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Inns of the redwood coast; 11 of them in Arcata, Eureka, Ferndale.

it's only natural that bed-and-breakfast inns have cropped up along the wooded coast of Humboldt County. Travelers on U.S. 101 will find 11 such inns (five of them new since 1982) in Arcata, Eureka, and Ferndale. Several inns are historic houses. Filled with antique furniture and memorabilia, they recall an era when redwood logging created vast wealth for some on the North Coast. Eureka's Old Town Inn, for example, was once the home of lumber baron William Carson.

Now, before summer fogs arrive, is a great time to visit the area. There are nearby redwood parks and beaches to explore. Within walking distance of the Eureka inns is the revamped Old Town district. Guests in Ferndale can stroll through that quaint Victorian village. For details on the area, write to the Eureka-Humboldt County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 1034 Second St., Eureka, Calif. 95501, or call (707) 443-5097.

Room rates ranging from $35 to 125 a night (double occupancy) include a continental or full breakfast. Period antiques and decorations fill many of the rooms. Guests have use of comfortable sitting rooms with fireplaces and parlor games. Several inns have bicycles to borrow. Inn-keepers can direct you to the best restaurants and to points of interest. And if you ask, they'll show you the favorite haunts of friendly spirits some believe reside in the older houses.

Make reservations at least two weeks ahead. All telephone numbers are area code 707.

Arcata: two inns with five rooms each

Lady Anne Inn, 902 14th St., 95521; 822-2797. Known as the Stone House, this spacious 1888 mansion tops a hill overlooking the town and Humboldt Bay.

Five rooms (one with private bath) are filled with stuffed animals. Rates are $45 to $55 with full breakfast. Limited accommodations for children. No smoking.

The parlor has a grand piano and other instruments. Bicycles and picnic baskets are available.

The Plough and the Stars Country Inn, 1800 27th St., 95521; 822-8236. Named after an Irish play, the 127-year-old farmhouse is bordered by bulb farms (some iris will bloom in May, lilies in summer) and fields grazed by cattle.

Five rooms and three baths (no private baths); $38 to $60. Continental breakfast is the usual fare; a full breakfast is avaiable at additional charge ($2.50 to $5). No children under 12.

Guests share three common rooms, a dining and kitchen area, and two grassy lawns. There's even a Frisbree-catching dog.

Eureka: six inns, 30 rooms

Carter House Inn, 1033 Third St., 95501; 445-1390. A 1982 re-creatin of an 1884 San Francisco house by architects Samuel and Joseph C. Newsom has views of Humboldt Bay and the Carson Mansion. Main floor of its airy interior has three open parlors, two marble fireplaces, and three large bays. The halls are lined with paintings and ceramics by 30 local artists.

Seven guest rooms (four with private bath). Rates run $45 to $125 with full breakfast. A sleek 1958 Bently will whisk you here from the Eureak-Arcata airport.

Eagle House Inn, 139 Second St., 95501; 442-2334. Almost a year old, the inn occupies the third and fourth floors of a renovated 1888 hotel, with grand views of Humboldt Bay and the city waterfront.

Ten rooms, all with private bath, furnished with imported antiques and linen. Rates are $50 to $95. Whirlpool bath.

Elegant Cat, 1440 B St., 95501; 445-0051. Opulently decorated with Victoriana, this 1883 house reposes in a quiet neighborhood. The inn is named after its resident Persian cat, Cicero.

Three rooms (one with private bath); $50 to $85. No children; no smoking.

Heuer's Victorian Inn, 1302 E St., 95501; 442-7334. A former boarding house (circa 1894), the large inn has a plush interior made lively by the ticking of 21 clocks. Three rooms; $55 to $65.

House of Francis, 1006 Second St., 95501; 443-3632. An 1880s house in the heart of Old Town, it's close to the bay and marina. Two suites with private baths. Rate is $40 with full breakfast.

Old Town Inn, 1521 Third St., 95501; 445-3951. Former home of the William Carson family, the 1981 inn is less than two blocks from the Carson Mansion.

Five bedrooms (three with private bath). Rates are $45 to $55 with full breakfast. Children 12 and over are welcome. Three-speed and 10-speed bicycles available; airport pickup.

Ferndale: three inns, 16 rooms

Ferndale Inn, 619 Main St., 95536; 786-4307. An 1859 Victorian with three rooms. Rate is $45.

Gingerbread Mansion, 400 Berding St., 95536; 786-4000. An 1898 mansion with eight rooms (five with private baths). Rates are $45 to $65. Children 10 and over welcome. No smoking. Bicycles available.

Shaw House Inn, 703 Main St., 95536; 786-9958. Oldest house in Ferndale, it was built by town founder Seth Louis Shaw in 1854. The house, sitting amidst tree-shaded gardens, is filled with art and antiques.

Five rooms (two with half baths). Rates are $55 and $65. No smoking.
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Date:May 1, 1985
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