Eureka Waterfront & Old Town

Written by’s Local Expert


The Eureka Waterfront and Old Town area is one of the most charming places to visit. This historic area is just off Highway 101 and provides a fantastic little stop for those that are seeing the coastline. It is the type of place you can visit to enjoy food at a very small restaurant or spend some time enjoying the sunset on a cruise. There are about 6.5 miles of coastline here, but it is this sweet little city that makes it special.

The Old Town district, which includes a portion of the waterfront, is a part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It's a big historic area with 150 buildings in total here. They were mostly built during the Victorian era, and it's easy to feel like you've stepped back in time when you visit. It's one of the best-preserved downtown areas from that town throughout the state.

The waterfront area itself runs along the historic Old Town area. It's still a working wharf, and you'll see the ships come in and out throughout the day. It's not a busy port, but you can almost imagine it looking and operating, in the same way, today as it did 100 years ago. You can even buy crab that was caught just a few hours before and rent a boat to head out into the water to do some fishing if you like.

When I visited, I spent much of the time walking along the Eureka Boardwalk and Marina. There's also the Eureka Waterfront Trail here, which will take you six miles along Humboldt Bay. It's a nice stroll for those who want to be near the water the whole time. Along this walk, you can see the marina as well as Woodley Island, which is a small island across from the Eureka area.

How To Get To Eureka Waterfront & Old Town

The Old Town and Eureka Waterfront are rather easy to access overall. You can find this area along 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Streets between the areas of B and M Streets. It is just a few blocks away from Highway 101, making it a must for those who are traveling the highway to see the coast.

Our Favorite Recommendations

The Eureka waterfront is a fantastic step back in time. Along this area are a number of shops and small restaurants to visit while here. There are a few must-see places to visit, like Pink Lady. It's a stunning mansion that's pink! It is a classic Queen Anne Victorian that has many of its original details throughout it. You can take a tour of it. If you do, look at the beautiful fireplace and the stained glass that's throughout it.

You can also visit the Carson Mansion. It's another Queen Anne Victorian that's well maintained. It's not possible to go inside, but you can walk around it. There are also horse carriage rides here, the Old town Haunted History Tours if you are interested in a bit of historical lore, and lots of charming statues throughout the area.

Pay close attention to the walls and art throughout the city. There are a number of beautiful murals in the area, many of them telling of the old fishing town that was once present. The area is very well preserved and the architecture in good condition (and they ask that you help to keep it that way, too!)

Explore the Eureka Waterfront Trail, too. It follows along Humboldt Bay. You can bike it, walk, or even paddle on the coastal willow patches in the area. There are some sand dunes here to explore, too. The bay views are some of the best along this trail, especially if you want to see some of the wildlife that has created such a diverse ecosystem in the area. There's a small plaque with some information about the marsh as well as the numerous birds that call this area home.


Good To Know Before You Go

Not all of the historic buildings here are accessible. Some may not be open to the public as they are privately owned. If you're not sure, it's easy enough to try the door.

The area is best enjoyed by walking, and there are some areas that do not have vehicle access. There are parking lots nearby, but do plan to do some walking to explore the Old Town and the waterfront.

If you want to fish or take a cruise for the day (or any time during your stay), be sure to call the cruise operators early on as they can book quickly, especially on the weekend. It's worth it to pay a bit more for one of the sunset cruises. The beautiful pink sky with mountains and hills in the background creates the perfect experience for a romantic time out or just a simple excursion to the waterfront.


Looking for accommodations in Eureka? Casago Redwood Coast has you covered. View all Eureka vacation rentals & cabins here.

Local Tips

  • This area is best enjoyed on foot, so be sure to bring your walking shoes! Some areas do not have vehicle access.


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