Dominated by the CSU campus, Arcata is a classic liberal, hippie, pot-smoking and tarot card-reading California small town. Start at the town square, where a Saturday farmers market brings in huge crowds, then amble around checking out the new-age and boutique shops, bars and cafes. Don't miss stargazing from a redwood hot tub at Caffe Mokka & Finish Country Saunas (book ahead).
Remember the 1st Brady Bunch Movie when the Family and their House had hardly changed since the 1960s. Arcata seems to be in a similar time warp, especially considering the the stark contrast to Eureka next door. Progressive Politics? Check Colorfull and sometimes overly self-righteous residents? Check Lots of Vegetarian and Vegan Options? Check A cute square with a neat Farmer's Market and Nearby Bookstore? Check Co-op Market Options? Check Dog Friendly? Check Faux Fur? Check Peace - Love - Dope? Check And with a nice small town feel to boot.
One of the world's great small towns. The farmer's market on the town's central Plaza is a beautiful thing on a sunny day. Mad River Beach is a great place for off-leash dogs. Wildberries Marketplace and the Arcata Co-op have amazing selections of natural and local foods.
There is no better way to describe why I love this town to pieces than to say this: At the weekly farmers market, there is a woman who sells organic angora hats made from thread she makes from her angora bunnies she brings to the market (I call my hat from her my 'bunny butt' hat). Plus, every restaurant in town has vegetarian AND vegan options, the redwood forest backs up against town, and the sewage treatment plant is a natural marsh.