The coastal redwood empire that extends from Oregon's southern border to the town of Mendocino holds a timeless grandeur. The winter rains and dense summer fog are important to the area's most famous inhabitants - the massive coast redwood trees that can top 300ft/91m and can live for more than two centuries. From the bluffs north of Trinidad you can spot migrating whales in winter and spring. In national and state parks where redwood groves are protected, you can walk through glorious, silent sanctuaries of old-growth forest. Farther south is Sonoma County, home to more than 100 farms - particularly beautiful in spring - and many farms on the Sonoma County Farm Trails routes are open to the public. Sonoma County is also home to nearly 150 wineries, making this one of California's premier wine-growing regions.
AVENUE OF THE GIANTS GARBERVILLE
Drive this 31mi/50km route, edged by columns of massive trees. Pull off for attractions such as the Founders Grove nature trail.
POINT ARENA LIGHTHOUSE POINT ARENA
Climb to the top of the 115-foot-tall Point Arena lighthouse and you can see for miles from its lantern room. Take a guided tour of the light station or spend the night in an old lighthouse keeper's home.
MENDOCINO COAST BOTANICAL GARDENS FORT BRAGG
Explore manicured formal gardens, a dense coastal pine forest, fern-covered canyons, diverse plant collections and fower-flled coastal bluffs overlooking the blue Pacifc Ocean.
VICTORIAN VILLAGE FERNDALE
Stroll down Main Street and step into a simpler time, with a general store, ice cream parlour and blacksmith shop.