Humboldt Redwoods Elopement Photographer | Northern California Road trip | Adventure Elopement Photography
A few weeks back I flew out to San Fransisco for adventure sessions in Big Sur and in the Humboldt Redwoods, and I decided to extend my trip by a few days to adventure through Northern California on a mini road trip, enjoying myself, and of course, always scouting for elopements ;)
My Big Sur part of the trip will be up in a later post - but I drove 7 hours from Big Sur to Humboldt county to shoot in the Redwoods the next day. After that shoot (so good, so fun, you’ll also be seeing that soon), I drove up to my first stop, Arcata. I stayed in the COOLEST airbnb. The room itself was nice, but the coolest part was the outdoor clawfoot bath tubs they had, and yes - I booked this place and went an hour out of my original plan just to stay here. But SO worth it - I soaked in them the night and the morning I was there and it was nothing short of freakin magical.
Just slightly north of Arcata is the cute little town of Trinidad and Patricks Point State Park. Unfortunately I didn’t get many photos here (my lenses had internally fogged up and I was freaking out that all my gear was ruined for good while I was in Trinidad - but good news, it’s fine now). However, I did spend the morning in Trinidad and it was adorable. I had lunch at the restaurant down by the fisherman wharf and the friendliest host in there told me to check out a hike right next to it, so I did that! On my drive back to Arcata I took the scenic drive and stopped about every .5 miles at another overlook or beach - this area is gorgeous and you could definitely spend a few days there.
I spent the afternoon in Arcata, which is a pretty neat place too. I was there once before on the road trip I did with two friends about 2 years ago down the west coast, and we liked it then but honestly were a little freaked out by it that trip. This time around I had a much better experience, and while it’s definitely hippy + eccentric, it’s cool. There are some great little shops you can spend an afternoon cruising. I headed back towards Trinidad to catch the sunset (west coast sunsets never disappoint) and watch some surfers catch the last waves of the day before ordering some Thai food and heading to soak in my sick outdoor tubs.
The next day I slowly made my way down to Mendocino, stopping back in the Redwoods to cruise them one more time, and then continuing down towards the coast. Highway 1 is literally like 90 minutes of a crazy winding one lane road that looks like it should be a backroad, curving through redwoods upon redwoods, until it randomly breaks into a gorgeous scene of coastline that crashes on for as far as you can see.
I took my time cruising through the coast, stopping at this beach in Fort Bragg that’s filled with a ridiculous amount of sea glass - pretty neat! I spent about 2 hours cruising the trails before heading into Mendocino and checking into my new Airbnb. A super cute Victorian Farm just across the street from the ocean. Mendocino and the surrounding little towns is CUTEEEE. Real cute. So many little inn’s and b+b’s, a very slow and relaxed pace, and barely any people (compared to the rest of California). It was a super relaxing little town. I headed out to see my last sunset on the beach, and then made my way back to my airbnb.
My last morning I woke up extra early to make sure I had enough time to cruise the town of Mendocino and hike the Headlands State Park. I headed into town, ate breakfast at Good Life Cafe, and then proceeded to explore the shops before finding out that most of them didn’t open until about 11 or 12. It was 9 - oops! I headed to Mendocino Headlands State Park and walked the trails, took in the coastline, saw some whales in the distance, and got mega inspired. Crazy how beautiful places will do that to me. Around noon I headed into Mendocino to cruise the shops before heading down to Vallejo.
I went to Vallejo to see my cousin and his sweet family before heading out the next day, but I stopped at ZO winery on my way down for a sensory wine tasting experience. I was the last tour of the day, so I had a private tour with Tyler, the fabulous guide there learning all about wine and failing to properly smell them. If you’re heading through the Sonoma valley I’d highly recommend swinging by for a tasting, or staying the night (they’re a farmstay too!).
Northern California is a super special place - minimal crowds, jagged coastline, blue raspberry water, precious coastal towns, golden sunsets, redwood groves wherever you look, and an inspiring atmosphere that makes you want to slow down and enjoy the little things in life.