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Why are you still inside? It's SUMMER. Toss everyone in the car and head for the beach! It's time for the return of many time-honored Humboldt traditions. When was the last time you watched kinetic sculptures wend their way to Ferndale? Stroll among sand sculptures and watch or fly colorful kites in Halvorsen Park. Tour street art on classic cruisers or head out to the dragstrip for cruisers with horsepower. Grab a tasty Reuben with a Humboldt twist, relieve family stress with a lively game of Lasertron or meander along the Eel River, then feast on Mexican food in Fortuna. Humboldt has what you need for summer fun.

Outdoorsy Types

Get a bucket and do some urban clamming at the foot of Del Norte Street in Eureka or go remote on the south spit across the bay from Fields Landing at a place known as "Clam Island." If Pacific razor clams are your thing, wear boots (they're sharp) and head to the aptly named Clam Beach in McKinleyville. As always, please keep an eye out for sneaker waves.

Before you dig, get an accurate measuring device and a Sports Fishing License ($54 residents annual, nonresidents short term licenses $18-54). Always check the California Department of Fish and Wildlife webpage for current invertebrate fishing limits and regulations, especially due to health hazards. You can also call the California Department of Public Health's toll-free Shellfish Information Line at (800) 553-4133.

Feeling like a challenge? Call Wildtrail Tours and book the mountain bike tour of Arcata Forest (215 C St., Eureka, 707-613-1333, www.wildtrailtours.com). The easy-going Eureka Street Art tour will show her local color. Or maybe it's time for a pedaling pilgrimage through the Avenue of the Giants. Wildtrail has more than wheels. Tours are available for bike or hike and bicycles can be delivered to your hotel. Feel the pull of a campfire under the redwoods? Wildtrail will kit you out with tent and sleeping bags, even a backpack for those with a long stroll in mind.

Choose your bike to suit your terrain: mountain, street, or the electric fat tire perfect for the beach on the Hammond Trail tour. Join a tour by yourself or set one up for two to 12 guests (check website for group discounts). The 90-minute to two-hour bike and hike tours start at $59 (delivery fees may apply).

Go fly a kite! The Humboldt Kiters will be at Eureka's Halvorsen Park May 21-22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the Redwood Coast Kite Festival. You can watch the dazzling array of kites from a single-string traditional to a 190-foot-long serpent, a 22-square meter ladybug to a 22-foot-wide trilobite (a flying fossil!). Bring your own kite to the Fun Fly Time held each day or learn how to DIY one at the kite building workshop, and enjoy the Artisans Fair and the Kites as Art installations in Old Town.

Last year, festival coordinator Mark Ahrens handed his kite to a woman who said, "I haven't flown a kite since I was a kid." She flew it for half an hour of unmitigated joy. Find that joy for yourself in Humboldt's skies. Visit www.humboldtkiters.org for festival information. Spread the joy with a donation supporting kite workshops for all ages that will help others take to the air.

Foodies

What's the best way to cap off a trip to Humboldt Bay's jetty? A trip to the Jetty — Humboldt Bay Social Club's newest eatery gives you a delicious way to dine after a walk on the Samoa dunes (900 New Navy Base Road, Samoa, 707-502-8544 ext. 2, www.jettyhumboldt.com).

The menu is full of comfort food. Even in summer, the shore can be chilly. Warm up with a bowl of loaded vegan Tater Tots or gourmet mac and cheese. Half serving Coastal Kid Bowls are available for little explorers. Pescatarians will enjoy the American Samoa Tuna Melt made with Wild Planet albacore. Relax in the outdoor picnic area as you slake your thirst with a Six Rivers Brewery Moonstone Porter from the Lobby Bar. Kids of all ages will go crazy over the s'mores kits. Casual dining meets coastal comfort in the best way possible.

The unique Humboldt take on favorites like Reubens and the humble macaroni salad can be yours for takeout, too.

Please the whole family with a trip to La Costa Mexican Restaurant in Fortuna (664 S. Fortuna Blvd., Fortuna, 707-725-9416). You have your eye on the super quesadilla but not all appetites are created super sized. Your partner scans the menu, eyes lighting up over campechana (shrimp and oyster cocktail with cilantro). They point out the house specialties, so you go for the fish dish mojarra a la diabla. A la carte or combo plates will provide. Have a burrito, enchilada, taco, or all three!

If you are fortunate in Fortuna and visit on Saturday or Sunday, order the traditional menudo soup. Morning already? Try tasty breakfast burritos and the crowd-pleasing huevos con chorizo, scrambled eggs with essential spicy sausage. Cap it all off with fried bananas. What a treat! You can also order take out and feed the troops at home.

Hop off U.S. Highway 101 and take a summer side trip to Bayside along the back of Arcata Bay. Drive past placid cows grazing in lush grass fields along Old Arcata Road. The charming Bayside Trio Café awaits (1602 Old Arcata Road, Bayside, 707-822-4423).

There's root beer on tap! Kombucha, too. Or have the friendly barista whip up an organic latte with house-made almond milk. The café serves a scrumptious lemon bar, not too sweet with just the right tang. Stop in for brunch and an organic vegan Beloved Bean Bowl. Maybe the Basic Brekkie with poached cage-free eggs, or a gluten-free bagel with Fish Bros. lox? Decisions, decisions. Cold and hot sandwiches (whole or half) are served up on fresh focaccia. Enjoy your gourmet panini with local chevre, organic beets and Larrupin' dill sauce out on the patio. Admire the wisteria and touches of art as you lap up the chowder. Sit and watch the world go by or get it to go.

Art Lovers

Every August, Eureka hands itself over to incredibly talented street artists. Watch murals bloom from Aug. 8-16 at the Eureka Street Art Festival. The event adds to an ever-growing inventory of world-class street art. Like the impressive "We Built This City" by Blake Reagan and Lucas Thornton on the Humboldt County Courthouse.

Dave Kim painted "Fowl" to honor Eureka's historic Chinatown and prominent Eurekan Ben Chin just off E Street between Fourth and Fifth streets. Next to it, Gina Tuzzi's mural speaks to the 2020 August Fire Complex. The vibrant "Tortured Beauty" by Tony Diaz graces the side of MOCA Humboldt on Fourth and C streets. Friends and family helped Alme Allen lovingly restore the 21-year-old artwork "The Sun Set Twice on the People That Day" he helped create with Brian Tripp. Make sure you see it!

Don't forget to walk along the Live Art Wall on Waterfront Drive. The juxtaposition of old favorites with new art refreshes the soul. A constant state of renewal means the wall never grows old. Visit www.eurekastreetartfestival.com for a mural map and updates or follow @eurekastreetartfestival on Instagram.

The American Indian Art and Gift Shop is the place to go to admire the simple beauty of a carved medicine acorn necklace, or the smooth curve of a stunning piece of pottery (241 F Street, Eureka, 707-445-8451, 1-800-566-2381). Enjoy the works of more than 40 artists representing the Hupa, Karuk, Wiyot and other tribes. Or visit for presentations like Arts Alive! featured artists Cody Martinez and musician Trinidad Goodshield.

The Northern California Indian Development Council founded the gallery to provide market access and retail training to Native American artists, many of whom live in remote areas. Peruse Native artists' bold colors, delicate basket weaves and masterful potting and traditional imagery. Then your eye hits the jewelry — intricately woven necklaces of crystal and glass seed beads. Linger over carved dentalium, bone, horn or mother of pearl that will spur a new love of Native American craftsmanship. Don't leave without a richly illustrated Native tale for your book-happy child. You can also support these talented artists by visiting www.americanindianonline.com.

The Epitome Gallery proudly states it is dedicated to street art (420 Second St., Eureka, 707-798-1541). Owner and artist Julia Finkelstein gives edgy, bold and almost impossibly colorful art its due and wall space with a full summer schedule of exhibits.

In June, see Mike Kershnar: Beside the Sacred Eel. Kershnar's work is truly multimedia and he's collaborated with the Beastie Boys and Thrasher. In July, The Can Show invitational gives street artists an empty spray can as a canvas. Epitome is also collaborating with Humboldt Skate Lab on The Skateboard Show, for which artists customize boards to be sold around the corner at The Madrone (421 Third St.) to provide skateboards for kids in need of ollies.

August brings Graffiti Camp for Girls founder Girl Mobb's focus on social themes, spray painting over perceptions of women artists as genteel ladies painting flowers.

Spoken word events are ongoing, too, with Eureka Poet Laureate and Slam Champion Wil Gibson running poetry workshops and his Reworded Poetry Mobile Bookstore at the gallery. Keep an eye on www.theepitomegallery.com or on Instagram for upcoming events.

With the Kids

The crack of a bat is the sound of summer. But making that ball/bat connection takes practice. Redwood Acres Home Plate Batting Cages is the place to bring your little batter (Redwood Acres Fairgrounds, 3750 Harris St., 707-443-3154).

The batting cages make it easy for hitters of all skill levels to drill for their moment of homerun glory. Practice or training? Baseballs can fly at 50, 60 or 80 miles per hour. That video of your child making their first fast hit can be replayed over and over, proud parent points free of charge. A slow-pitch setting allows your softball fan to get in their licks, too.

Bring cash or change for the three cages. A token for 25 balls costs $2, but for $5 you get 3 tokens and 75 balls — a deal. Helmets and bats are provided.

Rainy day? Bring the kids to Bear River Family Entertainment Center and let loose (263 Keisner Road, Loleta, 707-733-1880, www. bearriverfec.com). The Arcade has 30 games to entertain child and adult alike. Play cards can be purchased at kiosks with options for Bonus Play, a great idea if you have an avid gamer on your hands. There are prizes, too. Ready to roll? Introduce the kids to the fashion phenomena known as bowling shoes. Or make an evening of it with Cosmic Bowling (by lane, up to 6 players).

The center takes the stress out of birthday party planning with pizza, lemonade and games in one place, as well as bowling or laser tag packages. Otherwise, single Lasertron missions are $5-$6 Friday through Sunday.

No visit to a seaside town with a van full of kids would be complete without a trip to Trinidad Bay Eatery & Gallery for a piece of its famous fudge (607 Parker St., Trinidad, 707-677-3777, www.trinidadeatery.com). Smiling staff are happy to provide samples because a child (or adult) given this many choices will struggle. The Belgian dark chocolate with pink sea salt may draw you in, only for you to fall prey to Vanilla Skor Bar instead. For purists who won't budge from traditional fudge, there's always creamy chocolate on hand along with peanut butter and jelly, cookies and cream, and holiday-themed flavors.

While you wait for your ¼-pound, ½-pound and 1-pound portions, look around the gift shop and see if you can resist the adorable fuzzy banana slug. Fudge and slugs are just what every childhood needs.

Not Just for Tourists

Join the fun May 28-30 as beautiful beasts of artistic expression locomote through Humboldt powered only by human effort during the Kinetic Grand Championship. The race earns its title as the Triathlon of the Art World. Where else will you see a giant crab scuttling down Samoa Boulevard, hotly pursued by an arched-back cat and a colorful '50s diner, all pedal-powered? The three-day race is capped off by the silliness of watching them all try to cross water.

The Friends of Hobart Brown, named for the iconoclast founder who participated in the 1969 inaugural race on a pentacyle, are keen on keeping this event family-friendly, safe and hilarious. Whether you spectate or build your own, follow the Kinetic Universe to keep up and join in. Visit www.kineticgrandchampionship.com/racers to find route maps or donate to keep the wheels of the world's foremost kinetic sculpture race rolling from Arcata to Ferndale. For the Glory!

Enjoy the ephemeral during the Friends of the Dunes Sand Sculpting Festival July 9-31. The sculptures are created by teams of friends, nonprofits or businesses for a friendly competition that encourages the public to view and vote for their favorites to win the coveted People's Choice award.

This year, the Friends of the Dunes created a hybrid event, bringing sculptures back to the beach by their Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, a 3/8-mile hike from the parking lot (220 Stamps Lane, Samoa, 707-444-1397). Sculptures will also pop up along beaches from Moonstone to Samoa. The kickoff at the nature center starts July 9 with the best viewing between 11 a.m.to 2 p.m. as their artistic visions manifest.

Voting for your favorite sculpture by planting a $1 flag by it will support the nature center's amazing educational programming. You can also vote online at www.friendsofthedunes.org, and the festival takes place over three weeks, so keep checking for new sandy artwork.

The smell of burning rubber with notes of hot engine oil and gasoline get you revved up as the dragsters toe the line. It's race time at Samoa Dragstrip (900 New Navy Base Road, Samoa, 707-845-5755, www.samoadragstrip.com).

The ¼-mile asphalt track hosts Humboldt's best drivers and hottest rods in five classes. Classic muscle Mustangs go head-to-head with new-school Nissans. Old-school dragsters are on hand, long, low and chromed up. Lightning-fast crotch rockets can burn rubber, like Samoa's 2021 Champion Motorcyclist DJ Miclett. Junior Dragsters like champion Aiden Adams will inspire burgeoning grease monkeys.

Samoa Dragstrip flashed the start for the first time in 1955 and is still going strong. Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman, motorcycle and Junior Dragster NHRA classes run at every race except special events like Big Buck Race, No Prep Race and the Big Bike Shootout. Think you have what it takes under the hood? Register your car with the Humboldt Del-Norte Timing Association and ante up for a Test and Tune. Or put your money where your mouth is when the Street Legals come out to play.

It's a fun day out for $10 (12 and under free) and you get to see the pit! Don't forget to grab one of the best hot dogs in Humboldt.

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Meg Wall-Wild

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