Stretching out for miles along the coast, Humboldt Lagoons has long, sandy beaches and a string of coastal lagoons. Big Lagoon and the even prettier Stone Lagoon are both excellent for kayaking and bird-watching. Sunsets are spectacular, with no artificial structures in sight. Picnic at Stone Lagoon’s north end. The Stone Lagoon Visitor Center, on Hwy 101, has closed due to staffing shortages, but there’s a toilet and a bulletin board displaying information.
A mile north, Freshwater Lagoon is also great for birding. South of Stone Lagoon, tiny Dry Lagoon (a freshwater marsh) has a fantastic day hike and good agate hunting. Park at Dry Lagoon’s picnic area and hike north on the unmarked trail to Stone Lagoon; the trail skirts the southwestern shore and ends up at the ocean, passing through woods and marshland rich with wildlife. Mostly flat, it’s about 2.5 miles one way – and nobody takes it because it’s unmarked.