Five Types of Nature Escapes for Your Enchanted Road Trip
We are so blessed to be located in Northern California, an area that is rich in many types of nature! If you’re a city dweller looking to escape the concrete jungle, or a nature fanatic seeking to extend your journey, there are tons of opportunities to experience along the road to Enchanted. We’ve created a list with a few of our personal favorite spots to get the ideas flowing, but we’re only scratching the surface. We encourage you to explore beyond what we recommend to whatever appeals to you most! If you’ve got a favorite spot worth sharing, we’d also love to hear about it in the comments below. Please check the provided websites for hours of operation and information about reservations and other details.
State and National Parks
Northern California has tons of State and National Parks in many different flavors. If you need a good dose of the local redwood tree, our parks are a fantastic opportunity to soak up their magical power. If you’re more of a coastal preserve type, we’ve got plenty of that too! Wherever you are, it’s really important to be visiting State and National parks to help keep them funded by showing this is an important part of America.
- Redwood National Park – these are THE BIG ONES. If you’ve never hugged a redwood, try it sometime.
- Humboldt Redwoods State Park
It’s true, we don’t have the warm sunny beaches most out-of-staters think are synonymous with “California”. But anyone who knows how to wear a hoodie can appreciate a trip out to visit the Pacific coast. What we lack in warmth, is made up for ten fold in breathtaking beauty. If you’re up for taking a scenic route, we highly recommend driving along HWY 1 to Westport, then taking Branscomb Road east to Laytonville. It’s full of dramatic coastal landscapes and quirky little towns. While it will add some extra time to your journey, it is well worth it. If you’d like a taste without driving the whole way, here are some cool areas to take side trips to.
- Glass Beach in Fort Bragg is part of a new coastal walking trail.
- Elk Creek
- Bowling Ball Beach (Schooner Gulch) – try to go at low tide if you can.
Hot springs are both very relaxing and also thought to have medicinal properties as many minerals present are more soluble in warm water than cold. This is a perfect post-fest activity to help you decompress and soothe your body after dancing all weekend long to that amazing lineup.
Hiking is a great road trip activity when you need a break, you can stretch your legs, get out of the car and breathe fresh air. Some of these are longer side journeys while others are short little bursts, perfect to keep you sane while cooped up in the car.
Humboldt & Mendocino:
Unlike Zoos, Animal Sanctuaries are primarily focused on helping animals and giving them a habitat that mimics their natural one. The animals frequently originate from much less desirable conditions such as zoos and factory farms. Animal sanctuaries give more freedom to roam and the animals there are often viewed from a distance because they are still a bit wild. They are a really cool opportunity to experience some animals that are not native to our area in a more wholesome way.
- B Bryan Preserve – giraffes and zebras on a beautiful stretch of coastline. Trust me, put the carrot in your mouth when you get to meet the giraffes. 🙂
No matter where you choose to visit on your way to or from Enchanted Forest, Northern California has plenty of natural beauty to offer. So be sure to ‘Pack it in, pack it out’ and tread lightly on your travels in redwood country and beyond. Enjoy the journey!