Hwy 101 from Novato to Fortuna, CA
I'm traveling north on Hwy 101 with my husband and our 2 year old daughter in October to visit an old college friend who lives in the Trinity Mountains. It's about a 6-7 hour drive from our house in the East Bay so I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a stopover along the way that wouldn't take us too far off Hwy 101 but would allow us to get out & see something. I thought about Fort Bragg, but that would add an extra hour (round trip) or more to our drive. We don't want to extend our drive time too much seeing as 2 year olds don't tend to have that long of driving attention spans.
Right now, we're not planning to spend a night along the way, but it could be an option if there's something worth seeing. Maybe spending the night in Ft Bragg would be the solution?
Also, my husband is from Minnesota, so he's never seen this section of Northern CA. Another thought I had is the Avenue of the Giants. I think that would make a good stop toward the end of our drive, but we would still need something midway or toward the beginning.
Any suggestions would be appreciated...
Stops That Fit the Bill
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!
I am a big advocate of taking breaks during any long drive. They don't have to be at major tourist attractions. Indeed, especially with young children, a quiet park where they can just run and play a bit usually fits the bill a lot better. On your drive, there are a several nice options a little bit beyond half way: the Admiral William Standley State Recreation Area which includes a redwood grove, the Smithe Redwoods State Natural Reserve, the Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area, and Richardson Grove State Park.
Novato or East Bay?
My wife and I drove from Concord to Garberville in March, this post has some pictures and details of that trip. (You'd pick it up somewhere past the first picture.)
It might help you decide on whether or not you want to take a routing up the coast, with an overnight somewhere in the Mendocino/Fort Bragg area or farther up in Laytonville/Garberville.
Either would position you to spend some time doing Humboldt Redwoods state park and/or Avenue of the Giants the second day.
We took our time, and still got to Garberville in time for dinner. If you're leaving from Novato you'd have more than an hour head start on us.
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