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Best Family Travel Destination: Eureka, California

Family Friendly Destination: Eureka, California
Best Places to Visit In Eureka

We missed a huge travel opportunity during the boys Winter Break. While they had three weeks off from school, I was sick with the flu. So any plans we had at the time, went by the wayside. And while we still had a great time at home, it just felt like we really missed the opportunity for some much needed, and lengthy, family travel.

My hope is to make up some of that missed travel throughout the course of the next few months. A series of shorter, weekend trips should do the trick nicely. One thing I've had on my mind is getting the boys on their first flight. For one reason of another, hubby and I have not done a flight with our kids. To be honest, mostly because we as parents and humans who cherish our sanity, were reluctant to fly with small children. But, the boys are older now, and frankly, if we are going to do any kind of travel overseas, I think a shorter flight to get them acclimated was a necessity. So, I researched many nearby destinations. Of course, we looked at Las Vegas and even San Francisco. I looked at Seattle and Eugene, Oregon. Then I discovered a very unique and family-friendly travel destination - Eureka, California.

Eureka, California is the ideal destination for a family vacation. Situated on the northern coast of California, Eureka offers breathtaking scenery, a unique history, and plenty of fun activities for all ages. From awe-inspiring redwood forests to historic lighthouses, from beautiful beaches to intriguing museums, there's something for everyone in Eureka. Whether you're looking for an adventure-filled day or a relaxing getaway, Eureka is truly the perfect place for a family vacation.

About Eureka, CA

The city of Eureka, California is a hidden gem located in Humboldt County. Nestled between stunning redwood forests aka the "Redwood Curtain" and the ruggedly beautiful Pacific Ocean, the city is known for its unique Victorian architecture, art galleries, independent businesses, and incredibly diverse cultural landscape, which is at the top of my list when looking at destinations to travel to with my culturally diverse family.

The natural beauty surrounding Eureka is enough to make any traveler swoon – from its miles of pristine coastline and secluded beaches to its majestic redwood forests, to its rolling hills and lush vegetation. There are plenty of outdoor activities available for those who love exploring nature, including kayaking, hiking, and birdwatching.

The city itself is home to a vibrant community of artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and makers of all kinds. There are plenty of opportunities to explore art galleries, peruse shops with locally made goods, and enjoy eclectic restaurants and cafes. And if you’re looking for a fun "parents only" night out, there are plenty of bars, pubs, and live music venues to choose from.

Eureka is truly a unique destination that has something for everyone – from the adventurer in search of untouched nature to the culture enthusiast interested in local art and cuisine. With its rich history and stunning natural beauty, this hidden gem is the perfect place for a family getaway.

What to do

1. Visit the Sequoia Park Zoo, the oldest accredited zoo in California. Home to over 50 species of animals, this zoo is a great place to explore and learn about wildlife with your kids. There’s also a barn, where they can get up close and personal with some of the animals.

Sequoia Park Zoo Family Friendly Visit Eureka California
Sequoia Park Zoo

2. Stroll or skip up the Redwood Sky Walk, a beautiful walkway of suspended bridges located 100 ft up the trees.

Check out the video HERE

Redwood Sky Walk Eureka California
Redwood Sky Walk

3. Explore the Redwood Discovery Museum. Designed for children aged three to eight, this interactive museum is full of hands-on activities that let kids explore science, art, and history in an engaging way.

Check out video HERE

Redwood Discovery Museum Children's Museum Eureka California
Redwood Discovery Museum

4. Spend a day at the beach. Whether it’s building sandcastles, searching for sea creatures, or just soaking up the sunshine, there’s nothing better than a day spent at the beach. The sandy shores of Samoa Beach are perfect for a family outing.

Check out the video HERE

Samoa Beach Eureka California
Samoa Beach Eureka California

5. Take a hike through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. With more than 53,000 acres of ancient redwood groves, this park offers plenty of opportunities to explore the natural world with your kids.

6. Visit the Blue Ox Millworks Historic Park and take a tour. Kids will love watching the carpenters and blacksmiths at work, and adults will enjoy learning about how these trades have shaped our culture over time. Make sure to watch "The Carpenter" on Magnolia Network and Discovery + to get acquainted with Eric Hollenbeck and company, prior to visiting the Blue Ox Millworks.

Check out the video HERE

Blue Ox Mill, Eureka California, Eric Hollenbeck, The Craftsman, Magnolia Network, Discovery Plus
Blue Ox Mill Tour

7. Check out the Old Town district for shopping and dining. Kids and parents alike will love perusing the small shops and stopping for a bite to eat at one of the many cafes or restaurants in this quaint neighborhood.

Old Town Eureka California
Old Town Eureka

Where to stay

There are many wonderful lodging option in Eureka, CA, but our favorite is the Best Western Plus Humboldt Bay Inn. We love the modern updated rooms and suites. The grotto pool and hot tub are gorgeous and the perfect place to relax and unwind as a family. With it's tiki style torches and relaxing music, it is the ideal setting after a day of exploring.

Check out the suite tour HERE

Best Western Plus Humboldt Bay Inn - King Suite
Best Western Plus Humboldt Bay Inn - King Suite

The one bedroom King suite was the way to go for our family. We enjoyed the cozy electric fireplaces, and that steam shower was a Godsend after a day full of fun.

Every room comes equipped with a microwave, a refrigerator and a Keurig with a substantial variety of coffee and creamer options.

Need a little more in the morning? The lobby has a luxurious cafe machine full of tantalizing coffee and espresso options. Available all day.

Continental breakfast is served at this hotel daily between the hours of 7am and 10am.

Check out the breakfast video HERE

Best Western Plus Humboldt Bay Inn Limo Service

Did I mention that this particular hotel has a complimentary limo service to take you to and from dinner? This was the boy's first limousine experience and they cannot stop raving about how cool it was. I have to add that this service is a lifesaver when traveling without a rental vehicle.

And while at this beautiful hotel, one of the kids was so enticed by the grotto, he begged to go swimming in the rain. And while this went against all of my motherly instincts, one of the grounds keepers told me that the grotto hot tub is a toasty 102 degrees and the pool is a steady 85 degrees.

This really put me at east and I was able to make one of my boy's dreams come true. A warm swim in the tropical hot tub, while his baby brother and I cozied up by a warm fire.

Princeton even met some new friends at the pool and played a fun game of basketball with them, as the pool has a "pool hoop".

It was the perfect afternoon spent realizing a dream and socializing with new friends.

Best Western Plus Humboldt Bay Inn Grotto Hot Tub
Best Western Plus Humboldt Bay Inn Grotto Hot Tub

I cannot end without mentioning the Best Western Humboldt Bay Inn's incredible management and staff. It has been a long time since I have experience such kind, authentic human beings. They know you by name, then stop to chat and point you in the right direction, and genuinely care about your experience. Above all else, I value the human element.

Tips for families traveling with kids

Avelo Airlines - The Best Family Friendly Airline
Avelo Airlines - The Best Family Friendly Airline

1. For our flight to Eureka, our kid's first flight, we flew Avelo Airlines. It was the right fit for us because they travel to and from smaller, more convenient airports, providing a smoother, more caring travel experience. Less time at the airport and up in the sky means we get to spend more time at the destination.

2. If flying, bring the kids favorite snacks. Enough to last the length of the flight. Make them exciting and ration them out throughout the flight rather than offer them all at once. This will keep them engaged, excited, and give them something to look forward to.

3. Download their favorite shows and games ahead of time to keep them occupied during any downtimes.

4. Bring a book to get their daily reading done.

5. For those who like to draw and color, bring coloring books and pencils.

6. Pack a few card games such as UNO or War, to keep the little ones entertained.

On our one hour and twenty minute flight from Los Angeles to Eureka, we brought a few of the kid's favorite snacks, their phones with movie and show downloads, and a few packs of Pokemon cards to open once the plane was off the ground. The packs gave them something to look forward to and took their minds off of the unknown. It worked like a charm and we had a successful first flight.

For more Northern California adventures, check out Monica Plus 2



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