California’s Redwood Coast named top US destination for 2018

Lonely Planet’s experts selected the region rich in natural wonders number one in their top 10 locations in the United States

Being home to the tallest trees in the world and miles of unbroken dunes around the Pacific coastline, it’s no wonder California‘s Redwood Coast dominated Lonely Planet’s choice of best U.S. places to visit in 2018.

Redwood National Park is home to world's highest trees — Shutterstock california lonely planet
Redwood National Park is home to world’s highest trees — Shutterstock


The travel magazine described the area between Crescent City and Humboldt County as “an often overlooked region — even within California — but a vast and varied experience every traveller should have.

“Movie buffs might recognize the region’s scene-stealing backdrops from Hollywood blockbusters like Jurassic Park, E.T. and Star Wars. But the full wonder of California’s 2000-year-old redwoods – some reaching 20 stories high – is impossible to capture on any screen,” Lonely Planet said.

The magazine selected the most exciting destinations with the help of researchers, editors, contributors and locals — in the case of the Redwood Coast those locals include the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau.

In a press release, the bureau’s Tony Smithers says: “This is a huge endorsement from one of the world’s top travel brands … We’ve always known that the Redwood Coast is one of the most special places on Earth. We’re honoured and glad to see that Lonely Planet and others are starting to see it too.”

Spirited arts community, an explosion of award-winning wineries and craft breweries brought Boise in Idaho second place in the ranking — Shutterstock california, lonely planet, redwood
Spirited arts community, an explosion of award-winning wineries and craft breweries brought Boise in Idaho second place in the ranking — Shutterstock


Second place in the nationwide ranking went to Boise, Idaho, which the magazine characterises as: “home to a spirited arts community, an explosion of award-winning wineries and craft breweries and a socially responsible shopping district”.

The third location, Chattanooga in Tennessee, attracted the attention of the jury “for some of the best rock climbing in the country, myriad hiking and mountain biking trails and wild rides on the Ocoee River – one of America’s top spots for whitewater rafting,” Lonely Planet said.

Top 10 underrated, rejuvenated and out-of-this-world spots in the US by Lonely Planet:

  1. California’s Redwood Coast – “Lose all track of time (and cell signal)”
  2. Boise, Idaho – “What cool looks like before the rest of the world has figured it out”
  3. Chattanooga, Tennessee – “Meet the New South!”
  4. Florida’s Space Coast – “Get a taste of outer space on earth”
  5. Cincinnati, Ohio – “A new chapter for the city’s artistic icons”
  6. Midcoast, Maine – “One word says it all: ‘Ayuh’”
  7. Richmond, Virginia – “Flipped from humdrum to happening”
  8. Kentucky Bourbon Country – “The state’s distilling heritage runs deep”
  9. Minneapolis, Minnesota – “In the spotlight for this year’s Super Bowl”
  10. Southeastern Utah – “Quintessential Americana road-trip country”