newsom Brothers of San Francisco designed this 4-story, 18-room structure with a tower and a basement. It is truly a work of art—from the elaborate staircase to the colorful stained glass windows, the vast amount of carved redwood and the oak and cherry moldings to the onyx fireplace and all the lush furnishings. 

2. Victorian Village of Ferndale.

Founded in 1852, Ferndale was a booming dairy town and built what’s known today as the Butterfat Palaces. A stroll down Main Street will be filled with art galleries, quaint one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques, and a number of homes that display beautiful 19th-century architecture such as Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne. Don’t miss visiting the cemetery located on a beautiful hillside that is filled with historic pioneer-era markers.

3. Old Town Eureka

Eureka was established as a lumber town in 1850. Eureka’s waterfront business district parades the restored commercial buildings of the Victorian era. These vintage buildings now house bookstores, art galleries, coffee houses, and more. So many photo-ops along these streets!

4. Humboldt County Covered Bridges

There’s a certain romance to the charm of covered bridges—a sweet glimpse of days past. Don’t be fooled, they’re not limited to the east coast. We have several here in Humboldt County.

  • Brookwood Covered Bridge
  • Berta’s Ranch Covered Bridge
  • Elk River Covered Bridge


5. Native American Museums

For centuries, Humboldt County was the home of several Native American tribes. Some of the most prominent include the Wiyot, Yurok, Hupa, Karuk, and Whilkut. They were primarily hunter-gatherers living off the bountiful resources of the land. Because of these resources, the tribes were able to stay in permanent dwellings. There are several museums that feature basketry and other items from these tribes.


6. Humboldt County Museums

The settlers moved into what is known today as Humboldt County in the mid-1800s. The beautiful harmony of the area was disrupted by the arrival of Spanish explorers, Russian fur traders, and eventually an expedition led by Josiah Gregg. A trade route was established and in 1850, the first ship anchored in Humboldt Bay. The rest is history and our museums provide interesting artifacts and more historical information about our story.


7. Fort Humboldt

The Army occupied Fort Humboldt for 13 years and was built in 1853. Originally there were 14 buildings, but both the hospital and surgeon’s quarters have been rebuilt. In the early years, Captain Ulysses S. Grant resided here. Later he became a general in the Civil War and eventually, president of the United States. It is located on a bluff overlooking Humboldt Bay.

While strolling through yesteryears, plan your stay at The Redwood Riverwalk. Enjoy the beauty of Northern California’s redwoods with warm, friendly hospitality, and comfortable rooms. Check availability today.

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