An awesome scenic drive is a 31-mile portion of old Highway 101 which is called the “Avenue of the Giants”. It actually parallels the freeway version of highway 101, so if you are travelling 101 it is an easy detour to take the scenic route.
The Avenue of the Giants passes through Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which has the largest remaining stand of old growth redwoods in the world. It is by far the most outstanding display of these giant trees in Northern California.
The highway is narrow in places and the giant redwoods stand tall at the very side of the road. When I went through the area traffic was light as it was a weekday morning, but still, speed is not a factor on such a winding highway. You are best to relax and enjoy the scenery.
The beginning of the drive there was a stop where you could pick up a printed guide for an Auto Tour of the drive. The numbered stops are listed and explained on the guide.
Also along the Avenue there are a number of small towns including Pepperwood, Redcrest, Weott, Myers Flat, Miranda and Phillipsville. Each of these scenic towns seemed to have their fair share of tourist shops.
There are many places to pull over to get close to the forest and also to hike, picnic, camp and fish. There is great access to numerous hiking trails and the various redwood groves.
Also, a little south of the town of Weott is the Humboldt Redwoods Visitor Center. It is a great place to stop and gather additional information about the area.
If you are in the area, don’t miss it!