There are certain things that we want to see in our life. For those of us who are landlocked, it could be the ocean. For others who are from small towns, it could be seeing the city. For many of us, it is seeing a natural wonder –something so amazing that we can only believe it when we see it. The Avenue of the Giants in California is exactly that: A natural work of art you need to see at least once in your life. In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about it and help you plan the best day trip possible. Read on, take notes, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!
Do you want to know more about what the Mendocino area has to offer? We have you covered! Our free Vacation Guide is the perfect planning tool to map out your getaway. Discover our favorite local restaurants, events, shops, museums, outdoor activities, and more.
Why Is the Avenue of the Giants One of the Best Sites in the World?
The Avenue of the Giants is a 31-mile road through the impressive and world-renowned Redwood Forest. This stretch of road was originally part of Route 101 until the bypass was created in 1960, thus creating this fantastic place you’re about to discover. You’ll feel a sense of magic as you swerve around the curves of the road, surrounded by trees so tall you sometimes can’t even see the sky. Some of them are up to 950 years old!
It’s One of the Most Scenic Drives
The Avenue of the Giants is located off the famous Highway 101. It’s about a 2-hour drive to this northern region of California and Mendocino, but it is worth every mile you drive. The drive along Highway 1 boasts many beautiful sights, and you can already see the majestic trees towering as you get closer. To ensure you know your way through the forest, you’ll see several Auto Tours. You can take them as an opportunity to stop and have a look at these stunning redwoods! After all, trying to see all of the 51,000 acres of redwoods is daunting, so make the most of every bit you see!
Tip: There isn’t much service in the park, and you’ll need to be able to navigate easily. You highly recommend taking a picture of the map located at the right-hand side of the freeway exit!
3 Breathtaking Spots You Need to See
Shrine Drive Thru Tree
We highly recommend stopping by the Shrine Drive Thru Tree. This famous attraction is about 10 miles into the Avenue and costs $6 per vehicle. You’ll love going into the tree and coming out on the other side. Just be aware that it is a bit narrow (7’x7’), so it might not be the best idea if you’re driving a truck. The park also offers a walk thru tree for children and a picnic area with benches.
Another wonderful place to stop is the Founders Grove. It features some of the most significant fallen trees in the park! It’s a great opportunity to understand how massive the redwood trees are, and additionally, makes for a great picture!
You’ll get major “Lord of the Rings” vibes at the Eternal Treehouse. This tiny habitation was carved into a massive redwood. It’s right by a restaurant and cafe, so you can stop for a well-deserved break and grab a drink! Don’t worry—even if the cafe is closed, you can still go inside the house.
It Makes for the Perfect Day Adventure
The Avenue of the Giants is located in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which is a great place to spend the day. It’s the ultimate playground for nature lovers. One of our favorite things to do there is hiking. Choose from a wide variety of trails, all ranging from moderate to advanced. Some are less than a mile long while others are over 13 miles! The park is also an excellent place for biking. It’s faster than hiking and will take you to various breathtaking vantage points.
It Hosts an Iconic Race
Are you a runner? Do you love a good challenge? How about a race through one of the most iconic forests in the world? If this sounds like you, you’re going to love the Avenue of Giants Marathon! This one-of-a-kind race takes place every May and lets participants run along a 26.2 mile-long course. There’s nothing like running under those ancient trees and feeling their shade keeping you cool. A half–marathon and 10K are also organized for the occasion!
Explore the Forest, Stay by the Ocean!
There’s nothing like exploring the Avenue of the Giants, but when the day is over, what can top a sunset view over the ocean? Drive back to the coast and stay with us at Sea Rock Inn. It’s one of the best places to stay in Mendocino, and as soon as you set foot on our property, you’ll understand why.
We offer a variety of suites and cottages to choose from. Take a look at our Junior Suites, for example. They are perfect for a couple’s getaway, offering plenty of rest and relaxation. Do you want a more authentic stay? Pick one of our cottages! Get all the privacy you need while enjoying a jaw-dropping view of the ocean. Did you know that we also offer a complimentary breakfast every morning? You’ll love waking up with a cup of coffee and a bite of our mouthwatering, homemade pastries.