Crescent City California

Crescent City California is the only incorporated city that can be found in Del Norte County. Named after a crescent-shaped beach to the near south, this city enjoys a coastal location and lies approximately 80 miles north of Eureka and 375 miles north of San Francisco. Less than 20 miles to the north of town is the Oregon border. The general region offers a lot in the way of natural appeal and can be a great place to go for some recreational fun. Amazing parks are within easy reach of Crescent City, and they certainly figure among the most popular regional attractions. Among other things, the city also offers a delightful aquarium and a historic lighthouse. Tourism is understandably one of Crescent City’s main industries. Other major sources of income for its approximately 7,600 residents are timber, fishing, and crabbing.


Crescent city, California
Crescent city, California

The first European American to explore the Crescent City California region was the renowned pioneer, Jedediah Smith. He arrived in the 1820s. At the time of Jedediah Smith’s arrival, the region was inhabited by indigenous peoples of the Yurok and Tolowa nations. Descendants of these peoples still live in Del Norte County. Other white explorers visited soon after Smith first set foot in the area, and in the 1850s, white settlers began moving in. Crescent City California was officially incorporated as a city in 1854, and just one year later, Congress authorized the building of the city’s historic lighthouse. In 1857, Del Norte County was established. The northernmost county on the California coast, Del Norte is best known for its redwoods.


Redwoods  Image: goingslo (flickr)

Crescent City California is an excellent travel base for those who are interested in seeing redwood trees during their Golden State vacations. The city is actually home to the Redwood National Park headquarters and offers easy access to the park. Also within easy reach of Crescent City are Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. The world’s largest and tallest coastal redwoods can be found in Redwood National Park and Jedediah State Park, and all of the area parks in general are wonderful expanses to explore. They abound in interesting flora and fauna and can be great places to find solace and solitude. As a side note, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is surrounded by the Smith River National Recreation Area. The Smith River is widely considered to be one of the West’s great recreational rivers.

Crescent City Beaches

Crescent City Beaches
Crescent City Beaches  Image: Twylo (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0

Crescent City might not be the first place that most people think of when planning California beach vacations. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be a satisfying destination for beach enthusiasts, however. The coastal stretches in and around town are rocky in some parts and sandy in others, and they offer plenty in the way of beautiful scenery. Popular beach activities in and around Crescent City include walking, beachcombing, surfing, and picnicking. Pelican State Beach, which is north of the city, is among the best sandy beaches in Del Norte County. In Crescent City itself, there are sandy stretches in and near the harbor. There is also a long jetty that is ideal for strolling and sightseeing. Among the things that can be seen from the jetty is the Battery Point Lighthouse. Found at the foot of A Street, this major Crescent City attraction is accessible by foot only at low tide. A historical landmark, it houses a museum that focuses on regional history and is open for tours on the weekends from April through September, tides permitting.

Crescent City Aquarium

Crescent City visitors who are looking for things to do won’t want to overlook Ocean World. Found in the heart of town at 304 Highway 101 South, this family-friendly attraction features an aquarium, an interactive tide pool exhibit, and a special shark gallery. Visitors can also watch seal and sea lion shows or take a guided tour of the facilities. The tours run during the daylight hours and last about 40 to 45 minutes. After Ocean World visitors take in the various exhibits and treat themselves to a show or tour, they can drop by the enticing gift shop and peruse the goods.

Crescent City Hotels & Lodging

Crescent City Hotels & Lodging
Crescent City Hotels & Lodging

Crescent City California is home to a number of wallet-friendly hotels and motels. Among the top picks are the Lighthouse Inn and the Crescent Beach Motel. There’s also the Curly Redwood Lodge, which was built from one curly redwood tree and has the feel of a classic motel. These aren’t the only good local lodging bets, however, as is evidenced by the Anchor Beach Inn, the Oceanfront Lodge, and the Best Western PLUS Northwoods Inn (pictured), for example. Should a bed and breakfast be the aim instead, good choices include the Bed and Bread Hiouchi, the Anna Wulf House B&B, and the Ocean View Inn & Suites. Those who are looking to further expand their Crescent City lodging horizons can consider going camping. Among the best campsites in the region are those that can be found along the river in the Smith River National Recreation Area. Other regional parks also offer campsites, as does the KOA Campground Crescent City. For the RV crowd, such places as the Shoreline RV Park and the Redwoods RV Resort are worth considering. Some of the area campgrounds and RV parks offer cabin rentals, and the Crescent City area also has some inviting vacation rentals.

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