You might not know a burl from a squirrel when you set off on the 31-mile section of old Highway 101 known as the Avenue of the Giants
, but by the end of the day you'll have learned all about the strange growths and the products crafted from them that are hawked all around the region.
This scenic drive in southern Humboldt County
holds a treasure trove of wonderfully kitschy roadside attractions
, gift shops and cabin motels
established back when middle-class Americans were just acquiring cars and beginning to travel. It's also surrounded by magnificent Humboldt Redwoods
State Park and other tracts containing old-growth trees that will make your spine tingle with wonder and leave you feeling smaller than an ant.
One dog-friendly tourist attraction you don’t want to miss is the 315-foot-high Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree Park
, a 1930s-era roadside icon in Leggett surrounded by a 250-acre redwood wilderness area open for dog-friendly hiking and picnics. In Myers Flat, the 275-foot Shrine Drive-Thru Tree
boasts the added attraction (for kids) of a two-story treehouse, a walk-through stump and a fallen tree you can drive your vehicle on—all for a photo op, of course..
Who knows, after a trip down the Avenue of the Giants, you might even come back with a redwood burl clock to hang on the wall above Rover's bed (as if he doesn’t know when it’s time for a walk).