Travel Guide to California

2015 Travel Guide to California

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144 2 0 1 5 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A B Y J O H N F L I N N N ature's loftiest skyscrapers, the 3,000-year-old arboreal titans known as Sequoia sempervirens, grow in only one place on earth: a narrow strip of fog-shrouded mountains along California's wild and lightly visited North Coast. Until you've seen one up close, it's hard to grasp just how neck-craningly tall one of these coastal redwoods is. Remember the gargantuan Saturn V, the 35-story-high rocket that sent astronauts to the moon? The largest Sequoia sempervirens would tower over that, topping out at 379 feet. The Redwood Highway Old-growth redwoods are preserved in a chain of parks strung along Highway 101, known in these parts as the Redwood Highway. In southern Humboldt County, Humboldt Redwoods State Park strad- dles the scenic drive known as the Avenue of the Giants. In northern Humboldt and Del Norte counties, a cluster of parks—Redwood National Park and Prairie Creek Redwoods, Del Norte Coast Red- woods and Jedediah Smith Redwoods state parks—form one contiguous redwood reserve. The sounds of chainsaws and buzzing sawmills that once dominated the North Coast are rapidly fading as the lumber industry winds down. In former mill towns such as Fort Bragg, tourism is replacing timber as innovative galleries, restaurants and brew-pubs spring to life. SERGEY YECHIKOV/SHUTTERSTOCK . OPPOSITE: SIERRALARA/SHUTTERSTOCK NORTH COAST TOP CITIES Mendocino, Eureka, Crescent City, Fort Bragg, Garberville, Arcata, Ukiah, Cloverdale, Ferndale GATEWAY The Arcata-Eureka Airport (EKA), 16 miles (26 km) from downtown Eureka, has service from San Francisco and other hubs, but no international flights TOURISM WEBSITES POPULATION 782,000 NORTH COAST A lush land of redwood forests, fishing harbors, Victorian villages, even Bigfoot!

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