Your Winter Travel Guide to Humboldt County

’Tis the season with a chill in the air and a warm fire in our hearts. With so many things to enjoy, we wanted to create your winter travel guide to Humboldt County. Just as William Blake states, it’s a time to relax and enjoy!

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”
— William Blake

We’d love to host your stay as you’re planning your winter getaway. Our boutique motel provides a unique experience grounded in the heart of Humboldt County. Our entire team believes that hospitality is simply friends taking care of friends. Here are some great things we think you’d enjoy on your winter vacation.

Cruise the Avenue of the Giants

You don’t even have to get out of your warm car to see the giants of the forest. The Avenue of the Giants is a 31-mile section of the historic Highway 101 and runs parallel to the new Highway 101. As you’re driving through Humboldt Redwood State Park, you’ll see the largest remaining virgin redwoods. If you’d like to get out and stretch your legs, there are spots along the way to follow one of the park’s many hiking trails.

Watch for Migrating Whales

There’s something magical about watching the whales as they glide through the water. Winter months are some of the best times to catch them on their migrating journey. From September through January they’re headed south to the Gulf of Mexico for winter calving. Between March and June, they head back with their newborn calves to the Arctic seas for summer feeding. Generally, the gray whales travel in small groups of 2-6 and move at about 5 miles per hour for 70-80 miles each day. Once you spot a blast of steam shooting out of the water, keep your binoculars focused for others in their group.

Reel in a Winter Catch

Winter fishing in Humboldt County is all about reeling in steelhead. They generally run from November through April depending on where you fish. The Eel and Klamath Rivers will produce steelhead that averages around 8-10 pounds. Because of the operations of the fish hatchery, fishing for winter steelhead is excellent on the Mad River. Some of the largest steelheads can be found on the Smith River. It’s also the largest river system in the state and fish caught there can be upwards of 27 pounds. Out on Big Lagoon and Stone Lagoon, you can find cutthroat as well as steelhead. No matter which location you choose, we’d love to hear your fish stories and see photos of your catch!

Forage for Mushrooms

Although it’s toward the end of the season (October – December), foraging for mushrooms goes on into the early winter months. There are many varieties, however, we’d like to highlight just four. First, we have the King Bolete, which is the largest and easiest species to find. They are edible and make a fine mushroom soup. Secondly, the Oyster mushrooms get their name from not only being similar to an oyster in shape but also in smell and taste. The third is the Golden Chanterelle, which is a meaty variety that is generally orange or yellow in color. Finally, there’s the Lobster mushroom. It’s actually a mold that grows on mushrooms and turns it a red similar to the color of a cooked lobster. It has a fish-like spicy taste. Which one is your favorite?

Pay Respect at the Trinidad Pier

The Trinidad Pier is the northernmost ocean pier in California. The Trinidad Head Memorial Lighthouse has been set in the memorial park to honor those who were lost at sea. It’s also a great spot to watch the fishing boats cruise in and out. While you’re there, don’t miss visiting the quaint boutique shops, wineries, unique spas, and great eateries in town.

Discover Our Rich Heritage

Humboldt County has a rich heritage. Two villages should definitely be on your list: Eureka and Ferndale. Eureka’s waterfront business district displays beautifully restored buildings from the Victorian era. Ferndale’s Butterfly Palaces are a must-see. Both villages are filled with historic treasures, lovely boutique shops, bookstores, confectioners, and more. Ferndale is also on our list of the 10 most romantic things to do.

Stay at The Redwood Riverwalk

With your winter travel guide to Humboldt County, don’t forget a stay at The Redwood Riverwalk. We’re not your average place to stay as you experience Humboldt County, not your average place to visit with even more winter activities to do. We hope your whole family will enjoy your winter getaway—even your furry family members.

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