Whichever route you take around Redwood National Park and the nearby state parks it's a certainty that you'll be treated to the sight of stately old trees and dramatic coastal vistas, with the occasional sea lion or meandering elk herd thrown in for good measure. The famous "drive-through" trees aren't in any of the public parks, but can be easily accessed from Highway 101 (there are three of them) for a fee.
For river scenery, take the Smith River Scenic Byway, a route that winds through more redwoods, alongside the middle fork of a pretty waterway.
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- At least two days for a quick trip, but many days or even weeks could be spent exploring the length of this byway.