redwood coast

Trinidad is one of our favorite places to stay on the Redwood Coast. Years ago we stopped by on a day trip, put it on our list to come back. Last year we rented a house and spent a week. It's a great home base to explore the southern Redwood Coast.

Humboldt State University Marine Laboratory - The Marine Lab features marine life of the North Coast. In the aquarium tanks, there are ghostly strawberry anemones, sand dabs camouflaged in the sand, a giant Pacific octopus spreading its reddish tentacles over the glass, or grass-green pipe fish that look just like a piece of sea grass. Outside in the touch tanks, plunge your hands into the cool salt water to touch an exquisite red sea urchin, a pale green giant sea anemone, a soft squishy sunflower sea star or a rough, calcified leather sea star. This lab is free and one of our favorites!
Trinidad State Beach - After you've been to the marine lab, head down to the beach at Trinidad Bay, a long curving sandy beach where you can run up and down and look for those creatures in the tide pools. Ask at the local stores for a tide table (tide pools are best at low tide). From the shore, you can also look for whales, seals, sea lions and harbor porpoises off shore.
Trinidad Head – From beach parking lot, take the trail that goes up and around Trinidad Head (1.5 miles) – gorgeous views in all directions on a clear day. Some of the trail goes through thick vegetation, like tunnels. Easy hike for all, including young kids.
Elk Head and College Cove – Another fun hike is one to Elk Head, a largely level trail that follows along the headlands, with views of Pewetole Island and dramatic coastline. Hike is 1.3 miles from Elk Head parking lot (off Stagecoach Rd.)
Along the trail, take a detour and go down to College Cove, kids can play on the beach, might be driftwood to make a fort.
Fun food
Stop into Katy's Smokehouse for locally caught tuna and king salmon. We bought cans of Albacore tuna – makes an amazing tuna sandwich.

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