Local Area Attractions
Benbow KOA is located in the scenic Benbow Valley, 200 miles north of San Francisco on highway 101 off exit 636. The park is situated near the giant redwoods on the East Branch of the Eel River, and only 10 minutes south of the entrance to the Avenue of the Giants. Nearby are the towns of Garberville and Redway where campers have easy access to shopping, dining, gas, banking and medical services. A short walking path from Benbow KOA leads campers to Benbow Historic Inn, a beautiful 55-room luxury hotel, fine dining restaurant and lounge. The Inn is affiliated with Historic Hotels of America and is listed in the Register of Historic Places. Opened in 1926, Benbow Historic Inn is open 365 days a year and features outdoor dining in the summer that is enhanced by an outdoor summer music series under the stars that runs from mid June through the end of September. Benbow KOA and Benbow Historic Inn are owned by the same Partnership.
Benbow KOA - Gateway to Avenue of the Giants
The living museum of the world's largest trees begins 6 miles north of Benbow KOA. This 31-mile scenic drive parallels Highway 101. Stop at Rockefeller Forest along the south fork of the Eel River to see Big Tree, Tall Tree and Flat Iron Tree. In Myers Flat you'll find the famous Drive Thru Tree. Just up the road is the Humboldt Redwood State Park Visitor Center.
The Victorian Village of Ferndale
The best-preserved Victorian Village in California is located about fifty minutes north of Benbow KOA. This colorful town is filled with antique stores, art galleries and shops. This town is also a favorite film location; most recently "Outbreak" and "The Majestic" was filmed there. Ferndale is also home to the Humboldt County Fair, featuring horse racing August 21st - 30th.
Just 6 short miles south of Benbow KOA, past some colorful redwood curio shops, you'll find Richardson Grove State Park, with trails along the Eel River winding gently through beautiful, magestic redwood stands. This scenic California State Park has hiking trails and a visitors center. The Park Entrance fee is $8.00.
The Quaint Towns of Garberville and Redway
Benbow KOA is located in picturesque Benbow Valley. Garberville, 3 miles north of Benbow KOA, has unique shops, restaurants, banks, art galleries, a hospital, the Garberville Theater, library, Rays Market, gas stations, churches and the Farmer's Market in the summer. Redway is 2 miles west of Garberville on the road to the Lost Coast, Shelter Cove and the King Range. Redway has a few stores, gas stations, restaurants and is home to the Mateel Community Center, a multi-use venue featuring numerous live music performances and theatre productions throughout the year.
Local Area Activities
While visiting Benbow KOA you are in the midst of the beautiful Redwoods and only minutes from the Avenue of Giants. There are many activities to do in the Benbow area and be sure to check out The Historic Benbow Inn.
"River fun in the mountain sun" is how this community on the scenic Trinity River bills itself, and indeed a popular pastime is whitewater rafting. There's much more to do, including backcountry auto tours through Six Rivers National Forest, wine-tasting and farm stands and visiting the China Flat-Bigfoot Museum with the world's largest collection of Bigfoot artifacts. The Willow Creek area is in fact ground zero for Bigfoot sightings.
The Arcata Plaza is a lively center of commerce and recreation. You'll find fantastic dining and unique shopping on the Plaza's borders. On May to October Saturdays, a wonderful Farmer's Market with live entertainment takes place. Sample the arts with Arts Arcata on the second Friday of each month. Find visitor information and fun shops in the Jacoby Storehouse on the plaza.
Redwood Scenic Parkway
This 10-mile scenic alternative to Hwy. 101 takes just a few more minutes and avoids the steep grades of the park bypass. From the north, exit at Newton Drury/Elk Prairie. Stop at intriguing trailheads and wander among the giants. Near the Elk Prairie visitor center, stop and watch the magnificent Roosevelt Elk. Bring binoculars and don't get too close...these are WILD animals!!
The "friendly city" is a great hub for visiting avenue of the Giants and the Eel River Valley towns of Ferndale and Loleta, and hosts several exciting events during the year. The River Lodge conference center offers heather gardens and a scenic walk along the river. On Main Street there's an interesting cluster of antique shops, while in Rohner Park you'll find the Fortuna Depot Museum and beautiful hiking trails through the redwoods.