Over the fourth of July this year we traveled to Redwoods National and State parks in Northern California. As we started to research this trip we quickly found that Crescent City shot fireworks off over the ocean near the Battery Point Lighthouse. Living in a landlocked state, this was simply something that we couldn’t pass up and so the trip planning began.
Knowing that we wanted to be in Crescent City on July 4th, we started to build out our itinerary and plans based on that. For a long time, we were doing the loop in the counter-clockwise direction and having a bit of a hard time with some of the scheduling. Once we reversed it to go clockwise everything started to fall into place. This plan had us arriving in the Redwoods on July 2nd and departing July 6th, which in the end was a good amount of time. If we would have had one additional day on the ground giving us four full days to explore we would have had no problem finding stuff to do.
The trees in the forest were amazing! It is hard for pictures to do it justice but there is an amazing feeling when you are amongst these giants. I am sure there is a similar feeling when you travel through Sequoia National Park. The best way to describe it is that you feel small, much like the people would have felt in the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; just without the oversized bugs. From walking through groves to simply driving along U.S. Route 199 you just feel different when you are in areas with these Coastal Redwoods.
Starting off on the fourth, we went into town to catch the local parade. I don’t think any of us had high hopes as back home we have one of the largest parades in the country but we were all pleasantly surprised. The parade had over 100 entries and was a great mix of all the usual suspects and a few entries, like the local logging companies that were a bit unique. They even had an entry for the local Amateur Radio Club.
Following the parade, the big festival kicks off in Beach Front Park. There were a lot of stuff and food vendors and some activity based events like a climbing wall. We were even able to catch some of the artists working on chalk art and Lily even joined in on the fun with a great American Flag (circa January 1788). With all that, fresh kettle corn and live music, what wasn’t to like?
But the main event starts later in the evening. As the festival starts to close (around 6 PM) the fireworks start to come out. While the main draw is the professional firework show shot off near the lighthouse; the real show is all the private fireworks that are shot off in the park and near south beach. Sitting along Battery Street proved to be a great spot to view of fireworks from nearly 360 degrees. This was truly an unforgettable experience that made the entire trip worth it.