Note from 2015: This was originally a page about Arcata on the 12 Cities, 1 Year website, which no longer exists. All the pages and posts from 12 Cities, 1 Year, can be found on this site or on Todd Bradley’s Galaxy. See the main 12 Cities post for more information. You can also search for Arcata posts.

Note from 2011: We originally planned for our 4th city to be Eureka, CA.  But the only decent furnished short term rental we found was in Arcata.  Arcata isn’t really a “city” but Eureka is barely a city, either.

Here is Wikipedia’s entry on Arcata, which has about 17,000 residents and is home to the Humboldt State University which has about 7,500 students.

Things to do in the Arcata / Eureka area:

  • A photographer I met in Seattle urged us to go to the Samoa Cookhouse south of Eureka. He said it’s the last of its kind and it’s really good. To read about our visit, go to  Samoa Cookhouse: Last of Its Kind.

Places We Visited and Things We Did

  • Patrick’s Point State Park
  • Trinidad State Beach
  • Arcata Marsh
  • Arcata Community Forest
  • Occupy Arcata’s camp on Arcata Plaza
  • North Coast Co-op, near Arcata Plaza
  • That coffee shop that had the lovely pot de crême. I cannot remember its name, but it was on Arcata Plaza.
  • We smelled more pot smoke than we ever had in our lives.
  • We lived in a big house by the Community Forest. Our landlady was a bit strange, but she bought food for us and made us “kitchen sink salads” and other meals. We walked her dog Chai sometimes.
  • We went to Tomo Japanese restaurant on Arcata Plaza with one of the other roommates in our house. She was a traveling nurse who had a house in Durango, Colorado, that she rented.
  • We visited the redwoods one day, and Beth tried but failed to find the murrelet that lives in redwoods.
  • Beth went on a guided birding tour to the North Jetty (Humboldt Bay) and other locations.
  • We enjoyed the Halloween celebration on Arcata Plaza.

Comments from the original page on 12 Cities, 1 Year: 

  1. Chad Johnson: You’ll LOVE the Redwoods. Hopefully the whether is nice. I can help film the Eureka leg of your documentary, and interview you two and check the level of hatred between you from being in a Prius for months on end! LOL
  2. Todd Bradley: That sounds great. If you have any leads on where to stay, that would help, too. We’d like to find an apartment we could rent or sublease for the month, or a spare bedroom, or a hotel with a monthly rate (not too expensive). Something like that.
  3. Betty Bradley: Arcata looks lovely from the google map, although I have never heard of it. Must be quite a change after two large cities.
  4. Todd: Yeah, Arcata is quite the little town. It’s much smaller than even Missoula.
  5. Daren Deffenbaugh: Not sure if you knew this or not, but we lived in Eureka very shortly after Julie was born. We even endured an earthquake while living there, although I don’t really remember that. I do remember that Eureka was my very first encounter with the Pacific Ocean, and for years I was terrified of the ocean. The waves there can get quite large, especially this time of year. Many years on, I had the chance to visit Eureka/Arcata, and I am enamored with the way coastal redwoods reach to the ocean, the amount of driftwood on the beach, and the general grit of the town. At least that is what I remember from a few years back when Lorraine I drove through. Lumber used to be a huge industry in that area when we lived there in there in the early ’70’s, so drift wood was more abundant then. Anyway, I hope you and Beth enjoy Northern California, and get to know it well, as it is very different from the next city on your itinerary.
  6. Todd: Hi, Daren. From what I’ve seen so far, Eureka and Arcata are very different in tone. And I haven’t actually spent any time just hanging out at the ocean yet, though Beth has gone birding out there a couple times.

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  1. […] Arcata (This links to the former page from 12 Cities, 1 Year. You can find all the Arcata posts by searching for the city name or looking in Categories.) […]