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About Eureka, California
Between San Francisco and Portland, Ore., Eureka sits on the Northern California coast, right where the famed Highway 101 passes Humboldt Bay. As a major commercial fishing port, a headquarters for timber companies and a one-time player during the Gold Rush era, Eureka has a long history as an established West Coast community. Tourism and health care are the city's primary industries today, though timber still plays a role in Eureka's economy. A well-established Old Town still boasts many original Victorian houses that reflect the past prosperity of Eureka.
The Community of Eureka
Downtown and Old Town Eureka are adjacent to each other in the north part of the city. Northern Eureka is primarily industrial and commercial; the airport is located in the northeast section. On the east side of the city sits the hospital and associated medical buildings. The far west side, along Highway 101, is mostly commercial. In between lie most of the residential areas of Eureka.
What to Do in Eureka
Eureka is blessed with beautiful surroundings, including Humboldt Bay with walking and wildlife viewing opportunities. Check in at the Richard J. Guadagno Headquarters & Visitor Center to learn more about the plants and animals that populate the bay, then take a short walk on the 1.7-mile Shorebird Loop Trail. Fishing and, under some circumstances, hunting for waterfowl are allowed in portions of the Humboldt Bay wildlife refuge.
Old Town Eureka lets you go back in time and walk the streets of a town many years ago, but with modern cafes, coffee shops, art galleries and retail stores. Many of the older buildings are fully restored so you can see what they were like in the heyday of this historic area. As you explore the old city and the waterfront, be sure to wander past the Carson Mansion, a historic home built in 1885 that's now a private club. One of the oldest zoos in the West, the Sequoia Park Zoo sits amid the redwoods of Sequoia Park and features a walk-through aviary and exhibits that focus on the animals of the forest. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer, with shorter hours on Mondays in winter. After visiting the zoo, explore the park with its many walking trails, picnic areas and children's playground.
One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Eureka
You simply can't escape the impact of the huge coastal redwoods on Eureka, and you shouldn't miss driving the Redwood Highway where these ancient giants stand guard. Officially, the route runs far north of Eureka proper all the way to Oregon, but the city is an excellent base for exploring these amazing forests and beaches.
Dining in Eureka
Located in the historic Carter House, Restaurant 301 is an excellent choice for a special occasion or just to treat yourself. With an emphasis on farm-to-table cuisine and an extensive wine list, Restaurant 301 features fresh Humboldt Bay oysters and other seafood as well as a five-course discovery menu.
The Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe has been a staple in Eureka for more than 25 years. A new facility in south Eureka bottles up to 135,000 beers every day and gives visitors tours and samples. As one of the largest craft breweries in the U.S., Lost Coast offers traditional favorites, seasonal specials and well-prepared pub food like burgers, sandwiches and pizza.