Giant Redwoods once grew densely on the Russian River floodplain and along the coastal bluffs north to Oregon. From the 1850s on, the trees were cut and shipped to San Francisco on small sailing schooners from tiny ports known as "dog holes." Because storms on the North Coast were too fierce to allow long piers to survive, ships had to be loaded by more creative means. The schooners were only as good as the skipper, most of whom were of Scandinavian Vikings. Unfazed by anything that the California coast had to offer.
The Sonoma Coast is of scenic, surf splashed headlands, sandy beaches, and quiet coves that can be surprisingly lonely. Away from the sea, lovely valleys hide foggy redwood dwell and sunny vineyards. Highlights to visit are Jenner, Russian River, and Fort Ross.