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Overview

The moniker "Lost Coast" is not a metaphor. This remote stretch of California is the most undeveloped part of the coast, making it an alluring travel destination for those savvy travelers itching to find the next great place before everyone else arrives. Unfortunately, if you are hunting for posh spas, a gazillion thread count bedding, and the type of restaurants that put Northern California on the foodie radar, you will be disappointed. The Lost Coast, with its rugged rock formations, active brown bear population, frigid waters (albeit with one of California's best — and logically its most hidden — surf breaks) and hairpin roads, has not ...

The moniker "Lost Coast" is not a metaphor. This remote stretch of California is the most undeveloped part of the coast, making it an alluring travel destination for those savvy travelers itching to find the next great place before everyone else arrives. Unfortunately, if you are hunting for posh spas, a gazillion thread count bedding, and the type of restaurants that put Northern California on the foodie radar, you will be disappointed. The Lost Coast, with its rugged rock formations, active brown bear population, frigid waters (albeit with one of California's best — and logically its most hidden — surf breaks) and hairpin roads, has not risen to the same luxe standards as her sister coastal cities. Rather, while her black sand beaches allure, her fog and wind make her downright unpleasant at times. While her muscular King Mountain Range beckons, its trails and lack of services aren't made for day tripping meanders. Her tiny towns of Shelter Cove, Whitethorn, and Petrolia have few tourist amenities. However, if you are intrigued, still aching for a getaway that truly gets you away — from everything, and that means your mobile phone too — then the Lost Coast (and her majestic shoreline) deserves your attention.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Early fall