Yesterday, Conde’ Nast Traveler, a luxurious journey journal, posted a sparkling review of the gorgeous and sparsely occupied North Coast. “These empty landscapes aren’t just a bonus during our era of COVID-19, but also an antidote to the kind of Instagram-driven travel where every stellar view or destination restaurant seems overcrowded and overhyped,” they raved. “This is not Big Sur, which can feel like a Hollywood playground, or the coast of Marin or Sonoma County, where techies flock to keep it real, but a more gothic version of sunny, coastal California.”
The writer cherished
- The Avenue of the Giants: The writer rhapsodized, “The trees grow so close to the sides of this narrow, two-lane road and extend so high into the sky that it’s like driving through a wood-paneled tunnel.”
- The seashores: “Otis said migrating whales come up right to the cliffs—so close that his wife, Sally, who also works for the inn, claims she has smelled whale breath. When a storm is coming, they send notices out to all the guests and employees, and everyone gathers in the lodge with a glass of whiskey to watch the waves crash all the way up and over the cliff’s edge.”
- The meals: “[In Anderson Valley] I ate one of the best meals of my life: shaved matsutake and yuzu persimmon salad, baby artichoke soup with fermented mushrooms, pork belly with lemongrass and turnips, pecan shortbread that was almost savory.”
- And, after all, the marijuana. The writer quipped, “I bought a THC bath bomb that was so effective at chilling me out that I spent five minutes after my soak looking for my glasses until I realized they were still on my face.”
- But the very best accolade was for–not simply the redwoods as an entire however one explicit one–Ilúvatar. “It was like standing in front of a living skyscraper, so grand it’s scary…Ilúvatar and the redwoods were like so many of the delights in this part of the state: hiding in plain sight. They’re there for anyone who is willing to put in a little effort.”
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