Give the Gift of a Travel Experience: 13 Best Travel Gift Experiences in Del Norte County, California

Looking for a last minute holiday gift or struggling to find the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop for person or an entire family? We’ve pulled together a list of 13 gift ideas filled with favorite vacation activities, attractions and adventures from Del Norte County, California. All these suggestions make for a perfect gift anytime of year.

From Redwood National Park forest and Crescent City whale watching tours to whitewater rafting and redwood canoe tours, these gift ideas will provide lasting memories that keep on giving for years to come. 

1.   GO WHALE WATCHING AND CRABBING (AND WINE DRINKING!) FROM CRESCENT CITY

Reserve a whale watching, crabbing or guided fishing trip by boat from the Harbor in Crescent City, California. Contact Stella’s Adventures and Crescent City Fishing Charters for gift certificates. Stella’s Adventures has amazing luck at getting you up close to all kinds of whales: blue, orca, humpbacks and gray whales!

Feel like just going for a sunset boat tour around the scenic harbor and lighthouse area? Consider gifting a Tip Sea Tour Stella’s Adventures where you’ll enjoy gourmet appetizers, beer and wine, plus some of Stella’s famous cheesecake bites (you can also go to Port O’ Pints and order her delish cheescake by the slice!). 

A big whale tail coming out the water and splashing from a whale watching tour with Stella's Adventures

2.   CAMP UNDER THE STARS IN DEL NORTE COUNTY

Give a fun-filled camping weekend in a redwood forest or along a Pacific Ocean beach. Give the gift of reserving a campsite at one of Del Norte County’s campgrounds like Florence Keller Regional Park, a 26-acre park with 50 sites (including one hook-up site for an RV) surrounded by trails under tall redwood trees. Dogs are also welcome here. Speaking of dog-friendly camping and RV sites, Lighthouse Cove RV Park offers a beachside camping experience for both RVers and tent campers just a few steps from the sand and downtown Crescent City restaurants and attractions. For a Redwood National Parks camping experience, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park RV and tent camping sites are located across the street from the sparkling Smith River. Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, also part of the Redwood National Parks, offers 144 sites 7-miles south of Crescent City on the way to Klamath, California.

A Trail that Goes Across a Stream Bed in Florence Keller Regional Park in Del Norte County, California

One of the trails in Florence Keller Regional Park and Campground in Del Norte County

3.   GIVE A NOSTALGIC THEME PARK EXPERIENCE AT TREES OF MYSTERY IN KLAMATH

Let them relive their childhood days (and share it with the new generation) at the nearly 77 year-old Trees of Mystery park in Klamath, California. From a thrilling Redwood Canopy Tour walk through the tops of redwood trees to redwood-filled outdoor trails with interactive and “talking” displays, and a gondola ride with spectacular views of the ocean, you’ll want to spend an entire day here. Be sure to stop in for homemade fudge, an ice cream cone or peruse their huge gift shop for a one-of-kind memento. 

4.   VISIT AN AQUARIUM FILLED WITH SEA LIONS AND SHARKS IN CRESCENT CITY

Pet a shark or watch playful sea lions at Ocean World Aquarium in Crescent City. This aquarium shows off some of our resident sea life found in the water off the California coastline. Pair this experience with a tidepooling tour with Redwood Sightseeing Tours for memorable sea life encounters. 

A sea lion slides down a slide at the Ocean World Aquarium in Crescent City, California

5.    WHITEWATER RAFT THE SMITH RIVER FOR CALIFORNIA’S BEST SPRING WHITEWATER RAFTING EXPERIENCE

Whitewater raft, float or go kayaking down the Smith River, one of the cleanest rivers in the United States and the entire world. Redwood Rides has plenty of guided tours for all-ages and skill levels and even rentals for those who prefer to ride the river solo. 

A young boy kayaks down the Smith River in California near Crescent City, California

Even a kid can do it! Kayaking down the Middle Fork of the Smith River is made for all ages.

6.    A NATIVE REDWOOD CANOE TOUR EXPERIENCE IN KLAMATH

Treat them to a history lesson with wildlife viewing on the water with a Redwood Canoe Tour. Get paddled around the scenic Klamath River in a hand carved dugout canoe by a native Yurok naturalist guide and learn about the lives of the Yurok people who have inhabited this area for over 10,000 years. 

A group of people are in a redwood canoe taking a tour with a Yurok native guide.

7.  EXHILARATING HIGH-SPEED JET BOAT TOURS ON THE KLAMATH RIVER

For thrills, spills and splashes, reserve a Klamath Jet Boat Tour. This boat tour leaves the banks of the Klamath River multiple times per day during the summer months and transitions between high and low speeds. You’ll get a little bit of bird watching, wildlife watching, history and some thrilling donuts on the water!

8. SURF LESSONS AT SOUTH BEACH IN CRESCENT CITY

Try a surf lesson at a beginner surfing beach. Local Boys Surf & Skate Shop also offers surfboard and boogie board rentals and wetsuits for the brisk ocean water.

9. KAYAK OUT TO CASTLE ROCK TO SEE SEA LIONS AND WHALES FROM CRESCENT CITY

See sea life and whales at Castle Rock. Enjoy a short, guided kayak tour around this protected national wildlife refuge located only a half mile from shore. Both bird and marine mammal lovers will enjoy this unique wildlife experience from Redwood Rides. No kayaking experience is needed.

Kayaking around Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge in Crescent City, California

Sea kayaking out to see wildlife to Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge from Crescent City’s Pebble Beach

10. GET A GUIDED TOUR ALONG HOWLAND HILL ROAD, ONE OF THE MOST SCENIC ROADS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Get chauffeured or bike your way along the scenic redwood-lined Howland Hill Road.  Redwood Sightseeing Tours offers everything from a private picnic in the redwoods to a “wake up and smell the redwoods” tour. If you prefer to pedal, try a leisurely guided mountain bike tour with Redwood Rides that include stops to learn about the local flora and fauna.

11. STAY ON A WORKING DAIRY FARM IN AN UPDATED VINTAGE TRAILER

Stay in a vintage trailer on a working farm. The Alexandre Family Farm offers an updated 1979 vintage trailer to stay in while you explore the area, including the Smith River only a short 10 minute hike away.

A vintage trailer that you can rent on airbnb at Alexandre Family Farm in Del Norte County, California

12. DINE WITH A HERD OF ELK AND ROLL THE DICE AT THREE CASINOS IN DEL NORTE COUNTY

Let them try their luck at one of three casinos in Del Norte County and dine with a herd of Roosevelt elk. Both the Redwood Hotel Casino and Lucky 7 Hotel & Casino offer luxury accommodations, onsite food and drink, gambling, and plenty of outdoor attractions nearby. The Elk Valley Casino and onsite restaurant, Warrior’s Bar & Grill, has elk-viewing opportunities from the dining room’s floor to ceiling windows. Look for a new elk trail and viewing platform coming soon!

Eat with elk at the Elk Valley Casino in Crescent City, California

13. FOREST BATHING (SHINRIN-YOKU) IN THE REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK

Give the gift of peace and relaxation to someone you love this year. Forest bathing under giant Redwood trees is unlike any other experience. Recharge and get centered with a guided Forest Bathing walk through ancient old-growth redwoods in the Redwood National Park near Crescent City with experienced forest bathing guides at The Redwood Path. The Redwood Path’s owner, Erica – a Shinrin-Yoku trained guide and yoga instructor – invites individuals, couples, small and large groups to embark on a slow journey of self-discovery and reconnection to the natural world through forest therapy, which is said to give both your mood and immune system a big boost the all natural way — as nature intended.

A small group of people enjoy a morning tea and treats during a forest bathing tour in the Redwood National Park in Del Norte County, California

For locally-made gifts and special souvenirs, stop into the Crescent City – Del Norte County Visitor Center for not only top-notch advice on what to do and see while you are visiting, but also a selection of unique items to include in your “gift experience” basket for Del Norte County. We love the Smokey the Bear stuff and the “May the Forest Be With You” sweatshirts — playing up our StarWars: Return of the Jedi filming history here and our annual Forest Moon Festival. Our friendly staff will happily ship items to you.

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