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Arcata is a city in the North Coast of California.


"Arcata, where the '60s meet the sea." - Local Saying

Arcata is a small university town on the north end of Humboldt Bay. It is well known for its hippie counter culture, progressive politics, and vegetarian restaurants. Arcata is the perfect place to relax and enjoy life the way it should be, by enjoying fresh air and an unbeatable natural environment. The pace of things is a little calmer here, with usually as many bicyclists or people on foot as cars going by. Sometimes referred to as "Being behind the Redwood Curtain", Arcata has a unique culture that makes you realize that the "outside" world may not have all the answers.

Get in

  • There are only 2 roads in. You can come from the south or north on the 101 or you can come west on the 299. Arcata is 5 hours north of San Francisco, 3 hours west of Redding and 7 hours south of Portland.
  • The Arcata/Eureka airport (ICAO: KACV) is actually located in McKinleyville 6 miles north of Arcata on the 101.
  • Be advised of road closures before traveling in and out of the area. In the winter months heavy rains can cause flooding and mudslides on both US 101 and CA 299. In the summer and fall wildfires may close the highways as well. Most of the time the closures are for less than 24 hours, but occasionally can last for a couple days.

Get around

  • Arcata is the perfect walking town. Park near the Plaza and walk to numerous book stores, shops, galleries, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and banks, all within a few blocks of each other. Walk a little further to visit the Arcata Community Forest, university, or marsh.
  • Bike lanes abound. Loaner bikes can be checked out of the bike library, in the North Coast Co-op employee parking lot.
  • Three local buses (HTA, A&MRTS, Blue Lake Transit) cover the outer reaches of Arcata and run until 10 pm on weekdays. Students with ID ride for free on A&MRTS and HTA.


  • Every Saturday morning in the spring, summer, and fall there is an organic farmers market on the central plaza.
  • Arcata is filled with vintage Victorian and Craftsman's homes that are well cared for. The Minor Theater is the oldest running movie theater in the United States.


  • Humboldt State University is located on the east side of Highway 101.
  • Great biking trails in Redwood Park; also, hiking trails, and the best playgrounds in town.
  • The world famous Arcata Marsh Bird Sanctuary doubles as the town's sewage treatment plant. (It smells and looks better than it sounds). It has walking trails, an Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center and bird watching blinds. It is the home of Godwit Days.
  • The Arcata plaza is one of the greatest features of this city and also one of the many reasons it is such a great college town. There are always events taking place here, from Farmers' Market to the annual Oyster Festival. The plaza is also the starting point for the Kinetic Sculpture Race.
  • Arcata is less than 10 minutes from several scenic beaches, which are perfect for family outings, surfing, skimboarding, and all other beach activities.


  • Heart Bead, A happenin' bead store on the plaza where they help you create your own jewelry for free! Cool, artsy ladies are eager to offer ideas and creativity.
  • Greenhouse Boardshop, surfboards, skimboards, skateboards, accessories. On H St. near 11th.
  • Northtown Books, small but well stocked independent bookstore. On H St. a block or so up from the plaza.
  • The Metro, music store on the Plaza. You can hear any CD there at the listening stations.
  • People's Records, record shop on the Plaza specializing in used vinyl, but carry used CD's as well.
  • St. Vincent DePaul Store, thrift store, with the usual assortment of clothes, furniture, appliances and kitchenware. On K St. near Samoa Blvd (4th).
  • Tin Can Mailman, excellent two-story used bookstore. (10th & H)
  • Wildwood Music, Fretted and stringed instruments, sheet music, amplifiers, etc. On I St., near 11th.


  • There is now one cafe with free wifi, Muddy Waters (aka Muddy's Hot Cup) on G and 16th streets near the university. Sacred Grounds is closed.
  • Hey Juan's Burritos across the street from Muddy Waters is good .
  • Wildflower Cafe on G Street is well known for its great vegetarian food.
  • Wildberries Marketplace (13th & G): You can order a deli sandwich or a juice smoothie, or get soup, salad and olives from the bar. There is also an extensive cold case with freshly made dishes ranging from pasta and lasagna to fruit salads and many exotic specialties, as well as daily grilled meats, vegetables and tofu. There is seating at the front of the store, and along the side in a covered patio with a bayside view. Inside the store is also Ramone's Bakery, with lots of fresh breads and pastries, plus coffee and espresso.
  • Renata's Creperie on G street has awesome crepes.
  • Tomo on 8th Street between G&H has Japanese food.
  • Tranquilitea on G Street has delicious vegetarian panini and salads.
  • Arcata Pizza Deli (APD) on H Street has burgers (meat and veggie), pizza, salads and the best Tofu Reuben around.
  • Los Bagels on I Street has bagels and Mexican pastries.
  • Stars on G Street has good burgers (beef and veggie) and the best malts in town.
  • The Alibi on the Plaza has tasty diner fare and good breakfasts with vegetarian options.
  • Moonrise Herbs has delicious organic soups and salads.
  • Daybreak Cafe serves breakfast and lunch all day. Mostly vegetarian but some meat items. Yummy cashew gravy.
  • Porter Street Barbeque on Samoa Blvd (4th St.): Excellent tri-tip and chicken sandwiches. The barbeque sauce is made there and very yummy.

3 foods cafe(behind the coop)has eclectic ethnic food in a cozy atmosphere.


Night Life

  • The Alibi is a good place to get a local manhattan with an orange twist.
  • The Humboldt Brewery is a great place to enjoy several of the award-winning micro brews from the Humboldt County area.
  • Sidelines is more popular among the locals but also a fun and exciting bar for anyone to enjoy.
  • Planet Chai, Arcata's own local chai, is available at any of the town's coffeeshops.
  • There are a couple local venues to catch live music in town some nights, including a couple of the bars on the plaza, Humboldt Brewery (10th & I), Muddy Waters and The Metro on G St., as well as Mosgo's coffee shop in the Westwood neighborhood on Alliance Rd.
  • Toby and Jack's is a laid-back place to meet your friends for a drink.
  • If you enjoy a quieter atmosphere check out Caffe Mokka on 5th and J. Not only is it a small quiet coffee shop that often has live Celtic music, it is home to Arcata's hot tubs. Finnish Country Sauna and Tubs offers private tubs and saunas for solo or group bathers. I suggest you bring your own towels.

Coffee Shops

  • Muddy Waters Coffee Co (G St.)
  • Jitterbean (9th & G)
  • Cafe Mokka (5th & J)
  • Espresso 101 (Valley West off Giuntoli)
  • Mosgo' (Alliance Rd.)


  • Best Western Arcata Inn, 4827 Valley West Boulevard, (707) 826-0313, Fax: (707) 826-0365, [1].
  • Fairwinds Motel, 1674 G St., (707) 822-4824, [2]. 5 minutes walk to Humboldt University.
  • Hotel Arcata, Arcata Plaza Downtown, (707) 826-0217, [3]. Right in downtown near all the good shops. Historic landmark with great old photos of town in every hallway.
  • Motel 6 Arcata - Humboldt University, 4755 Valley West Boulevard, (707) 822-7061, Fax: (707) 822-4827, [4].


  • KSLG,

[5]. Humboldts New Rock - Tune into stream

  • KHUM,

[6]. Radio Without the Rules - Tune into stream

  • KHSU,

[7]. Diverse Public Radio - Tune into stream

  • KMUD,

[8]. Redwood Community Radio - Tune into stream

Get out

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