McKinleyville is rural suburbia and largely a commuter town for Eureka/Arcata. Nevertheless, it has amazing trails and the 6 Rivers Brewery, a delicious brewpub with a friendly atmosphere.
It's three miles to Arcata, which has an active night life. You are also a ten minute drive from Trinidad, a beautiful seaside resort with wonderful food, pristine beaches, and a casino. Of course, you could try a sampler at the Six Rivers Brewery or catch a movie in town. McKinleyville has all the services you would expect of a commuter town of it's size, including big box stores, so shopping is usually easy.
McKinleyville is a town where many people openly fly the Confederate flag and used to be affectionately nicknamed "Oklahoma-By-The-Sea". People of color might find the locals cold.