Californians like to think big, and there's good reason. When you are surrounded by the world's biggest trees and the world's tallest trees, it doesn't get any bigger than that! It only makes sense that California would also claim bragging rights to the world's biggest totem pole that you can see next to a shopping center in McKinleyville, the city travelers fly into to explore the land of the giants. The totem pole weighs 57,000 pounds and stands 160 feet high.
I did my homework before I visited the Redwood Coast and checked into a Victorian B&B in Eureka. I flew into McKinleyville (Arcata/Eurkea Airport, code ACV) from LAX and rented a car to save approx. three days travel and the price of gas for a road trip that would have cost hundreds of dollars by today's gasoline prices. The roads are easy to drive and it only takes 10 minutes after leaving the airport to find the World's Biggest Totem Pole.
There's no photo I could come up with to do justice to this towering, painted tree. Like seeing the world's tallest redwoods, you have to accept that this is something that will be best experienced first-hand. The area gets over 40 inches of rain per year and on the day I arrived, I stood in a rainy mist and took my pictures, which meant the photos weren't very good from that perspective either. Locals say the optimum time for sunshine is in July.
The Redwood Coast is a trip that you should make at least once. Just looking at the size of the massive trees, driving through one of them or picnicking in a forest where the light barely shines are experiences that speak to your soul. We humans live to be 100 if we are lucky, and these trees have been around thousands of years (2,000 -3,500 years approx.)
If you like big things as you travel the California roads, there's also a the World's Biggest Thermometer in Baker.