What's up with the lighthouse on the highway? Where can I shop for groceries? Can you recommend a good restaurant? Coffee... I need coffee! BEER! Whatya gotta do to get a drink around here? Is there a Nature Center nearby? Can we rent boats and bikes?
Lighthouse Plaza and Mini-Golf
In case you arrived from the south and didn't see it, there is a full sized lighthouse on the corner of Hwy 255 and Lupin. Newly completd in 2016, the mini-golf course is already a popular local attraction. They are open 11 to 6 seven days a week. There is also a small market, but the selection there is dissapointing, I'm afraid. Future plans include a laundromat.
- The North Coast Coop has locations in both Arcata and Eureka. It's the best place for produce and meats, ecogroovy stuff, deli, and they also have a pretty good beer selection.
- Wildberries Marketplace is a bit smaller than the Coop but very friendly and their deli is top notch. Location-wise, if you're heading up to the Northern redwoods, it's very convenient. Here's an animated TV commercial I made for them a few years ago.
- Eureka Natural Foods supports a lot of good local causes.
- For more conventional shopping there are Safeways and Ray's Food Places everywhere.
Dining Out & Take Away
- Moonstone Grill (Trinidad) Great ocean views, try to time your dinner at sunset.
- Larrupin' Cafe (Trinidad) Warm and cozy for a special night out. Here's an animated TV commercial I made for them a long time ago.
- The Lighthouse Grill (Trinidad) A bustling little cafe where you can get mashed potatoes in a waffle cone.
- Tomo (Arcata) Sushi for her, chicken katsu for me.
- Plaza Grill (Arcata) This is our casual go-to place when we don't feel like cooking. It's on the second floor of the historic Jacoby Storehouse, has a great bar and is big enough you can often get a table without a reservation. Everything from burgers to filet mignon.
- Salt Fish House (Arcata) Bright and lively atmosphere, great food and greater drinks. If you like mescal, ask the bartender to make you a "Honey Badger" - it's not on the menu, but those in the know can get one!
- Naan of the Above (Arcata) This is our favorite take-out place, it's actually a truck with outdoor seating. The menu usually has just three main dishes on it, but be sure to get some fresh baked naan with your curry! Call ahead for easy pick up.
- La Trattoria (Arcata) Family style Italian food in Sunny Brae.
- Rita's Margaritas & Mexican Food (Arcata) Best Mexican food in Arcata.
- Arcata Scoop (duh) For house made ice cream!!
- Chapala Cafe (Eureka) Best Mexican food in Eureka.
- Shamus T Bones (Eureka) Okay, if you're really, really hungry, and you're not a vegetarian... this might be your kind of place.
- Five Eleven (Eureka) Kind of a metropolitan style restaurant and bar, we've had really good food here, can get rather noisy later in the evening.
- Gallaghers Irish Pub (Eureka) Just what you'd expect, good fish & chips too.
- Brick & Fire Bistro (Eureka) This is a tiny little out-of-the-way place that is quite special. Make reservations, or at least call ahead. We like to sit at the bar (there are just 4 stools) because you get a view of the wood fired oven and can watch the baker at work.
Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz and Breakfast
- Cafe Brio (Arcata) Great location for people watching on the corner of the Plaza. Brio specializes in classical European style breakfast and desseret pastries.
- T's Cafe North (Arcata) Traditional and family owned.
- Cafe Mokka (Arcata) Hot tubs, saunas, really good coffee, a frog pond, cozy Scandinavian atmosphere, you need to go here if you want the Arcata experience!
- Golden Harvest (Arcata and Eureka) Traditional yummy breakfast with vegetarian options.
- Los Bagels (Arcata and Eureka) Full disclosure - I worked as a baker here for 13 years. That said, the bagels are excellent and the toppings are many. Here's an animated TV commercial I made for them while I was still a baker.
- Six Rivers Brewery (McKinleyville) I recommend the Sasquatch Double IPA. Full menu with good pub fare, often live music.
- Humboldt Regeneration Brewery & Farm (McKinleyville) This little brewery is unique in every way; if you're a beer hunter, be sure to seek it out (it's a bit hard to find, but don't give up!). Jacob, the owner, told us he is working toward a day when all of his brews will be made with grain and hops from his own farm. This has not been done since before prohibition! Growlers are filled not from kegs, as most places do, but from the bottling line, which means your take away beer will not go flat, it'll keep a long time. The beers here are experimental, but not in a whacky way, Jacob knows what he'd doing.
- Mad River Brewing (Blue Lake) This is where I get my yeast for homebrewing. They've got a great little tasting room plus outdoor seating, often live music and good pub fare. Their Double IPA is one of the best you can find, and the taps in the tasting room offer brews you can't find anywhere else.
- Redwood Curtain Brewing (Arcata) A little out of the way, and no food, but a must visit for beer aficionados. They have lots of taps with very well crafted and interesting brews. Often live music as well.
- Humboldt Brews (Arcata) Not a brewery any longer, but they have 20 or more beers on tap and a big live music venue as well. Good pub fare.
- Dead Reckoning Tavern (Arcata) No food but an always interesting and extensive selection of beers on tap, changing regularly. Located directly behind the Arcata Coop.
- The Sirens Song Tavern (Eureka) Beer bar, no food. Artist owned and operated, live music sometimes, interesting beers for sure!
- Lost Coast Brewery (Eureka) Not the best brewery in Humboldt, but hands down the biggest, and their new state-of-the-art beer factory is actually a fun tour to take. It's at the southern end of Eureka off 101. They also have a brewpub (the former brewery) in downtown Eureka which has excellent halibut & chips.
- Humboldt Beer Works (Eureka) Homebrew supply store that also offers Humboldt Beer Tours. It's right across the street from the Eureka Coop.
- Eel River Brewing (Fortuna) If you are lucky enough to be there when they have barrel aged Triple Exultation on tap, don't miss it! Full menu.
- Richard's Goat Tavern & Tea Room (Arcata) Small food, and sometimes there's a taco truck parked nearby. The Goat has a "miniplex" for film lovers and is open late.
- Alchemy Distillery (Arcata) When Old Purple was renovated, a company called Alchemy Construction did a major part - radiant floor, air source heat pump and solar panels. Now the same good people have built Arcata's very first distillery, featuring grain to bottle spirits.
- Arcata Liquors (Arcata)
- Libatin Wine Shop & Bar (Arcata)
- Myrtlewood Liquors & John's Fine Cigars (Eureka)
- Restaurant 301 (Eureka) The restaurant is quite pricey and nice, but you can go for one of the best happy hour deals around: $2.50 martinis from 4 to 6 pm!
- The Speakeasy (Eureka) A dark little watering hole on Opera Alley.
Humboldt Coastal Nature Center
Home to Friends of the Dunes, this is a great place to start for hiking in the dunes and surrounding areas, and it's just down the road. Self guided nature trails, walks to the beach, natural history exhibits and helpful volunteers. Check the website for open hours.
Biking & Paddling
If you are a guest at Old Purple, before you rent, check with us as we do have a couple bikes and a few boats nearby at our home - if the timing is right we might even be able to take you out on Humboldt Bay for a paddle. That said, here is a partial list of local outdoor shops: