Travel Guide to California

2017 Travel Guide to California

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142 2 0 1 7 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 U ntil you've seen one up close, it's hard to grasp just how neck-craningly tall a coastal redwood tree is. Remember the gargantuan Saturn V, the 35-story-high rocket that sent astronauts to the moon? The largest Sequoia sempervirens grow even taller, topping out at 379 feet. These 3,000-year-old arboreal titans—nature's loftiest skyscrapers—grow in only one place in the world: a narrow strip of fog-shrouded mountains along California's wild and relatively unvisited North Coast. 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 straddles 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 Redwoods and Jedediah Smith Redwoods state parks—form one contiguous redwood reserve. WELCOMIA/SHUTTERSTOCK . OPPOSITE: TOM REICHNER/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 Behind the "redwood curtain" lies a land of Victorian villages, picture-perfect fishing harbors and inspired lunacy

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