Published: October 2009Best Adventure Towns

Arcata, California

Plan a long weekend getaway with our Arcata adventure guide, featuring great outdoor escapes, where to stay, and where to eat. Then chime in with your picks.

Pop. 17,294
GPS: 40°52’N; 123°05’W

Spend enough time in bike-friendly Arcata, on Cali’s foggy northern coast, and you’ll develop Popeye thighs like the locals. In this über-liberal community, recycling is religion and the Green Party rules.

Your Turn: Tell us about your favorite Arcata adventures, restaurants, and hotels in the comments section below.

PLAY
The riding selection is as broad as the virgin trees in nearby Redwood National Park, from the gentle 5-plus-mile Hammond Trail to the surprisingly technical dirt in Community Forest, a Central Park–size preserve (cityofarcata.org).

EAT
Hit up the Plaza Grill for good, cheap fresh stuff—salads, sandwiches, and the like (plazagrillarcata.com).

SLEEP
The Lady Anne Bed and Breakfast is a quaint Victorian throwback, complete with croquet games on the front lawn, with modern perks like Tempurpedic mattresses (doubles from $125; ladyanneinn.com).

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