A (Partial) Tour of the West Coast Vol.1 : The Drive Thru Tree; Lost Coast Brewery; Bear River Casino & Hotel

A (Partial) Tour of the West Coast Vol.1 : The Drive Thru Tree; Lost Coast Brewery; Bear River Casino & Hotel


Our daughter was lucky enough to go spend 2 weeks at Grandma and Papa’s house in western Washington. I’m not sure who was luckier – the little girl who had a wonderful two weeks and came home smiling, or Mom and Dad who enjoyed two weeks of quiet. We needed to be able to bring her home at the end of her trip, and since we had never taken an actual vacation together, we figured it was time.

I planned a trip up the coast from the San Francisco Bay Area to get our daughter outside the Tacoma area. Having been raised in both areas myself, I have hauled up and down I-5 between California and Washington more times than I can count. Since it was just my husband and I, I figured this was a great opportunity to take our time to get there and take the long drive up 101 on the coast for the first time.

Eureka, California, The Drive Thru Tree; Lost Coast Brewery; Bear River Casino & Hotel

The Drive Thru Tree

If you’re in the area of Eureka, a great stop is the Chandelier Tree, also known as the Drive Thru Tree. Entrance is $5 per vehicle. It was a fun little stop, and great fun to drive the car through a tree. There are restrooms available as well as a gift shop that has fun little souvenirs, snacks and ice cream bars.

Lost Coast Brewery

We didn’t have a chance to eat at Lost Coast’s downtown restaurant, but we did take the time to stop and tour their new brewery. Since it was a Sunday, the line was not running but we still got to see the basics of the whole process. Two tasting tickets per person come with the free tour, and you can buy four more good-sized tasters for $5. Their tasting room has several Lost Coast beers on tap, and they are nice and cold! We bought a growler filled with Tangerine and two pint glasses to enjoy later in our hotel room.

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Bear River Casino and Hotel

I had read this was one of the nicest hotels in the Eureka area. The hotel and casino are a decent road trip stop, but I can’t recommend the food. The hotel is completely smoke free, the bed was comfortable and the room was clean, complete with a mini fridge and microwave. The pillows were quite small, however, and a couple of them smelled like hair dye. I would select a mountain view rather than a water view on a return visit, however, as the water view side is located next to the gas station and a few houses.

The casino was quaint but perfect size for the crowd it attracted on a Friday night. We played in the casino in the evening, enjoyed happy hour, and my husband enjoyed their bar area where the Warriors game was playing on a very large screen. I didn’t walk away a big winner from the casino, but I was able to play and leave with most of the money I came with.

The food and food service, unfortunately, was not great. We arrived in their restaurant at 4:50, ten minutes before dinner service started. They would not provide us a dinner menu – lunch only. A couple came in a few minutes later and they were provided a dinner menu, table bread and water without asking. We had to ask for water. My husband ordered a burger, and they did not ask how he liked it cooked (that same couple was asked how they wanted their burger cooked). He said it wasn’t anything special, just an overcooked burger. I ordered a buffalo chicken wrap – it was pretty awful. It was filled with over sauced chicken, too much blue cheese and no vegetables. Around 10 pm, I visited the café. I tried to order a pizza but was told it would be an hour. I ordered a grilled cheese with onion rings (20 minutes). The bread was super thick and tasted weird, so, another meal wasted. I hope that they can improve their food quality! This would be a great weekend destination spot for a couple, but only if they can get something decent to eat!


More vacation fun to come!

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