Eureka was established in 1850, not as the lumber town it eventually became, but as a transportation and supply center for the Gold Rush that was happening along the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. Since Humboldt Bay was the source of all commerce at that time, a business district developed along the shoreline with offices, merchant shops and saloons.
Today, the Old Town and Downtown district is one of Eureka’s greatest assets. These blocks of vintage commercial buildings have been lovingly restored, and now contain bookstores, restaurants, coffee houses, galleries, museums and a variety of unusual boutiques. Walk the blocks of this restored commercial area of Eureka’s original waterfront district where time remains in the Victorian era of the late 1800’s.
Things to see and do in Eureka
Morris Graves Museum of Art: Renovated Carnegie Library. In addition to over 25 exhibits annually, there are free performing arts events “on stage” first Saturday night of the month. 6th & F Streets.
Clarke Historical Museum: Discover Humboldt County History at the Clarke Musuem, formerly the Bank of Eureka Building built in 1912. Discover Humboldt County history. 3rd & E Streets.
Maritime Museum: Dedicated to the preservation and protection of North Coast California’s Maritime History. Next to the Cookhouse in Samoa.
Discovery Museum: Interactive exhibits and programs that explore science, art, culture and technology. Hands-on adventure with children in mind. 3rd & F Streets.
Mural Tour: Humboldt County is home to hundreds of artists, and this fact is apparent when one notices the numerous murals that adorn area buildings. This self-guided tour spotlight magnificent murals painted on the sides of buildings.
Samoa Cook House: Have lunch at the last lumberjack cookhouse and visit the museum of old photos, machinery, saws and many items from days gone by. Samoa Blvd., Samoa
Blue Ox Mills: This is a full production working museum of Victorian era machinery, technology and craftsmanship. Logging skid camp, blacksmith shop, sawmill and ceramics studio. 1st and X Streets.
Humbolt Bay Harbor Cruise: aboard the MADAKET: Built in 1910, it’s the last of seven ferries that operated on the Bay. Take in the sites and listen to a lively narrative on the past, present, and future of Humboldt Bay. Base of F Steet on Boardwalk. Runs daily June thru August. Weekends Sept – Nov and April thru May.
Woodly Island Marina: Fishing boats, boat rentals, city views, birdwatching, dining,& fishermen’s Memorial – take Route 255 (Samoa Bridge) west from HWY 101
Kayak Humbolt Bay: While you are on Woodley Island, stop by Dock A and rent a kayak/get lessons from Humboats.
Fish off a kayak.
Sequoia Park & Zoo: Spend some time in the petting zoo, aviary, and live animal displays. Stoll through the gardens, easy hike through redwoods to the Duck Pond. Then relax in the park while the kids play on the swings. On W Street south of Harris.
Carson Mansion: The Victorian mansion formerly owned by lumber baron William Carson is one of the most photographed landmarks in Eureka – 2nd & M streets. Then take an architectural tour of Eureka. Visit the neighborhoods south of 7th St, between California and I Street. Some of the styles you will see are: Queen Anne, Stick, Eastlake, Craftsman Bungalow and Colonial Revival.
Fort Humbolt: Located on a bluff overlooking Humboldt Bay, this old military post was established in 1853 to assist in conflict resolution between the Native Americans and gold hungry settlers. (Across from the Bayshore Mall)
Humbolt Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Walk one of the trails along the marshes and sloughs of the bay to view wildlife and vegetaion.