Located 280 miles north of San Francisco along the Redwood Coast, Eureka remains one of California's best-kept secrets. The city is bordered on one side by magnificent Humboldt Bay and on the other by mountains lush with redwoods that offer a reminder of the area's rich logging heritage. The community's roots since the 1850s were in the timber and commercial fishing industries, but the city is continuing to successfully transition to a broader economic base. Today, it is the governmental, commercial, industrial and transportation center of the region.
The city's nearly 30,000 residents reside within the 17 square miles. It is the county seat for Humboldt County and functions more like a city twice its size due to its regional center status and the fact its service area population is about 50,000.
Eureka's newest claim to fame is a new waterfront boardwalk that has been built in the Old Town section. The project will provide a waterfront walk from G to C Streets in Old Town, plus a beautiful pedestrian plaza at the base of F Street. New public moorings and a great deal of new waterfront development will be included.
Other new developments in Old Town include a new multi-purpose building and the restoration of the art deco Eureka Theater at 6th and F Streets. When complete, the historic venue will become the Eureka Concert and Film Center and will host performances of symphony, chamber music, ballet, touring shows and classic films.
The historic Carnegie Library building, 7th and F Streets in Eureka, now houses the Morris Graves Museum of Art and the Humboldt Arts Council. This is a world-class art experience that is a definite must-see when visiting the Redwood Coast.
In addition to Eureka being one of America's Prettiest Painted Places -- as it was named by the Paint Quality Institute -- it is also the second Coast Guard City in the United States. The designation recognizes and honors the strong presence of the Coast Guard on the North Coast and its local history of valor and service.
Nearby, the Redwood National and State Parks are home to some of the world's tallest trees: old-growth coast redwoods. They can live to be 2000 years old and grow to over 300 feet tall. Spruce, hemlock, Douglas-fir, berry bushes and sword ferns create a multiple canopied understory that towers over all visitors. The parks' mosaic of habitats includes prairie/oak woodlands, mighty rivers and streams and 37 miles of pristine Pacific coastline. Cultural landscapes reflect American Indian history. The more recent logging history has led to much restoration of these parks.
One of the city's major attractions is the Sequoia Park Zoo. In operation since 1907, the zoo has long been considered one of the most important cultural facilities in the area. The zoo serves as a valuable resource for more than ten counties located in the Shasta Cascade and North Coast Regions of California. Although the Zoo is small in relation to most facilities of this nature, it is the only municipal zoological gardens on the Pacific Coast between San Francisco and Portland. As such, it serves a wide and diverse population.
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