Download GPX file for this article
40.8019-124.1636Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

For other places with the same name, see Eureka (disambiguation).

Eureka is a city in Humboldt County, California. With a population of slightly over 25,000, it is the largest coastal city on the West Coast of the United States north of San Francisco and south of Portland and the center of the California North Coast (Redwood Coast). The timber industry gave the town its early wealth. Now, with logging in decline, it retains the charm of that era with older Victorian buildings and the feel of an old-fashioned working town.

Situated on the shores of Humboldt Bay, Eureka provides an urban environment in this rugged corner of California with a quaint but lively city center, thriving arts scene, and variety of shopping and dining options without the hectic rush of other major cities in the state. It also serves as the gateway to Redwood National Park and Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which are home to the world's tallest trees.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Most visitors choose to travel to the Redwood Coast by car to enjoy the picturesque scenery.

  • US 101.svg is the primary route through Eureka and the region, linking it with the San Francisco Bay Area to the south and Oregon Coast to the north. Driving time from the Bay Area is four to six hours through the spectacular scenery of Mendocino and Humboldt Counties, including an option to traverse the scenic bypass of the appropriately named Avenue of the Giants (State Route 254) which is surrounded by towering coast redwoods. Driving time from the Oregon border is two hours, with a connection to Portland (about 7 hours) via U.S. Route 199.
  • California 299.svg connects with I-5.svg in Redding (about 3 hours).
  • California 255.svg connects the city with the Samoa Peninsula via the Samoa Bridge and is an alternate scenic (and longer) route to neighboring Arcata.

By plane[edit]

By bus[edit]

  • 2 Greyhound, 1603 4th St (at Q St, curbside bus stop on northeast corner). Greyhound provides service to Oakland and San Francisco. Greyhound only has a curbside stop in Eureka; the closest terminal is in Arcata.
  • 3 Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach, 6th and C Sts (curbside bus stop behind the Denny's parking lot). Amtrak Thruway buses go from Eureka to the Capitol Corridor train at Martinez, northeast of San Francisco. You must have a ticket for a trip on the train to use Amtrak Thruway.

By boat[edit]

As a port city, Eureka has facilities to dock yachts and other private water vessels, most notably at the Woodley Island Marina.

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]

Eureka Transit Service (ETS) and Redwood Transit System both run service within town, with the latter linking neighboring towns as well.

By car[edit]

Eureka is fairly easy to navigate by car, with most of the city arranged in a grid pattern. In Downtown, numbered streets (1st to 15th Streets) travel in a west-east direction, while lettered streets (A to Y Streets) travel in a north-south direction. U.S. Route 101 also goes through downtown as local streets rather than a freeway, with northbound traffic carried by 5th Street and southbound traffic carried by 4th Street.

Rental car services are available in town and at the Arcata-Eureka Airport.

By foot[edit]

Old Town and the waterfront area are compact enough to be navigated on foot, although a car or public transit is recommended for areas outside of downtown.

See[edit]

  • 1 Morris Graves Museum of Art, 636 F St, +1 707-442-0278. W-Su Noon-5PM. This is a very respectable museum for a smaller area, and the architecture itself is quite artistic. The structure was the first Carnegie library in California and was completely renovated in the late 1990s. The Museum today houses seven galleries including a Courtyard Sculpture Garden, a Museum Store, classroom facilities, an Arts Resource Center and a Performance Rotunda. Adults $5, Students/Seniors $2, Children (17 & under) Free. Also free the 1st Saturday of each month. Admission temporarily suspended during COVID-19. Morris Graves Museum of Art (Q6913714) on Wikidata Morris Graves Museum of Art on Wikipedia
  • 2 Sequoia Park Zoo & Redwood Sky Walk, 3414 W St, +1 707-441-4263. In operation since 1907, the Sequoia Park Zoo is the oldest zoo in California has long been considered one of the most important cultural facilities in the area. It also features the Redwood Sky Walk, an approximately 0.25-mile long sky walk suspended 100 feet above the ground that provides visitors a chance to view coastal redwoods above ground level. Adults $24.95, Seniors/Military $22.95, Children (3-12) $12.95, Children 2 and under Free. Discounts for Humboldt County residents. Sequoia Park Zoo (Q7452551) on Wikidata Sequoia Park Zoo on Wikipedia
  • 3 Carson Mansion, 143 M St. Regarded as one of the most extravagant Victorian-style homes in the United States, the Carson Mansion was constructed in 1884 and served as the home for local lumber baron William Carson. Members of the Carson family sold the mansion in 1950 to the Ingomar Club. Not open to the public, although visitors are permitted to photograph the house and surrounding garden. Carson Mansion (Q2420232) on Wikidata Carson Mansion on Wikipedia
  • Old Town. The historic heart of Eureka. Home to beautiful Victorian era buildings, which house dozens of locally owned and operated stores ranging from beads to coffee to clothing. A must-see for those traveling via 101.

Do[edit]

Land activities[edit]

  • Waterfront Trail. A 6-mile pathway along Humboldt Bay from Truesdale Street next to the Bayshore Mall to Pound Road. A mostly flat trail that offers glimpses of local salt marshes and dunes, with birdwatching opportunities.
  • Lost Coast Trail, +1 707 825-2300. A 24-mile section of the Lost Coast Trail leads north from Black Sands Beach to the Mattole River, along the wilderness beach. This is a rugged hike, not a simple walk on the beach, and is one of the few coastal wilderness hiking experiences in the U.S.

Water activities[edit]

  • [dead link] Paddlefest (Halverson Park), +1 707 826-6016. (10/7/2006 - 10/8/2006) FREE.
  • Full Throttle Sportfishing, Woodley Island Marina, +1 707 498-7473. During fishing season, Captain Gary Blasi takes anglers out on his 22 ft boat the Seaweasel. Prices vary depending on what fish and how long you're out for. He fishes for Tuna, Salmon, Rockfish and Halibut. $150 for a half day or $250 for a whole day. Prices are per person. $150.
  • Humboats Kayak Adventures, Dock A, Woodley Island Marina, +1 707-443-5157. A kayak and canoe specialist, certified by the ACA and BCU, catering to all levels of paddlers.
  • Northwind Charters, +1 707 616-5803. Northern California salmon, tuna, rockfish, and halibut saltwater sportfishing hook and line-caught fishing experts. $150.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Eureka Books, 426 Second St (in Old Town across from the gazebo), +1 707 444-9593. Open 7 days. Eureka Books is one of the last classic antiquarian bookstores on the West Coast, offering new, used, and rare books, along with an extraordinary selection of vintage photographs, prints and maps. Located in the heart of Old Town in an elegant Victorian storefront built in 1879, Eureka Books is truly a destination bookstore.
  • Two Street Music, 124 Second St, +1 707-445-3155. Two Street Music has been serving Humboldt County's musical needs for over 25 years.
  • 2 Bayshore Mall, 3300 Broadway, +1 707-444-3856. Bayshore Mall (Q4874803) on Wikidata Bayshore Mall on Wikipedia

Eat[edit]

  • Bless MySoul, 29 5th St, +1 707-443-1090. Has Good Food and Good Feelings in a location where you will feel right at home. With a walk up counter for take out orders, and indoor seating for people who want to enjoy the down home hospitality.
  • Lost Coast Brewery, 617 Fourth St, +1 707 445-4480. 11AM-1AM. Located in a 100-year-old building, a restored wood frame structure built in 1892.
  • Samoa Cookhouse, 511 Vance Road. This is the last remaining lumberjack style cookhouse in America. There is no menu. You get what the cook serves and you can eat all you want. Dinners usually consist of soup, salad, fresh bread, and either porkchops, fried chicken, beef, plus desert (usually pie). In Samoa, California right across the bridge from Eureka.
  • Ramone's Bakery and Cafe, 209 E St, 95501, +1 707 445-2923. Awesome local cafe in Old Town. Been going there for decades. $.

Drink[edit]

  • The SpeakEasy, 411 Opera Alley (in Old Town's Opera Alley between E and F, between 2nd and 3rd), +1 707 444-2244. 4-11. New Orleans inspired bar that hosts live blues music, burlesque, and other prohibition themed fun; located in a 120 year old building which no doubt served the same purpose during the real days of prohibition. No food is served, 21 and over only. Beautiful ambience, perfect for a romantic meeting or a nightcap after a long day's travel. Plenty of local beer selection as well as an extensive drink menu. Open every day at 4! $$.

Sleep[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Due to its small population, Eureka and the surrounding area are very safe with low crime rates. Normal travel safety precautions should be exercised.

Humboldt County is the center of the U.S. marijuana industry and many illegal operations are in the surrounding rural areas. Some are well-guarded and armed. As a result, while it is unlikely a traveler would encounter one, avoid anything that may seem suspicious when outside the Eureka urban area.

When venturing into the surrounding forest areas and wilderness, stay on marked or well-traveled paths and take extra water and maybe a portable charger with you. Due to the dense vegetation, it is easy to become lost or encounter aggressive wildlife and cell phone reception may be spotty or nonexistent.

Go next[edit]

  • Arcata - Arcata is a college town immediately to the north of Eureka and home to Humboldt State University. As no chain stores are allowed within city limits, the numerous shops, restaurants, and art galleries are all locally-owned, with most centered around the downtown plaza.
  • Trinidad - A charming beach town about 20 miles north. Numerous rock formations jut out of the surrounding ocean just off the beaches of town, the largest being Trinidad Head which offers hiking trails and views.
  • Redwood National Park - 40 miles north, this national park complex preserves the largest concentration of old-growth coast redwood forest which include the world's tallest trees. Numerous hiking trails and campsites are scattered along turnoffs of Highway 101, which runs through the park. Four visitor centers (of which the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center is closest to Eureka) provide maps, park information, souvenirs, and services.
  • Fort Bragg - A seaside town roughly 130 miles south, Fort Bragg is also another former logging town which offers historic and natural attractions such as the unique Glass Beach and Skunk Train.
  • Ukiah - The other regional center of the North Coast, albeit located inland about 150 miles south of Eureka. Home to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, the largest Buddhist temple in the Western Hemisphere and numerous wineries in the vicinity.
Routes through Eureka
Crescent CityArcata  N US 101.svg S  → Jct S California 211.svgFortunaSanta Rosa


This city travel guide to Eureka is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.