Hundreds of miles of coastal hiking trails, giant redwood forests, and historic lighthouses are just a few of the things you will find on the Northern California Coast. Just north of San Francisco is the Point Reyes National Seashore. From the herds of elk to the endless miles of empty shoreline, this is the most peaceful and thought-provoking part of California Coast travel.
Within the park there is a Visitors Center. The Bear Valley visitor's center is where you can pick up area guides, and is a short walk from a Miwok Indian Village that has been recreated for visitors who stop here on their California Coast vacation. The Point Reyes National Seashore is not devoid of the fog that blankets San Francisco, so when you visit the scenic lighthouse at Point Reyes or explore the interesting cultural artifacts of the Indians that have lived in the area for thousands of years, you experience all these sights when they are wrapped in a mysterious white shroud that only adds to the haunting beauty of the California Coast. Nature buffs and hikers love to explore the nearly 150 miles of hiking trails, while camping in one of the four backcountry camping areas.
South of Point Reyes is Stinson Beach, where some shark attacks have been known to occur. This does not stop water lovers from riding the strong waves that come onto shore here. Whether you're going from North to South, the best way to experience the Northern California Coast is on Highway 1. This is a scenic drive that starts all the way up in Mendocino County and hugs the coast until you reach San Clemente, where it merges with Route 5.
A few hours up the coast is Mendocino County, which is an area many visitors to Northern California will visit on their California Coast travel. You can whale watch from the shore when migrating gray whales and the calves travel close to the California coast, right beyond where the waves emerge. You don't have to drive inland and go all the way to Willits to see giant redwoods, since there are plenty of them of the coast. The Avenue of the Giants is inland, but you can still see the same types of tress along certain stretches of the Northern California coast.
With museums, wineries, Redwood forests, wildlife watching and hiking opportunities, a California Coast vacation can hardly be called boring. While the empty beaches and lack or tourist infrastructure will keep many away, hardy travelers that appreciate simple living appreciate the quaint little towns and windswept, deserted beaches.
Just south of Mendocino, the Little River area has sights you should not miss. Fern Canyon is a popular place to visit. It is inside the 1,831 acres of Van Damme State Park. You can dive for abalone or simply enjoy the scenic hike on the ten miles of trails that takes you through a canyon carpeted in green ferns, and along the beach.
You can stay in a bed and breakfast and spend your days wandering on the beach, camp and hike, go golfing at the Little River Inn, or simply enjoy a relaxed weekend curled up in front of a fire at you own vacation rental on the coast. A California coast vacation is a scenic, invigorating trip that will inspire and delight you.