Welcome to Ferndale
The “Victorian Village” at the heart of NorCal’s Redwood country
Just south of the scenic Eel River and 30 minutes from Eureka, the land-bound city of Ferndale is a small, welcoming town in Humboldt County situated between the coast and redwood forests. Ferndale’s historic downtown district is flush with immaculately preserved Victorian architecture, which imbues the streets with color and character. More than just its visual appeal, Ferndale also embodies the quintessentially warm spirit of Humboldt County with ease.
The first large home in Ferndale was constructed in 1854
by Seth Louis Shaw, who named his property Fern Dale. The region was graced with plentiful natural resources, and its residents quickly found their primary economic focus — dairy farming.
Ferndale’s tenacious spirit and agricultural landscape encouraged the innovation of several much-loved dairy products, such as sweet cream butter. Present-day Ferndale is still a vital farming and dairy epicenter and has carved out its own space as an autonomous small town just off the beaten path.
The residential real estate in Ferndale is a mixture of gorgeous historic homes, modest new builds, and even multimillion-dollar estates tucked away in the hills. No matter the size of the property, many of Ferndale’s homes adhere to the principle of fusing rustic charm with modern luxury.
What to Love
- Tight-knit community feel
- Active social calendar and tons of events
- Secluded location and ample nature
Ferndale’s position outside of Humboldt County’s larger cities makes it an ideal retreat for those who prefer a more rural lifestyle. While the town still maintains plenty of local retail, dining, and celebrations, its quaint Victorian architecture and wooded surroundings help residents feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of urban living.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Ferndale’s historic Victorian district is also the heart of its commercial offerings. Along the idyllic stretch of Main Street, you can find friendly local cafes and coffee shops, niche businesses, galleries, and museums. Marketed as a creative hangout space for unique thinkers, Mind’s Eye Manufactory and Lounge
merges sumptuous espresso-based beverages and a public workshop. Featuring local artists, the Ferndale Arts Gallery
is a setting meant to inspire and soothe. Settled inside a beautiful Victorian abode, Chapman’s Bookery and More
caters to readers of every interest, carrying hard-to-find books and classics alike.
Gastronomes won’t miss a chance to dine at gems like The Boardroom Ferndale
, which has a delightful menu of creative charcuterie boards, cocktails, wines, and craft beers. Specializing in irresistible chocolates, Sweetness & Light
is the local go-to for anyone with a sweet tooth. Candies here range from heavenly toffee bars and cappuccino truffles to salted caramels and decadent lemon cream bonbons.
Things to Do
Despite its small size, Ferndale claims the Humboldt County Fairgrounds
— home to the annual Humboldt County Fair. A special regional event, the fair features horse races, livestock auctions, street food, carnival rides, games, and exhibits over a fun-filled 11-day span.
For a reflective or meditative morning, you can visit Ferndale Historic Cemetery, one of the more beautiful memorial gardens on the West Coast. Beautiful flowers ornament the gardens, and visitors climb to the cemetery’s highest point for a panoramic view of the Ferndale.
What Ferndale lacks by way of commercial entertainment and attractions, it makes up for in community gatherings. Residents can get together and socialize at special events throughout all seasons, from the lighting of America’s tallest living Christmas tree
to the Veteran’s Community Breakfast
College of Redwood
Ferndale residents are served by Ferndale Unified School District. Students may attend:
- Ferndale Elementary School, grades K–8 (well-rated public elementary school with small student population)
- Ferndale High School, grades 9–12 (well-rated public high school with small student population)