There is so much to see in California and so me as a native Californian has still not seen it all.  I had never taken a trip up the coast so when it was time to plan a trip for Jimmy’s birthday in August we decided a drive up the coast north of where we live would be perfect. I’d seen so many pictures of the Redwoods and the drive thru tree, it looked like it would be a fun trip.

We set out early Saturday morning and planned to stop at the following places, Bodega Bay, Sea Ranch, Bowling Ball Beach, arrive at our hotel in Fort Bragg and spend the evening there, then on Sunday set out for the Drive thru Tree via the redwoods, head to Eureka, and finally visit the Arcata Marsh.

See the full gallery here.

Well along the way that plan blew up.  We couldn’t find some of the places and didn’t have time to investigate further and others turned out to be disappointing.

We ended up with a stop in Bodega Bay for a few photo ops, drove right pass Sea Ranch since I didn’t know it was privately owned and you had to reserve access to get in (super disappointed in myself since I consider myself to be a master planner), drove pass Bowling Ball Beach.  My coworker told me about this stop and said it was fabulous but our navigation kept taking us to someone’s house and after circling back three times, we finally gave up.

The drive itself is pretty scary since you hug the coast so closely you’re afraid you might drop off the edge.  We arrived at our hotel late that evening, had dinner in downtown Fort Bragg and settled in for the next day.

Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay

On Sunday we axed plans to drive up to Eureka.  There just wasn’t time since we had to make it back to Fort Bragg as we had reservations for birthday dinner at Fort Bragg’s swankiest seafood restaurant.  We visited glass beach, walking distance from our hotel.  It was a big let down as all the sea glass is now gone.  As with all our stops, it did have fabulous views of the coast.

Glass Beach. No sea glass in sight, but nice views.

We then set out for the drive further north.  Around 30 minutes in you hit Seaside Creek Beach, the most beautiful beach I’ve seen recently.  I don’t have any plans to drive up the coast again but if I did this would be on the list for a longer visit. It is simply breathtaking.

Seaside Creek Beach

Me goofing around on Seaside Creek Beach

Our next leg of the trip was the drive through the redwoods to get to the drive thru tree.  This was a super winding road.  There were turns at every corner and turn out lanes galore so if you are holding up traffic you can move over and let people pass.  I used these frequently as I was not going to drive fast what so ever.  The scenery was gorgeous.

California Redwoods

California Redwoods

California Redwoods

California Redwoods

California Redwoods

California Redwoods

California Redwoods

In a little town called Leggett we finally reached our furthest northern point, the drive thru tree.  We drove through, stopped and took it the scenery, had a quick rest and then headed back down to Fort Bragg.

Drive thru Tree – Leggett

Jimmy and I in a fallen redwood tree.

In a fallen redwood tree.

After a drive back to Fort Bragg, we had dinner, went to a movie and rested up for the drive home on Monday.

While we didn’t get to do everything on my list, the things we did do were fun and Jimmy loved his gift.  It’s a great bonus that I also got to accomplish the goals on my list.

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