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As the name implies, there is plenty of gold to strike here in Humboldt County's largest seaside city — though that sought after mineral, and sun, for that matter, should not be on your list of hopeful finds. Instead, like the Native Wiyot peoples, the prospectors of the 1800s, and the friendly North Coast locals, you will happen upon a naturally abundant land, teeming with trout, trees, and triumphant history (those European settlers sure had a bone to pick with the basket weavers who inhabited the land for previous decades). This former logging port town was once one of California's most affluent communities. And while the lumber trade has ...

As the name implies, there is plenty of gold to strike here in Humboldt County's largest seaside city — though that sought after mineral, and sun, for that matter, should not be on your list of hopeful finds. Instead, like the Native Wiyot peoples, the prospectors of the 1800s, and the friendly North Coast locals, you will happen upon a naturally abundant land, teeming with trout, trees, and triumphant history (those European settlers sure had a bone to pick with the basket weavers who inhabited the land for previous decades). This former logging port town was once one of California's most affluent communities. And while the lumber trade has diminished, the ornate architecture lives on to tell the tale of this 19th Century town's glitzy past. Explore the dramatic Victorian village (it's deemed a historic district by the National Register of Historic Places), complete with galleries, fantastically fresh food, and a surprisingly innovative theater scene. Or kayak the Humboldt Bay, spotting birds, sea mammals, and playful fish that inhabit these waters. Take a short drive up to the mountains to jump into the rivers that meander through the old-growth redwood forests. The word "Eureka" takes on a whole new meaning after a few days in the city's clutch.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Anytime is great, but the weather is best in early fall.