Eureka! The word is Greek for expressing the emotion of “I’ve Found It!” and well, let’s just say that we found Eureka, California during a spontaneous July 4th Road Trip about 10 years ago and what a find it is! Eureka’s a beautiful port city located in the heart of the California Redwood region, but that’s only a small part of why we featured it in our latest “Destination Spotlight” — this popular series that airs on our nationally syndicated travel radio show.
As the largest coastal city between Portland and San Francisco, it’s long been a stopover city for many travelers driving between Pacific Northwest cities in Washington and Oregon and parts of California. But spend a few days in Eureka and you’ll see why it’s worth more than just a 24-hour stopover. From the stunning world-famous Redwoods to the rugged ocean landscapes and the relaxed city vibe, Eureka really is, in our opinion, a not to be missed quintessential California coastal town.
Founded in 1850, this former logging town has retained various architectural styles that, for first-time visitors, will surely surprise. The architecture from the great Victorians to the more modern post-war homes and the Classical Revival storefronts is truly amazing. The city has at least 20 buildings on the national historic register including Carnegie Free Library and several Queen Annes along with a Tudor Revival Hotel — The Eureka Inn.
The downtown area is filled with great restaurants, book stores, antique shops, clothing stores, vintage stores, and museums and art galleries. There are plenty of coffee shops but be sure to stop by Humboldt Bay Coffee Company — a northern California micro-roaster of fair trade, shade-grown, organic premium coffee. Delicious!
The Sequoia Park Zoo has reopened and their newest experience is the immersive and accessible Redwood Sky Walk — visitors walk across platforms and bridges that take you 100 feet above the lush forest floor…
Blue Ox Millworks Historic Park is another draw — it’s a living history park with a fully functioning sawmill and a Victorian job shop that produces architectural millwork, and other elaborate designs for historic homes. There are ceramics studios, a blacksmith’s shop, and woodworking and other local artisan shops to explore.
We’d also recommend guided boat tours in Humboldt Bay where you’ll take in the beauty of the area from a different view but also learn about the various birdlife and the seals. By the way, part of the Bay is a National Wildlife Refuge.
In summary, Eureka, California is relaxing, historic, and has the best of both the woodsy, serene Redwood region and the stunning Pacific landscapes. The residents are welcoming and it’s a unique mix of old meets modern — with a vibe that leans older Californian. Its rich history in logging and fishing — even to this day — is easy to imagine when you stroll through Old Town or spend any time at Blue Ox Millworks.
Enjoy Eureka everyone — but if you go, that won’t be very difficult to do!
Safe and Happy Travels!
Robert & Mary Carey, Hosts
America’s #1 Travel Radio Show