Welcome to Arcata
A small coastal town infused with an invigorating bohemian spirit
Just across Arcata Bay from Eureka, the eclectic city of Arcata is commonly considered Northern California’s trendiest hippie town. Like other nearby coastal cities, Arcata boasts a landscape flush with towering redwoods and a cragged shoreline. Walkable and hip, Arcata’s dynamic downtown district is brimming with local shops and restaurants.
Arcata was first home to the Wiyot peoples, who used the dense forest area for hunting, fishing, and trade. After its European settlement in the early 1850s, Arcata became a preeminent logging community. Ultimately, the city transitioned from its early roots into a champion for preservation and conservation and was officially incorporated in 1858.
From its quiet hideaway cabins to its lowkey single-family bungalows, Arcata maintains a real estate market rich with diverse architecture. Near downtown, historic homes abound, ranging in style from stately Queen Anne and Victorian to elegant Cape Cod houses.
What to Love
- Artistic community of creatives
- Smaller population with a tight-knit community
- Ocean access and nature preserves
Arcata is for the free-spirited and the original, set among a landscape of natural beauty. At its heart lies Arcata Main Street
, nestled just off California’s famous U.S. Route 101. Everything here is off the beaten path: instead of dining chains or national retailers, handmade artisan goods and local cafes reign supreme. Outdoor enthusiasts will find that recreation options are readily available, thanks to massive parks like the Arcata Community Forest
and its more than 790 acres of trails.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Centered around the lovely greenspace of Arcata Plaza, downtown Arcata accounts for most of the city’s commercial offerings. The rustic-chic ambiance of Campground
is an ideal setting with a delectable menu of American cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients. Effortlessly cool, the minimalist SALT Fish House
prides itself on fresh, sustainable seafood, innovative cocktails, and a chef-driven menu.
Next to Arcata Ball Park
, Sushi Spot
is the go-to for excellent Japanese fare. Mouthwatering sashimi and nigiri are just the beginning of the restaurant’s delicious menu, which also features classic house rolls and sake imported from Japan. Still not satiated? Nori Sushi Grill
is an additional hotspot for fresh seafood and sushi. Tucked away in a historic building, Plaza Grill
impresses with its selection of pub food and upscale American eats, such as fish and chips or grilled ribeye.
Things to Do
Arcata’s reputation for community excellence extends beyond its dining and retail options — the city is equally known for its nationally-ranking local events. For instance, Arcata’s Saturday Farmers Markets
have been voted among the best in the country and include live music, tasty street fare, and activities for all ages.
Each year, the Arcata Oyster Festival
brings the community together to enjoy one of the area’s biggest treasures — fresh oysters. This unique summer event includes live music, artisan crafts, and a never-ending bevy of seafood.
A Humboldt County tradition since 1974, the North Country Fair
represents Arcata’s compassionate, justice-advocating spirit and is held annually at Arcata Plaza. For the creative at heart, Arts!
is a self-guided celebration of local artists and creators throughout the town’s business district.
Other popular Arcata activities include catching a show at The Minor Theatre
— the second-oldest movie theater in the United States — or gathering with the community to support the Humboldt Crabs Baseball
team, one of the longest-running teams in the country.
- Cal Poly Humboldt, post-secondary (Humboldt branch of the nationally recognized California Polytechnic State University)
- Jacoby Creek Elementary School, grades K–8 (public elementary ranked first in the county)
- Fuente Nueva Charter School, grades K–5, (public charter school ranked third in the county)
- Northcoast Preparatory & Performing Arts Academy, grades 6–12 (second-best public high school in the county)