Visit Crescent City, California: Where You Can Have a Trail, a Pacific Ocean Beach, a Wild River, Or Even a Redwood Tree All to Yourself.

As the largest city on the Redwoods Coast — located in the upper corner of Northern California just south of the Oregon border within Del Norte County — Crescent City serves as the primary gateway to the Redwoods National & State Parks where some of the world’s tallest trees welcome over 1.5 million visitors every year and its striking landscape has been the backdrop of blockbuster movies like Bird Box, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and more. It’s one of northern California’s best-kept secrets and a multi-sport mecca for outdoor fun.

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Crescent City California Visitor Guide
Klamath California Visitor Guide - Find Things to Do, Where to Stay and Places to Eat
Smith River California Visitor Guide - Find Things to Do, Where to Stay and Places to Eat
Hiouchi California Visitor Guide - Find Things to Do, Where to Stay and Places to Eat
Gasquet Visitor Guide - Find Things to Do, Places to Stay & Where to Eat

ABOUT CRESCENT CITY

As the largest city on the Redwoods Coast — located in the upper corner of Northern California just south of the Oregon border within Del Norte County — Crescent City serves as the primary gateway to the Redwoods National & State Parks where some of the world’s tallest trees welcome over 1.5 million visitors every year and its striking landscape has been the backdrop of blockbuster movies like Bird Box, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and more. It’s one of northern California’s best-kept secrets and a multi-sport mecca for outdoor fun.

A destination for adventurers and sightseers on California’s Northwest Coast, this small community sits between the mighty Pacific Ocean, ancient redwood forests and tribal lands, and two wild and scenic rivers. Crescent City is a small town with big dreams, big outdoor beauty, and very few people. Crescent City gets its name from the famous crescent-shaped strand of sandy beach that punctuates the city of approximately 6,000 people. You won’t find mega-malls or shopping centers here. The small shops, galleries, and restaurants are primarily family-run.

Take in the staggering beauty of the forests, beaches, wild rivers, and wildlife then find tons of activities, attractions and events in town. Stroll a serene beach, watch for whales, listen to sea lions sing at the harbor, tidepool near a historic lighthouse, enjoy a fresh catch and craft brew, or explore endless hiking, biking and horseback riding trails — including the famous California Coastal Trail (CTC) which winds its way along the entire Del Norte County coastline.

Discover scenic picnic spots, sprawling beaches, craggy overlooks, stunning trails, local art, rich history, casino gaming, welcoming events and delicious dining all packed into one spirited place.

Get a trail, a beach, a river or even a redwood tree all to yourself. Your adventure awaits in Crescent City at www.ExploreCrescentCity.com.

UNIQUE ATTRACTIONS

  • REDWOOD NATIONAL & STATE PARKS

    Crescent City is the gateway to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Redwood National Park, the only UNESCO designated world heritage site in California. Follow Highway 101 south to access the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park area where you can bike or hike through ancient redwood forests to the Pacific Ocean.

    There are a vast number of National Parks and National Monuments to explore within a 250-mile radius of Crescent City, California: Redwood National & State Parks, Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve (72 miles), Crater Lake National Park (164 miles), Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (68 miles), Lassen National Monument (225 miles) and Shasta Trinity National Forest (132 miles).

  • 10 PACIFIC OCEAN BEACHES

    Crescent City is the gateway to Oregon’s scenic coastline and communities like Brookings, Oregon. Del Norte County has a total of 10 beaches to explore, including South Beach, Crescent Beach, Enderts Beach, and Pebble Beach are within Crescent City’s city limits.

  • TWO HISTORIC LIGHTHOUSES

    Walk out to Battery Point Lighthouse during low-tide. Take a tour of the interior on select days and hours (hours are posted at the parking area). Whale watch or go tidepooling while you are seeing the lighthouse.

    St. George Reef Lighthouse can be seen from the Point St. George beach trails in Crescent City or there are a limited number of helicopter tours out to the St. George Reef Lighthouse available here.

  • SMITH RIVER

    The Smith River is the wildest and cleanest river in the continental U.S. and is the only undammed river in California. The Smith River — a designated Wild & Scenic river — is located in the Smith River Recreation Area is known for salmon and steelhead fishing, whitewater and flatwater rafting and kayaking, and plenty of cerulean swimming holes.

    Flat or whitewater kayak down the Smith River taking in the beauty of the sapphire water and the surrounding canyon walls dotted with unique flora and fauna only found here like the Serpentine Catchfly. The grand finale is floating by some of the world’s tallest redwood trees. Shimmy out of your boat and walk to Stout Grove, one of Crescent City’s most spectacular redwood groves. Guided trips are available with Redwood Rides.

  • KLAMATH RIVER

    The Klamath River is the second largest river in California known for salmon fishing and recreational pursuits like whale watching and wildlife viewing, canoe and jet boat tours.

    Take a tranquil Redwood Canoe Tour down the Klamath River on a traditional dug-out canoe (ohl-we-yoch) guided tour where you’ll hear about the native Yurok tribe and their people, cultural landmarks and Yurok traditions, plus wildlife viewing.

  • NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBAL CULTURE

    Three strong Native American tribes: Tolowa, Yurok and Elk Valley Tribes have inhabited the Del Norte County area since the beginning of time.

    The Yurok Tribe is California’s largest Native American tribe. Learn more about their culture and feast on fresh salmon at the annual Klamath Salmon Festival.

    In Smith River, you can celebrate Native American Days with the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, which has been observed since 1960, by enjoying traditional Tolowa food and games.

    The Trees of Mystery, in Klamath, has the largest privately-owned museum of Native American art and culture.

  • CASTLE ROCK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

    Sea kayak out to Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge from the shores of Crescent City’s Pebble Beach. Paddle a 1/2 mile out to view seals, sea lions and nesting birds in their natural habitat — harbor porpoises, sharks and gray whales can be seen here, too. Castle Rock is the second largest nesting seabird colony south of Alaska with more than 100,000 breeding seabirds of 11 different species and a popular pupping area for elephant and harbor seals. Be sure to stay 100 yards away from Castle Rock to keep the wildlife safe and sound. We recommend booking a guided tour.

  • CRESCENT CITY HABOR

    The Crescent City Harbor — one of the largest commercial fishing ports in California — is the gateway to ocean crabbing and fishing. Cast your line into the Pacific for lingcod and rockfish any time and Dungeness Crab can be caught off the pier in the Crescent City Harbor. Guided river fishing and ocean charters are available.

  • CALIFORNIA COASTAL TRAIL (CTC)  & THE CRESCENT CITY HARBOR TRAIL

    The California Coast Trail (CTC) is a 1,200-mile trail stretching from Mexico to the Oregon border — the Del Norte County portion of the trail will wow with redwoods and shoreline views . The trail welcomes hikers, bikers, horseback riders as well as wheelchairs. Walk or bike the CTC through Crescent City from South Beach to Pebble Beach on the section called the Crescent City Harbor Trail.

  • FOODIE CULTURE & AGRICULTURE

    Rumiano Cheese is the oldest family-owned cheese company in California making grass-fed, non-GMO cheese made in an environmentally sustainable facility and farm. Stop by their Crescent City store for free samples.

    Visit the farm store at Alexandre Family Farm in Crescent City to pick up fresh organically produced dairy and eggs from roaming chickens.

    Port O’ Pints Brewing Co. was the first craft beer brewery to open in Crescent City. Rock White, brewmaster, has won over 25 awards.

    SeaQuake Brewing is the largest craft beer brewery in Crescent City. They also brew and distribute their popular ciders and Seabucha Kombucha.

    Crescent City has two farmers’ markets: Del Norte County Fairgrounds every Saturday from June – October and the Downtown Crescent City Farmers & Artisan Market is every Wednesday from late May – October

    Pick up locally made goods and edibles at the Gasquet Artisan Market held every Sunday at Patrick Creek Lodge & Historical Inn from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

  • FAMILY-FRIENDLY ATTRACTIONS WITH SOME HISTORY

    Both Trees of Mystery, a magical destination within the redwood trees, and Ocean World — a quaint aquarium where you are guided through a tour of the local North Coast marine life and have the chance to pet a shark. Both attractions have been providing family fun to many generations of visitors to Crescent City.

    You can scale a cabled suspension bridge 50 to 100 feet high through a redwood canopy or soar through the tops of the trees from the Sky Trail Gondola.

    Meet Marina — a senior sea lion who is over forty — or a few of her “younger” comrades like Cora at Ocean World Aquarium’s outdoor show.

  • HISTORICAL LODGES & LODGING

    Del Norte County has three historical lodges where you can stay: Requa Inn (Klamath) and Patrick Creek Lodge (Gasquet), Anna Wulf House (Crescent City)

  • TSUNAMI HISTORY

    Take a self-guided tour around Crescent City to see where not one, but two tsunamis struck. You can even see the high water mark. The last tsunami was in 2011 and the most devastating tsunami happened in 1964.

“On the far Northern California coast, Jed Smith, as it’s known, packs a lot of wild into 10,000 acres. It’s got an undammed, free-flowing river, a trackless core that invites childlike exploration, and seven percent of the entire world’s old-growth redwoods. Readers love experiencing this wildness based in one of four cabins operated by the park.”

Sunset Magazine, Best of the West Readers Choice Awards Winner for the State Park, Jedediah Smith State Park

“Crescent City, the northernmost coastal town in California, is wild. It is tough to imagine that a city as sleepy and isolated exists in the same state as its bustling southern siblings with which it shares a coast. But 20 miles south of the Oregon border, Crescent City is an excellent place to spend a day. What the town might not deliver in Michelin-starred restaurants or five-star accommodations, it makes up for in easily accessible dramatic coastline, dense Redwood forests and pristine rivers.”

San Francisco Chronicle, Eight California Small Towns to Visit Right Now

FUN FACTS & FIGURES

Largest City: Crescent City, Incorporated in 1854

Population: 6,805

County: Del Norte

Other cities and towns in Del Norte County: Klamath, Smith River, Fort Dick, Hiouchi, and Gasquet

Airport: Del Norte County Regional Airport (CEC) with daily direct flights to Oakland International Airport (OAK). Rogue Valley International Medford Airport in Medford, Oregon is the next closest airport with non-stop service to ten destinations.

Sister City: Rikuzentakata, Japan established on April 16, 2018, as the result of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 and a lost boat that washed up on the shores of Crescent City. Read the Story of Kamome or watch the documentary.

Famous Movies Filmed in Del Norte County: Bird Box, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Find out more at the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission

Annual Events:

BoatSmith – February

Redwood Wild River Run – March

4th of July Celebration with Fireworks Over the Crescent City Harbor – July

Gasquet Raft Races – July

Klamath Salmon Festival – August

Crescent City Triathlon – August

Tolowa Dee-ni’ Day – September

Sea Cruise Classic Car Show – October

Live from Downtown! It’s First Friday – Every First Friday from April – December

Crescent City Farmers Markets: Weekly Market at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds every Saturday from June – October and the Downtown Crescent City Farmers & Artisan Market is every Wednesday from late May – October

Gasquet Artisan Market: Every Sunday at Patrick Creek Lodge & Historical Inn from Memorial Day – Labor Day

Weather & Climate: Mild year-round temperate climate near the coast. As you climb into the Coastal mountain range, the temperature is warmer in the summer months and cooler in the winter. Temperatures typically vary from 42°F to 64°F and are rarely below 35°F or above 70°F.

“As you strain your neck to take in the giants soaring 300 feet above Stout Grove at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, you’re reminded of your size in the universe. “Stepping into a grove of redwoods is like walking into a cathedral…”

AAA Via Magazine

“Needless to say I feel dwarfed, shrunk right down, like I’ve wandered onto the set of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The scale is just absurd; some of the trees here are as tall as 30- or 35-floor-high buildings! You really do feel you are on another planet; incidentally, it’s where George Lucas shot the famous speeder (flying bike) chase scene in Return of the Jedi… YouTube it. And some of the scenes in Jurassic Park were shot here too. Truly one of the wonders of the world; something you have to see in person, because cameras just don’t do it justice. We even drive through one of the trees. Some of the trunks are 9m wide – as wide as two cars placed end to end…”

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