A vast UNESCO World Heritage Site in the far north of California, the Redwoods National and State Parks is without a doubt, one of America’s must-visit attractions.

Named after the unique trees found throughout the forest, this is an ideal destination for hikers and nature photographers. The park is home to some of the tallest trees in the world! So be prepared to crane your neck in awe of these beasty trunks.

Not only is it lush and green but it also comes with stunning beaches and quirky coastal towns. Mother nature has truly out done herself here.

As the name suggests, the Redwoods National and State Parks is actually a collection of different parks across the area. This is one of the largest areas of natural beauty in the country, so figuring out where to stay can be difficult.

There’s a lot on offer, and each park (and the towns surrounding it) comes with its own attractions. The best area is completely dependent on YOU, your travel style and of course, your budget.

Luckily, you have me! After months exploring this incredible areas, I present to you my top picks for the best areas around. I’ve categorised the areas dependent on interest and budget so you can easily decide which one is best suited for you.

Whether you want a hiking haven, scenic sanctuary, or coastal cottage – I’ve got you covered.

So, let me show you around! And together, let’s find the best spot for you in the Redwoods.

Where to Stay in the Redwoods

The Redwoods are a huge collection of scenic parks, so we recommend reading about what each town and village has to offer. That being said, it can book up quickly, and we totally understand if you really just want to get away from it all for a few days. If location isn’t a big worry for you, these are our top three accommodation picks overall.

best hikes in California: Redwoods
Walking amongst the redwoods.
Photo: Ana Pereira

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Oceanfront Condo | Beachy Villa Near the Redwoods

Oceanfront Condo

There are plenty of stunning condos along the coast in Northern California. This bright and airy dream is easily one of our favourite places to stay in! It only has one bedroom, making it the perfect choice for a romantic break close to the Redwoods. There is a large hot tub outside with gorgeous ocean and cliffside views. Book quickly, because this one is very popular.

Agate Cove Inn | Splurge Hotel Near the Redwoods

Agate Cove Inn

If you’re going to fork out for a hotel, you might as well go big! This five-star bed and breakfast is certainly one of the most luxurious options in the area. It’s located right on the coast, giving you unbeatable views of the Pacific Ocean from the terrace. The on-site concierge will take care of everything for you – from tickets and local events to airport transfers and tour guides.

1968 Airstream | Cute Campervan Near the Redwoods

1968 Airstream

Campervans are one of the most popular accommodation picks in America’s National Parks. This vintage airstream lets you experience the sticks in style. With two bedrooms, it’s perfect for families and groups. The kitchen is fully functioning, and some essential items – like salt and olive oil – are included to make your stay a little easier. We also adore the cute little hammock outside!

Redwoods Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Redwoods

OVERALL BEST PLACE TO STAY NEAR THE REDWOODS
Fort Bragg, Redwoods
OVERALL BEST PLACE TO STAY NEAR THE REDWOODS

Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg is a large coastal town located just south of the Redwoods. Its size means it is packed with great restaurants and accommodation options, making it our top pick for first-time visitors to the area.

FOR FAMILIES
Arcata, Redwoods
FOR FAMILIES

Arcata

Known for its progressive politics, hippy vibes, and chilled out eateries, Arcata is a small university town just outside of Eureka. While it is mostly inhabited by students, we recommend this town to families due to the laid back and welcoming atmosphere.

ON A BUDGET
Crescent Light, Redwoods
ON A BUDGET

Crescent City

Right in the far north of California, Crescent City is a major gateway for those visiting from neighbouring Oregon and beyond! Although it’s a pretty sizeable city, it isn’t as touristy as the more well-known resorts further south.

CREATIVE DESTINATION NEAR THE REDWOODS
Mendocino, Redwoods
CREATIVE DESTINATION NEAR THE REDWOODS

Mendocino

Located south of the parks, Mendocino has long been a popular destination for weekend trippers visiting from San Francisco. For this reason, it is often considered one of the main gateways to the region.

Redwoods’ 4 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

We believe the coastal destinations offer the best chance to experience everything in the region. The Redwoods are only a short drive from the gorgeous beaches of northern California, and the towns have their own little quirks that will make you feel right at home. These are our top four picks, plus our favourite accommodations and activities in each!

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#1 Fort Bragg – Overall Best Place to Stay Near the Redwoods

Fort Bragg is a large coastal town located just south of the Redwoods. Its size means it is packed with great restaurants and accommodation options, making it our top pick for first-time visitors to the area. The Glass Beach is a unique attraction for visitors, and some of the best hiking trails in Californa can be accessed in around ten minutes.

Fort Bragg, Redwoods

Fort Bragg is also popular for its wildlife – especially whales and seals! If you’re a nature lover, you absolutely have to include a stop here on your itinerary, even if you choose to stay elsewhere. It’s easy to access from most neighborhoods in this guide, and even has decent public transport links for those without a car.

Milagro Grande | Rustic Hideaway in Fort Bragg

Milagro Grande

Escaping to a cabin in the woods is certainly very tempting right now, so why not opt to spend some time at Milagro Grande? This cute little pied-à-terre is perfect for couples and solo travellers looking to stay closer to the Redwoods. Fort Bragg is a two-minute drive away, so you have the option of returning to civilisation when stocks need refilling.

Noyo Harbor | Beachside Home in Fort Bragg

Noyo Harbor

With huge windows overlooking a small beach, this cute little villa is the perfect getaway on California’s northern coast! It is only a two-minute walk from central Fort Bragg but still benefits from a secluded and peaceful atmosphere. There’s a small barbecue outside, as well as a luxurious hot tub that also comes with ocean views – perfect for catching the sunset.

Oceanfront | Laid-back Condo in Fort Bragg

Oceanfront Condo

No wonder this is one of the most popular condos in the area! The stylish interiors are calm and minimalist – creating a very inviting atmosphere in the warm summer light. Alongside the gorgeous hot tub area, the huge deck comes with sunset views and a small bistro area for enjoying your breakfast al bistro. There is also a quiet rocky beach just below the property where you can soak up the laid back coastal vibes.

Things to See and Do in Fort Bragg:

  1. Discover local wildlife and navigate the Noyo River on this adventurous experience by kayak just outside Fort Bragg.
  2. Glass Beach is a must-see attraction in the area. What was once a dump has been abandoned, and the waste glass has been transformed into pebbles by the waves.
  3. The Skunk Train runs from Fort Bragg to Willits. We recommend the day trip to North Spur for gorgeous inland scenery.
  4. Rendezvous Inn and Restaurant is a little pricey, but this quaint small French eatery has been named the best restaurant in the county, so it’s totally worth it.

#2 Arcata – Best Place to Stay Near the Redwoods for Families

Known for its progressive politics, hippy vibes, and chilled out eateries, Arcata is a small university town just outside of Eureka. While it is mostly inhabited by students, we recommend this town to families due to the laid back and welcoming atmosphere.

Arcata, Redwoods

Arcata is an active town with some great bicycle hire places dotted around the centre and a few hiking trails starting on the outskirts. Nearby Eureka is a good shopping destination, and if you have a car, you are only five minutes from the Redwoods National Park. If you’re only visiting for a couple of days, Arcata is an excellent base.

Hampton Inn & Suites | Cosy Family Hotel in Arcata

Hampton Inn and Suites

Sometimes you just need a hotel to take care of everything for you – especially if you’re travelling with kids! The Hampton Inn & Suites is a Hilton brand designed with families in mind. With an extensive breakfast buffet every morning and laid-back interiors, Hampton Inn & Suites has everything you need for a relaxing stay near the Redwoods National and State Parks.

1968 Airstream | Spacious Campervan in Arcata

1968 Airstream

Vintage Airstreams are the most sought after campervans in America; choosing to stay in this Airbnb offering means you get to experience it without investing in one of your own. The second bedroom is a twin room, making this a massively popular option with families. The hosts live on the same grounds, so you’re sure to get some great tips about the area when you arrive.

Hillside Home | Serene Mountain Villa in Arcata

Hillside Home

This house is a little out the way, but we think it is an idyllic hideaway for those wanting to connect with nature. It comes with two private deck areas, giving you views over the coast and towards the forest. Sleeping up to six people across three bedrooms, this is definitely a good option for larger families.

Things to See and Do in Arcata

  1. Feeling a bit nervous about heading into the Redwoods on your own? Let a local guide take the stress away in this waterfall hiking experience.
  2. The local farmers market in the main square is the life and soul of the town every Saturday morning.
  3. The area surrounding the plaza is an excellent place for a stroll, thanks to the beautifully maintained Victorian architecture.
  4. In the evenings, head to the food trucks in the city centre that offer ample seating nearby – we love La Chiquita, in particular.
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Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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#3 Crescent City – Where to Stay Near the Redwoods on a Budget

Right in the far north of California, Crescent City is a major gateway for those visiting from neighboring Oregon and beyond! Although it’s a pretty sizeable city, it isn’t as touristy as the more well-known resorts further south. For this reason, a lot of the accommodation and dining options in Crescent City are super affordable.

Crescent Light, Redwoods

It can get quite rainy in Crescent City, so we do recommend this mostly for those visiting with a car during the summer months. All that said, most of the destinations in this guide are only a short drive away, so it makes an excellent base that won’t take too much weight out of your wallet.

Lamplighter Bungalow | Quirky Villa in Crescent City

Lamplighter Bungalow

Another great budget accommodation pick, this private bungalow sleeps up to four people, making it an ideal choice for families and couples wanting some extra space. The kitchen comes stocked with some basic breakfast items, so you won’t have to worry too much for your first couple of days. Visiting in winter? Fire up the log burner for a cosy break.

Emerald Smith River | Secluded Cabin Near Crescent City

Emerald Smith River

This one is actually a ten-minute drive from Crescent City, but is without a doubt our top pick for staying within the forest itself! Nestled among the trees, this quirky little villa has a secluded atmosphere. There is a major hiking trail nearby, but we recommend heading into the city to grab a map first. It’s also right next to the river.

Battery Point | Budget Beach House in Crescent City

Battery Point

Want to hit the coast but worried about breaking the bank? This modern property is located right on the beach! It’s also only a short walk away from central Crescent City – and all at more than affordable prices. It can sleep up to eight people across the three bedrooms – and the master suite has its own private bath and shower.

Things to See and Do in Crescent City

  1. Point Saint George is the only park in the city. It hugs the coast, so you have plenty of whale watching opportunities.
  2. Head along the Boy Scout Tree Trail for a quick introduction to the Redwoods, finishing up at a secluded beach.
  3. Head to the Harbour District on sunnier days if you’re keen to hire a boat and explore the nearby coastline.
  4. SeaQuake Brewing is a bit hipstery, but they offer some of the best beer and light bites in the region.

#4 Mendocino – Creative Destination Near the Redwoods

Located south of the parks, Mendocino has long been a popular destination for weekend trippers visiting from San Francisco. For this reason, it is often considered one of the main gateways to the region. If you’re arriving from elsewhere in California, we recommend this for at least your first night.

Mendocino, Redwoods

Convenience aside, Mendocino is also known as an artistic neighborhood. Artists from across the United States use Mendocino as a base to paint the stunning scenery of Northern California. You must visit a couple of the art galleries – you might even find a souvenir or two!

Sears Tower | Quirky Cottage in Mendocino

Sears Tower

No, not that Sears Tower! This secluded cottage is actually built from a renovated water tower. Although it’s an entirely self-contained unit, it is part of a larger resort. This gives guests access to the eco-friendly spa facilities in the main hotel area. This is our favourite pick for couples heading to the area. They even accept dogs for a small additional fee.

Agate Cove Inn | Luxurious Bed and Breakfast in Mendocino

Agate Cove Inn

This is probably one of the most luxurious bed and breakfasts available in the United States! They serve a two-course meal every morning using locally sourced, organic ingredients. There are three art galleries within walking distance (we love Highlight Gallery) and the beach is right outside the front door. They offer bedrooms to suit couples, families, and even solo travellers looking to splurge.

Garden Cottage | Vintage Hideaway in Mendocino

Garden Cottage

Live your cottage fantasy in this quaint little bolthole in the heart of Mendocino! Dating back to the 1880s, this accommodation is a little piece of California history. In keeping with the vintage theme, there is a private garden with a rhubarb patch for those who want to try their hand at baking. Just need to relax? Put the hot tub on and have a good soak.

Things to See and Do in Mendocino

  1. This highly-rated professional portrait experience isn’t just for couples, but we reckon it is the perfect way to see the town during a romantic getaway.
  2. Ready to make some creations of your own? Head into the nearby forest and enjoy this glass pendant making activity by a local artisan.
  3. Mendocino Wine Company is an excellent spot for couples, featuring some of the best wines from nearby Parducci Winery in their tasting sessions.
  4. Café Beaujolais has a reputation for its intimate atmosphere, unbeatable Italian cuisine, and great service – another great spot for couples heading to the Redwoods!
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Redwoods

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Redwoods and where to stay.

What To Pack For Redwoods

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Redwoods

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in the Redwoods?

This gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site is somewhere you have to visit at least once in your life – so why not make it this year? With staycations becoming more popular, the Redwoods is easily one of the best destinations in the United States. If you want to hike, you have the forest. If you want to relax, there are plenty of great beaches. And if you want to soak up the Cali-cool vibes of the region, you can check out the cultural highlights in each town.

We don’t like to play favourites, but Mendocino is an incredible destination! It oozes creativity out of every nook and cranny and has some quiet little beaches where you can kick back and enjoy the sunshine. If you were to force our hand, this would be our top pick overall.

That being said, all four towns mentioned in this guide have their own unique charms. The Redwoods National and State Parks form one of the most diverse regions in the United States – both culturally and scenically. We hope this guide has helped you narrow down your options, but honestly, we recommend taking a car and ticking a couple of them off during your trip.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for more info on travelling to Redwoods and USA?

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