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About Arcata

Arcata, California

It may be one of the most eco-friendly and progressive towns around, but there’s more to Arcata than its hippie culture and vegetarian restaurants.

Book your vacation rental with FlipKey and come to discover what this hidden California gem has to offer for yourself.

About Arcata

Arcata was founded in 1850, to provide a base for those working in the nearby lumber camps. Today it’s better known for its progressive politics and green credentials, with bike lanes on almost every street and tandem bicycles collecting residents’ recycling. Home to Humboldt State University, the town has a laidback vibe and unique culture, plus plenty of green spaces and outdoor activities to keep even the most active types happy.

If you’re into clean eating and vegetarian cuisine, Arcata’s cafes and restaurants will prove a delight, with no shortage of smoothie and juice bars to choose from. There are other options too, from Mexican food trucks to cozy coffee shops and restaurants serving the freshest oysters and seafood. Don’t miss the annual Oyster Festival which takes place every June at the Central Plaza, a great spot for people watching.

What to do

Get outdoors and enjoy the countryside—there’s plenty of it nearby. Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary has five miles of trails and is a popular spot for birdwatching. Or drive 45 minutes north to Redwood National and State Parks where you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and canoeing—or just relax in the sunshine with a family picnic.

It’s less than a 10-minute drive to some great family-friendly beaches where you can work on your tan or give surfing or skim boarding a go. Or rent a bike in the town center and explore on two wheels—there are bike lanes crisscrossing the town, making it easy to get from A to B.

From spring to fall, the Central Plaza hosts an organic farmers’ market on Saturday mornings, an opportunity to shop for local produce—it’s also a good place to relax in the sunshine.

Top travel tips

The nearest airport for domestic flights is Arcata/Eureka Airport in McKinleyville, just 6 miles to the north of town. For international flights, you’ll need to drive some 292 miles to San Francisco International.

Center Arts hosts regular events and has attracted names like Lou Reed in the past. Those in the know pick up tickets in the HSY Bookstore on the third floor of the University Center.

Dry season here runs from June to September, although there can be foggy days during the summer months, and it can get cool at times, so layer up if you’re going hiking!

For a relaxing vacation in a small, friendly town with plenty of activities for all ages, Arcata is the perfect destination.

FlipKey has dozens of rentals to choose from, whether you prefer a cozy log cabin or modern downtown digs. Browse our range of accommodation today.