Eureka CA’s Carter House & Smith River Oregon Border

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Carter House Inn Photo Tom Wilmer
Carter House Inn
Photo Tom Wilmer

Mark Carter started the Carter House Inn, located in the heart of old town Eureka by accident back in the early 1980s. He started out building an intricately crafted Victorian intended for use as his personal residence. But the exceptionally talented craftsman and visionary kept adding things—much like the Mrs. Winchester’s Mystery house and by the time he was done it was much bigger and grander than he initially envisioned.

One thing led to another and before long he was the innkeeper of the newest and smartest B&B in Eureka. Over the years he remodeled a row of Victorian residences down the street and added them to his stable. He also built a three story Victorian hotel with a cornerstone restaurant. Dubbed 301 for its address—and his empire soon garnered rave reviews and a fond following that continues today, 30 years later. The Carter House is where Morgan Freeman and Dustin Hoffman stayed while filming Outbreak in nearby Ferndale…and over the years film crews and stars, including Barbara Streisand and Brad Pitt just few months ago, have come to stay at Carter’s inn. Carters 301 restaurant is the place to dine in Eureka and one of the many reasons why is its exceptional wine list, the winner of Wine Spectators Grand Award—the only recipient of the coveted accolade between San Francisco and Seattle. I stopped by for a visit with my old friend Mark Carter, come along and join mark in Eureka.

Roosevelt Elk on outkirts of Smith River CA Photo Tom WIlmer
Roosevelt Elk on outkirts of Smith River CA Photo Tom WIlmer

A four and ¾ hour drive north on Highway 101 from San Francisco. Heading north from Eureka our next stop is the Wild Rivers Coast Region that ranges from Port Orford on the Oregon Coast south to Crescent City and Klamath along the California Coast.  We’ll stop in at the Smith River region, just three miles from the Oregon Border for a visit with the executive director of the Crescent City Del Norte Chamber of Commerce and visitors bureau, the publisher of the Del Norte Triplicate, and Barbara Charmella who runs the Travel Oregon Welcome Center.

Listen to the show on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a weekly featured podcast on NPR.ORG produced by California Central Coast NPR affiliate KCBX.

Check out this episode!