We are driving from Sonoma, thru Redwood National Park on the way to Crater Lake. We'll probably drive in one night and out late afternoon the next. So figure 7am-3pm enjoying the park. We are going in August. We are with 3 kids. Also, should we do 2 adjoining rooms or a suite?
I can't advise much as when I went I was visiting friends in Eureka. They chose to take me to Prairie Creek Redwood State Park which was was nice, but I had to wade up it as it was early in the year
My pics on Flickr.
However they put planks to go along it in summer as seen here
I mention it because my friends are locals and that was their choice, so I'm guessing they thought it was better.
Didn't stay in any hotels myself but had a quick look and this (View Crest Lodge) looks like it might be good for you, it's really close to the redwoods park and has family cottages, though it also looks like two children may need to share.
Next to it there are also these two (The Lost Whale Inn, Turtle Rocks Inn)
Otherwise on your way up from Sonoma you could stay at Gingerbread Mansion (which looks awesome!) before continuing your journey to the redwood parks the following day.
Hope that's of some use. Have a great time :)
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I'm not sure about a great hotel in the area, since the last we visited we drove through to Oakland before stopping. I did however have a great tip for you about the redwoods. There is an area just North of Redwood National Park that allows you to get a much higher level of interaction with the Redwoods than you ever would at the National Park. It's located North of Crescent City and the area is called Stout Grove Redwoods where you can drive a dirt road through the grove, and get out and actually touch and climb the trees. It's a pretty secluded area neat a camp ground, so it's normally very quiet and not too crowded. Here's a blog post that we wrote about the spot that should help you find it. - Here are two different sets of directions I found for it as well that are a bit more detailed-
"From Crescent City, drive east on Highway 199. Continue past the Jedediah Smith campground entrance, the Hiouchi Information Center, and the town of Hiouchi. Immediately after crossing the Myrtle Creek bridge, turn right and cross the Smith River on a second bridge. Pass the Forks Launch Facility and continue across Craigs Creek on another bridge. Immediately after this bridge, bear right at a 3-way intersection. Cross a short covered bridge and continue through a residential area. The paved road surface gives way to dirt as you enter the redwoods. Continue for another mile and a half until you reach a paved road to your right. Turn right onto this road to reach the Stout Grove parking area.
The grove can also be reached by driving Howland Hill Road from the south, a much longer (5 mile) but also much more scenic drive on a narrow dirt road."
Redwood National Park is a great place to take the family! I grew up in that area as a kid and wouldn't trade it. It's too bad you didn't have more time there, a yurt at the National Parks would be lots of fun. But; since your only looking for one night, family friendly - there are several Holiday Inn Expresses in the area like Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Holiday Inn Expressand Holiday Inn Express & Suites Eureka.
Can't remember if you were staying the night after the Redwood Park or before... anyway, it's been a few years for me but I use to love to stay at "Ship Ashore Resort". Seriously theres a ship there. It had a wonderful restaurant, great beach - but it's been years since I've been there. Crescent City has several hotels. Again; I recommend the Holiday inn expresses' free breakfasts, swimming pools, hot tubs, they are primarily new with reasonable rates (No, I dont work there :)
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