Eureka's Carson Mansion has become a go-to template for Halloween haunted houses, but its true season might be the yuletide. See fancy Victorians in their finery around Humboldt County.
YULETIDE YEAR-ROUND: Nope, Humboldt County is not from some picture-packed storybook found on your kid's shelf. It just looks that way, sometimes, what with all of the huge trees and the Victorian manses and funky historic streets and kinetic sculptures and puppets and whimsy and people doin' their thing (something people in practically every other county in existence could take a real lesson from). And the funny deal with a storybooky spot is this: The spot's multiple charms seem even quainter and more like a fairy tale setting come the end of the year. The towns of the NorCal, redwood- and Pacific-snug region do it up come Christmas, that's for dang sure. Nope, we're not tossing around "do it up" in any cavalier way. Look no further than...
THE LIGHTING OF AMERICA'S TALLEST LIVING CHRISTMAS TREE: It's an event name that says it all. Ferndale's the spot, the spruce in question can be found at the end of Main Street, and there shall be other festivities, like the singing of carols and the enjoying of free sweets. Even sweeter, though, is Ferndale. It's one of those historic, naturally ye-olde-y villages that keeps a greeting-card-ian feel all year long. Lucky them; we're envious, indeed. But enough pining (pun intended?) -- the largest tree will be lit on Sun, Dec. 1.
THE TRUCKER PARADE: Many a visitor heads to Eureka to check out the Victorian houses in their seasonal best, and we get why: Several look like they could be found in the picture atop a cookie tin. But definitely plan your northward ho over December's middle weekend, when the Truckers Christmas Parade rolls. Big rigs and small rigs and mondo hulking vehicles get decked out and roll, blinking lights and all, through the city. Parades don't come bigger, at least in the vehicle department. Fun stuff's afoot, and awheel, on Saturday, Dec. 14.