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Hiking the Redwood Forest in Humboldt, California with Ian Snyder

Best things to do in Humboldt California Ian Snyder redwood national forest Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Redwood National Forest. Image by David Mark from Pixabay

I’m really excited to interview Ian Snyder of Family Flys Free about Humboldt, California. Ian’s tips for the best things to do in Humboldt are awesome because he’s lived in the area since he was five years old. He loves how rural the area is, the lack of traffic, and the natural beauty of the redwoods. In Ferndale, where he lives, Ian loves the historic Victorian buildings and the community feel.

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Best things to do in Humboldt California Ian Snyder main street Ferndale

Ian lives in Ferndale, where the main street is filled with Victorian-style buildings.

Humboldt, California

Humboldt is a small county in Northern California that borders the ocean on one side and Redwood National Park on the other. It is about 270 miles north of San Francisco and it is due west of Redding, California. The county’s largest cities are Eureka, Arcata, and Fortuna. Most visitors come to explore the majestic redwoods and fall in love with the small communities.

Temperatures along the coast rarely break into the 80’s, so be sure to bring a sweater, even during the summer. Ian says that the best month to visit is September, after the summer peak season for camping has passed. Ferndale holds an annual Bargain Lover’s Weekend on the 3rd weekend in September each year. You’ll find more than 100 different locations offering everything from antiques, collectibles, tools, toys, and more at participating locations.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Visit Ferndale, the local convention and visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Humboldt California Ian Snyder beach near Trinidad

At the beach near the seaside city of Trinidad with family.

Getting around Humboldt

The local airport is California Redwood Coast – Humboldt County Airport (ACF), which is about a 40-minute drive to the National Parks. This is a small airport that only serves United. Ian says in many cases it is better to fly into Sacramento International Airport (SMF) or another airport in the Bay Area and drive to Humboldt.

Ian says that you must absolutely rent a car when visiting Humboldt. To rent a car, click here for the best offers from Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

Uber and Lyft exist, but they can be unreliable since the area is not a high-traffic tourist area. And public transportation is not designed to meet the needs of tourists.

Best things to do in Humboldt California Ian Snyder hiking Fern Canyon

Hiking in Fern Canyon with family

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Ian Snyder about Humboldt, California. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Humboldt, California
  • Green dots = best things to do in Humboldt, California
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Humboldt, California

Who is Ian Snyder?

Ian Snyder is an environmental consultant by day and travel blogger by night. He moved to the Humboldt region with his parents when he was five years old and loves the area’s natural beauty. You’ll often find Ian and his family hiking the local trails and exploring nature.

Ian launched his travel blog, Family Flys Free, with Boarding Area’s Travel Update website to document his family’s travel and to share tips with readers. He’s also an expert in Delta Air Lines mileage runs and specializes in booking award flights on the airline.

Best things to do in Humboldt California Ian Snyder with his son

Ian with his son while exploring the forest

Here are a few articles that he’s written:

You can connect with Ian at his website and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Big thanks to today’s affiliate partner – AwardWallet

This episode is brought to you, in part, by AwardWallet. Using airline miles and hotel points makes travel affordable, but keeping track of all of those loyalty programs can be a challenge.

That’s why I use AwardWallet to track my miles and points balances, reservations, and special goodies like free hotel night certifications and airline companion passes.

Having everything in one easy to use dashboard helps ensure I don’t let any rewards expire and makes logging into my accounts super easy. Go to to start your free account.

Best things to do in Humboldt California Ian Snyder overlooking Ferndale

Overlooking the city of Ferndale, where Ian lives.

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Castries St Lucia Keiwa Simpson flower dressListen to the next episode when Keiwa Simpson of Discover St. Lucia Tours shares the best things to do in Castries, St. Lucia. Keiwa and I talk about the Basilica of Immaculate Conception, spending a day at Vigie Beach, and exploring the twin volcanoes at Soufriere. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Humboldt, California? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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Related episodes

To learn more about California cities, listen to these other episodes:


  1. Really enjoyed your trip through the redwoods, Ian. Should you or your readers be interested in additional info, including trail suggestions and top tree locations, check out