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  1. Default SF to Redding to Eureka then home

    Hi all,
    I recently found this website and I love it--a great resource! I'm planning a short road trip (4-5 days) in mid-August and here's my general itinerary. I'm looking to have short driving days of 2-3 hours (except for the first day), leaving a lot of time to explore. I'm hoping someone out there will have some more suggestions of great things to do or places to stay. This plan is very flexible right now:

    -San Francisco to Redding (I want to check out the sundial bridge at turtle bay park). Should I stay in Redding? Or should I just continue on (probably 1.5 hours) to...

    -Redding to McArthur-Burney Falls state park (will probably stay here two nights) Does anyone know if this will be very crowded around this time? How is that drive on the 299?

    -backtrack through Redding out to Eureka. (An alternative plan here is to go up the 89 past Mt. Shasta, then up the 5 to Ashland, OR, for a Shakespeare play. Then down the 5, over the 96, and then the 299 to Eureka. What do you think about this? Will add a lot of distance and another night, of course.) From Redding going straight to Eureka, should I take the 36 or the 299? They seem about the same distance, so which is more beautiful or has something interesting along the way?

    -from Eureka, south on the 101 (stopping at Avenue of the Giants). Should I stop at any of Scotia, Shelter Cove, or Garberville?

    -I would like to swing out to the 1 and stop by Fort Bragg. Is it worth the detour? From there I'm planning on heading back to San Francisco, but this is about 200 miles so I'd like to stop somewhere midway and camp or find a cheapish hotel. Any recommendations? Should I stay on the 1 or come across the 20 to the 101 and come south?

    Thanks for all your help. I can't tell you how great it is to have found a resource like this--

    Last edited by vaulter; 07-07-2007 at 06:29 PM.

  2. Default Some comments...

    Hello vaulter --

    From your preferences, that's a reasonable day's drive. There are some things to do on the way to Redding, and in and around Redding (Turtle Bay, the sundail bridge, and the river walk at Redding). One option you might consider is to stay just south of Redding in somewhere like Red Bluff or Corning. I noted there's a bit new hotel and casino complex in Corning, with several new hotels. And I have to confess I always stop in Corning to pick up Olive Oil and the like from one of the local stands there.

    The reason I suggested this, is you can then go north-east from Red Bluff through Lassen National Park, look around, and still end up at McArthur Burney state park for the night. This is a slightly more southerly route than the one out of Red Bluff, but takes you right through the National Park.

    However, since this would be August, it would probably be fairly crowded of a campground -- I was there last month, and while it was busy, it didn't seem amazingly crowded. But I only stayed a couple of hours.

    From Redding my preference would be to Ashland for Shakespeare (personal favorite you hit there...), and then over 199 to Crescent City from Grants Pass. That lets you visit Oregon Caves if you want to, and puts you in the middle of the Redwood country with the Redwoods National Park, and other state parks there. A bit longer, but worth it in my opinion.

    Heading south on the 101, there's a lot of touristy stuff, but nothing I found amazing -- amusing, interesting perhaps, but nothing amazing.

    The scenic views from 1 south around Fort Bragg are very nice -- I would rate the scenery here as good, if not better than the Big Sur area, but you can spend 1-2 days driving south on 1 to get to SF. You have the option of ducking back over the coastal hills at several points, though. The Coast route is a good road, but twisty and slow -- my opinion would to be plan on taking it for a day, finding somwhere to stay (I usually camp), and then ducking over to the 101 if you're more of a hurrry to get back to SF>

  3. Default

    Thanks for your great advice. I think we will definitely head up through Ashland. Any recommendation on a place to stay there? Should we go for a budget motel and try to save some money or is it worth it to try to find a nice B&B?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Sounds good


    I like the idea of doing a loop through Lassen to Burney Falls. Getting off I-5 is always a good idea.

    There is a beautiful view of the middle falls of the McCloud River near McCloud on the north end of Hwy 89, east of Shasta. The waterfall is a classic, wide, falls in a beautiful setting. Not a long walk from the parking lot.

    In fact, (I'm not pushing my photography because I don't usually sell prints) if you go to my website and click the "Waterfalls" button you'll see the first two shots are of the Middle Falls of the McCloud River and of Burney Falls.

    There is also a swimming hole at the lower falls of the McCloud that is usually busy but fun on a hot day.

    If, for some reason, you can't make it to Ashland, the drive from Redding west past Whiskeytown Lake and along the Trinity River is beautiful, too. That area has so much great scenery and interesting driving opportunities.

    We stay in B&B's whenever possible. The contact with locals as well as interesting travelers is always worth the extra cost, if it is more than a decent motel. Sometimes the price is actually less and the comfort is almost always more (though you may not get a TV in your room).

    Most importantly, I'm glad you are taking some time. This area is not a quick-stop-and-keep-on-driving sort of place. It needs a relaxed attitude and a willingness to soak it in.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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