Driving north on US-101 thought the rolling hills and dark dense California Redwood forest we stopped in a tiny town called Fortuna for the night (Riverwalk Rv park and Campground http://riverwalkrvpark.com/). While talking to some local residents (thank you Cindy!) we got a great tip that just five miles down the road was an even smaller town that was a delightful Victorian village called Ferndale.
So, the entire town of Ferndale is on the national historic register and was also named in the top 10 most beautiful towns in the USA.
As you turn off of US-101 at the Ferndale exit (of course) you drive through five miles of pastoral land of rolling hills and farmland. Then it appears..a true Victorian town. Time stopped and preserved this little town. Residents love that some of shops close around five or so and perhaps are closed on Sunday. What a great way to raise a family. Old fashioned values exist here! Not only buildings were preserved, but the way things used to be still live here.
The blacksmith shop was outstanding! http://www.ferndaleblacksmith.com/ Everything from jewelry to hooks to sculpture to furniture! All handmade. Amazing! Definitely a must see! Imbibe on some handcrafted chocolate or pie or my favorite espresso and a scone from minds eye coffee shop. Minds eye coffee lounge also serves local honey!
This little town is a break from what you expect in the Redwoods area of Northern California. It is well worth the stop and a very short drive from the 101. They do have truck and RV parking in a special lot at the end of town. Give it a try you will fall in love with the Victorian town of Ferndale!