Welcome to Rich Life Travel Friday!
This time, I am taking you to Ferndale in Humboldt County, just a few hours north of Sonoma Valley.
My husband and I were invited to spend the weekend in Ferndale by some friends. They live in the same small town that we do and have a vacation home in Ferndale.
Bill and I left very early on a Saturday morning and headed north up the Highway 101. We stopped off at the Tudor-style hotel, Benbow Inn, about an hour south of Ferndale. Built in the 1920’s, this hotel has old-world charm and gorgeous grounds.
It was a bit too cold and dreary out to relax on this lovely patio.
So we ventured into the lobby where I got cozy with a giant teddy bear…wearing a vest (but no pants).
The bridge over the Eel River makes for a bucolic scene. Can you imagine yourself lounging on one of those chairs on a warm day, sipping on a Ramos Fizz after brunch?
The back patio at Benbow Inn reminds me of a European hotel. I bet this place is lively and fun during the high season.
After a lovely breakfast at Benbow, we got back on the road and headed for Ferndale. Many rustic farms dot the countryside.
Spring, being such a colorful time of year, is the ideal season to visit Humboldt County.
This area is a landscape photographer’s dream. I started clicking away as soon as we arrived in the area.
We saw several abandoned farmhouses, dating back to the mid to late 19th century. This one was particularly fascinating and eerie to me, especially with that foreboding sky as a backdrop.
Once we arrived at our friends’ home, I knew it would be a great weekend. This is their barn. Isn’t it something?
I loved the way our friends landscaped their property. What a novel way to use a wheelbarrow!
They also have this adorable cottage on their property, built in the late 1800’s.
Once we unpacked our things, we headed a short distance to downtown Ferndale.
The first thing you notice about Ferndale’s Main Street is how colorful and ornate it is. Ferndale is known for its Victorian buildings which line the thoroughfare and are found throughout the area.
The shopping in Ferndale is great. I bought several unique things – home accessories and jewelry – that I will be showing you in future posts.
The stately hotel and restaurant, The Victorian Inn, is well known in the region. We already had our accommodations but if we needed a place to stay, we would certainly consider staying in this beautiful building.
Another option is The Gingerbread Mansion Inn, just a block from Main Street. Both inns have superb reviews and I doubt one could go wrong with either.
After a day of sightseeing and shopping, we returned to our friends’ beautiful house to freshen up, then ventured back to downtown Ferndale for a lovely and tasty dinner at Hotel Ivanhoe, a local favorite that has been around since 1870.
With full bellies, we returned to our friends’ home and spent the rest of the evening chatting away until it was well past our bedtime.
The next morning, I looked out the window and quickly grabbed my camera to head outside. I had to capture this moment: a sunrise over a nearby farm.
After Bill and I spent some time photographing the local landscape, we returned for breakfast: homemade French Toast with fresh fruit and coffee.
Later that morning, we packed up and hit the road. We decided to do some Humboldt County exploring.
If you know me well, you know I love cheese. I can’t remember the last time I went a single day without eating cheese. We visited Loleta Cheese Factory and stocked up with lots of blocks of cheddar, fontina, jack and more.I think we may make it through the summer with all the cheese we brought home!
Back on the road, we decided to take the very long way home through the Lost Coast. Unfortunately it was foggy out but still scenic nonetheless.
Over winding roads – some of them gravel – we finally made it to the coast. Talk about remote! We felt like we had the ocean to ourselves. Not a soul in sight.
It began to rain, which for us Californians these days is something special! It was such a beautiful drive. I really enjoyed all the little things like passing over this lovely one-lane bridge as we headed inland.
We passed through some stunning forests as drove away from the coast.
Mossy branches on tall trees looked eerie and almost sinister.
As we neared the highway, we drove through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This was my favorite part of the drive. I love big Redwoods and the lofty canopies they create. This is the kind of nature I enjoy most.
Our visit to Ferndale and the Humboldt County area was two weeks ago and I still think about it everyday. Visiting this area was such a great way to unplug and slow down. From abandoned farmhouses to majestic Victorians, and the rugged coastline to quiet Redwood groves, it truly is a wonderful place to get in touch with nature, history and a slower pace.
Since my visit to Ferndale, my friend Abigail Zimmerman of Abi’s Farmhouse Kitchen painted this lovely piece that she says was inspired by my sunrise photo of the farm. Isn’t this wonderful? She is so very talented. Be sure to visit her blog and say hello!
A big thank you to our friends for inviting us to share the weekend with them in their beautiful home. We had a wonderful time!
Have you visited Ferndale and Humboldt County?
Make it a rich day!
P.S. Don’t forget that Monday is the last day to submit your photo for How I Wear My: Layers. Visit the How I Wear My page for details.