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Old Town Eureka & Waterfront

Where History Meets the Sea

Old Town Eureka & Waterfront

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Eureka's historic Old Town and Waterfront districts are a must-visit, and are found just blocks off Highway 101. Here, you can sip craft beer, dine at local restaurants, rent a kayak or take a sunset cruise on the Madaket, and visit the shops of passionate home-grown business owners. All this and more are found nestled among stunning Victorian architecture that is interspersed with giant, colorful murals.

All of the Old Town district is included on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and features more than 150 buildings from the Victorian era. The architecture is authentic to its era, and the district is one of the last well-preserved downtown areas in California - the benefit of having missed out on the 1970s redevelopment era.

Brick crosswalks, iron benches, and planters bright with flowers make 2nd Street the heart of Old Town, but there are inviting cross streets, too. The Clarke Memorial Museum, located in a columned former bank building at 3rd and E Streets, has an extensive collection of baskets and dance regalia of the Yurok, Hupa and Karuk tribes. The American Indian Art and Gift Shop, located on F Street between 2nd and 3rd, features a wide selection of contemporary and traditional items from artists and craftspeople of these tribes, and many others from around the nation.

Park your car and take the town on foot, or hop aboard an old-timey carriage ride to view the district from a different perspective. Or, take your sightseeing to the sea on the M.V. Madaket, the oldest passenger motor vessel in continuous service in the U.S. Between May and October, you can hop on board for a tour and learn about local history, industries, activities, points of interest, and wildlife.

Don't miss the short walk to the end of Old Town to view masterful representations of Victorian architecture. Stroll down 2nd Street to the Carson Mansion, one of the finest examples of American Queen Anne style Victorian architecture in the country, sitting at the northern foot of Old Town. This home was built for one of Northern California's first lumber barons, William Carson, and now houses the private Ingomar Club. Please note that you can't tour the Carson Mansion from the inside, but feel free to take all the photos you'd like from the gates.

The Pink Lady, a classic Queen Anne Victorian, is located across the street from the Carson Mansion. Built in 1889, the hard-to-miss pink and white mansion was a wedding gift from William Carson to his eldest son. Many original details remain, from the pocket doors, fireplace, elaborate facade, and stained glass, all with views out to the Humboldt Bay.

Eureka's waterfront runs along historic Old Town, but it isn't relegated to history. It continues to be a vibrant, working wharf where you can buy local crab and other seafood delights fresh off the boat. Make sure to take in the views at Coast Guard Plaza (at the foot of F Street) and Madaket Plaza (at the foot of C Street) along the Eureka Boardwalk.

The Eureka Boardwalk & Marina is part of the 6-plus miles of the Eureka Waterfront Trail, along the shores of Humboldt Bay. You can walk the length of Eureka, viewing salt marshes, sand dunes, and wildlife, including migrant birds. Interpretive signs along the way offer information about the coastal marsh and the history of the area. Artistic benches to stop, rest, and take it all in are placed along the trail.

WHERE: Roughly 1st, 2nd & 3rd Streets between B and M Streets

MORE INFO: VisitEureka.com, 707-798-6411, Instagram: @VisitEureka, Facebook: @ VisitEurekaCA

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101 Things To Do®
2383 Myrtle Ave
Eureka, CA 95501