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Pacific Coast
A car drives through the Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree in Leggett California in 1941.
The Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree in 1941. Photo © TigerPaw2154 licensed CC-BY-SA 3.0.

No longer even a proverbial wide spot in the road since the US-101 freeway was diverted around it, Leggett marks the southern end of the Humboldt redwoods. At the south end of “town,” a mile from the US-101/Hwy-1 junction along the old highway, stands one of the redwood region’s most venerable and worthwhile roadside attractions, the “original” Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree (daily dawn-dusk, $5). In addition to the famous tree, which had the six-foot, nine-inch tunnel cut through it in the 1930s, there’s an above-average gift shop with a broad range of books, postcards, and schlocky souvenirs.

Nearby, the 14-acre grounds of Big Bend Lodge (707/925-2440, summer only, $189) has nine quaint riverfront cabins, perfect for lazy days floating, swimming, or fishing.

South of Leggett, US-101 runs inland, racing toward San Francisco, while scenic Hwy-1 cuts west over the coastal mountains to Mendocino, winding slowly south along the Pacific.

Northern California Travel Map

Map of Pacific Coast through Northern California.
Map of Pacific Coast through Northern California.

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