Highway 101. The Redwoods. The Pacific Ocean. The mountains. It’s certainly not rocket science as to why we’d swing through Humboldt County and the Redwood Empire in California. Although, I’d be lying if I said we had our sights set on a stay in Eureka.
The county seat of Humboldt, this town with around 30,000 denizens acts as the coastal star of the region, with its striking Victorian architecture and quaint boardwalk, among other things. We ended up there because it was the perfect distance between our previous stop in Coos Bay, Oregon, and our next stop in the Bay Area.
And so it was that we booked our stay at the Red Lion Hotel in Eureka, California.
The lovely people at Red Lion Hotels are a supporter of our “Fabric of America” tour. They covered our stay, and we’re writing about it in return. This journey would not be possible without them (and you). Read about their support right here.
In case you haven’t read about our tour: You can read about it here, read about sponsorships here, and support our project yourself right here.
Rolling down from Oregon, we saw plenty of jaw-droppers along the famed California coast. Cliffs and coves and bridges dotted every turn as we dodged RVs and their passengers along the route.
Nearing Eureka, we climbed higher and higher, eventually overtaken by a fog we’d come to know well during our few days in Eureka. Seeing the Redwoods with this blanket of white is a sight to behold, as if we were in some sort of fantasy or horror film.
Despite the fact that we sat still in several construction zones during the busiest travel time of year, we didn’t lose our resolve and eventually made it to Eureka. Checking in on a busy day, we were greeted by Henry, whose voice sounds like it belongs in the most famous of operettas.
While the hotel does have quite a few balcony rooms, these were unfortunately all booked up and we were relegated to the comforts of a regular king room. Aww, poor us. Haha.
Walking in, we were greeted with a huge amount of space for one hotel room. Much more than you’d normally expect.
Plush king bed? Check. Red Lion does it right with their sleeping amenities, there’s no doubt about that.
Ang once again got her large workspace, complete with office chair and fancy lamp.
And also once again, I was relegated to the alternate seating arrangement. A couch! Fine by me. Although, I do question why there’s no coffee table or something, considering how much free space this room had. No desk top for me, but I did get to kick it on the couch.
Some hotels have single-cup coffee makers, the kind that probably haven’t been cleaned in who-knows-how-long. Red Lion usually has a real coffee maker. Sometimes a Keurig. We were blessed with a real coffee maker here, which allowed us to brew our rocket-fuel espresso all day, every day.
As is also the norm with Red Lion, the dresser/cabinet setup featured a flat-screen TV, microwave, and refrigerator. We tend not to use drawers for short stays, but they’re there for you if you feel like unpacking.
Like many other Red Lion properties, the Eureka one has the dual vanities we’ve come to admire. One inside the bathroom and one outside, so as not to make anyone wait. For a sink, anyway!
After unwinding and working for a bit, we decided to snoop around the hotel and see what was on offer. The property features a mix of walking up and walking down, as the hotel has multiple floors as well as middle floors in between those floors. (Got that?)
Strolling down the corridor, we found the fitness room where people were practicing being in better shape than us. We certainly like the fact that this area also includes free weights, something you unfortunately don’t find too often.
The pool straddles the outside wall of the front of the hotel, which is a good thing considering it’s never hot here, and almost never sunny.
In fact, the pool is heated. Yessir. It has to be, considering what I said above is by no means in the same ballpark as a joke.
The seating areas are nice too, foregoing cheap plastic furniture for some nice duds.
Back inside, there’s a popular restaurant and bar that hosts karaoke every weekend. We dodged the singing bullet, but The Pacific Grill and R.J. Grin’s Lounge are clearly popular with more than just guests as we saw plenty of locals rolling through for some action.
We kicked it room-service style, with some delicious fried treats that helped us reload on carbs from all the wandering and strolling we did while in Humboldt. 🙂
Of course, we balanced our fried dishes with some guilt-freeing salads!
It’s also just across the street from a crazy-good Cambodian restaurant that serves up authentic curries and more. We chose the take-out route, but they have a dining room and a full bar if you’re looking to stay and eat.
Being right on the edge of downtown also gave us easy access to all the local Victorian history, including this ridiculousness.
In addition, it provided the perfect base camp with which to explore the surrounding area, including the Redwoods, the Lost Coast, and more; although, we’ll get to that in extreme detail in our rundown of the region.
By this time, we’re used to Red Lion and we know what to expect. Even though properties are locally-focused, they all maintain the same standards that keep your sleep comfortable and amenities close at hand.
The Eureka property is no exception. Misty, Henry, and the gang at the front desk do their best to keep a busy hotel ticking and ensure everyone’s comfort, all while maintaining the presence to deal with our shenanigans and feed us with recommendations.
Even though weather in this region is questionable at best, there is quite a bit to do – and plenty you must see! – and this is the perfect place to stay. Another winner from the fine folks at Red Lion, who run things so seamlessly on the outside that it appears they are all guided by clockworks.
Next time you’re thinking of heading to Cali, take some time off from the paths well-traveled and head up to the Red Lion Hotel in Eureka for a few days and experience what the region has to offer.
- Location: Just north of downtown Eureka, directly on U.S. 101.
- Clientele: Great for families and business travelers alike.
- Technology: Fast wi-fi, free for an unlimited number of devices.
- Beds: Excellent and plush. Lots of pillows. No problem sleeping for the easy-sleeper and the insomniac.
- Rooms: Huge, nearly too large. Some rooms have balconies.
- Amenities: Cable TV, wi-fi, telephone, desk with a proper office chair, couch, end tables, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, restaurant, outdoor pool, coin laundry.
- Bathroom: Plenty of eco-friendly soaps and lotions by Pure, good shower with plenty of hot water and fancy shower heads.
- Dining: Breakfast is unfortunately not included. The Pacific Grill serves breakfast in its space and via room service. R.J. Grin’s Lounge is a full-service bar.
- Staff: Henry, Misty, and the rest of the crew are wonderful. Very helpful with recommendations and putting up with us.
- Cleanliness: Rooms are very clean. Property kept clean 24/7, inside and out.
- Distractions: Heated outdoor pool, pool tables in the bar, fitness center, easy access to downtown Eureka and the surrounding area.
- Attractions: Historic downtown Eureka, Lost Coast, Avenue of the Giants, Redwoods National and State Parks, Ferndale, Humboldt Bay Tourism Center & Oyster Bar, Victorian architecture, Eureka boardwalk.
- Snacks & Such: Vending machines, small on-site convenience store, plenty of delivery and room-service options.
- Value: Superb for a mid-scale hotel. Highly recommended.
The Red Lion Hotel in Eureka, California, is located here:
1929 Fourth St.
Eureka, CA 95501
Tel: +1 (707) 445-0844
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Have you ever been to Eureka, California, or stayed at this Red Lion? Any thoughts about Red Lion overall? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!