Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Crescent City, CA

  • Published 2022/07/20

The northernmost place in California, Crescent City is a stunning haven nestled along the sandy curved Californian coastline.

This gorgeous city is a perfect place with sweeping coastal views, the sociability of a small town, and a pretty conservative environment.

It is named after the crescent-shaped sandy beach in the city’s south.

With plenty of water in the Pacific Ocean, Crescent City is an essential place for commercial fishing and a necessary port for vessels.

It is a treasure trove of luscious nature and has enormous redwood forests.

This coastal city offers plenty of activities to do when you visit, such as hiking, water sports, whale watching, and much more.

There are also many places to see, such as redwood parks, beaches, and lighthouses, among many others.

You can eat delicious seafood and sample local cheeses and brews to satisfy your inner gourmand.

These are the best things to do in Crescent City, California:

View the Entire City from Battery Point Lighthouse

Pathway covered with beautiful purple flowers leading to the Battery Point Lighthouse

Jairo Rene Leiva /

Also known as “Crescent City Lighthouse,” Battery Point Lighthouse is a Californian landmark.

This lighthouse was first lit in 1856 and was one of the first lighthouses on the Californian coast.

It is open to the public and is located on a tiny island accessible only by foot when there are low tides from April through September.

Facade of Battery Point Lighthouse

Jairo Rene Leiva /

The inside of the lighthouse consists of a museum with artifacts and memorabilia from the 1850s.

You can take guided tours of the lighthouse to know more about its history.

The tours are given by knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers who will answer all your questions about everything in the tower.

View of the ocean from a window in Battery Point Lighthouse

Logan Bush /

You can see the stunning view of the entire city from the top of the lighthouse.

Visit Battery Point Lighthouse to learn about the history and watch fantastic views of the city.

Make a Stop at B Street Pier

Straight view of the long B Street Pier

Bob Pool /

Located at the west end of the bay, B Street Pier is a perfect spot for relaxing and strolling around.

It offers sweeping views of the ocean and the beaches.

Side view of B Street Pier

Nora Yusuf /

You can see hundreds of sea lions swimming in groups along the pier on a good day.

Visit this pier to enjoy the tranquil energy of the surroundings.

Visit the Unique Crescent Beach

Beautiful sunrise at Crescent Beach

Bob Pool /

Crescent Beach is situated at the middle point of the crescent-shaped beach on which Crescent City is nestled.

The beach is sandy and very easy to walk, although some areas are rocky, so be careful.

The unique attribute of this beach is that it is diverse; it is rocky in some areas and hilly in others.

You can even spot seals and dolphins in the ocean.

The beach is popular among surfers, and you will find a lot of surfers surfing in the sea.

Don’t miss out on the sunsets and sunrises here; they are stunning,
with sweeping views of the orange sun sinking or rising from the ocean.

Enjoy a Long Drive on Howland Hill Road

Howland Hill Road covered in tall trees on both the sides

pmphoto /

Howland Hill Road has plenty of old-growth redwoods along the sides of the road, which makes it one of the most splendid places to appreciate nature in the city.

This one-way road is only 10 miles long and stretches from Crescent City to the small of Hiouchi.

Moss covered trees along the Howland Hill Road

Roman Khomlyak /

With so many colossal redwood trees on the sides of the road, a drive along this road with splendid natural beauty feels like stepping back to a simpler time.

The route also has a trail to walk if you do not want to drive.

Narrow path amidst the huge trees at Howland Hill Road

Tristan Brynildsen /

However, a drive along Howland Hill Road is a must to truly experience the glory of the lush greenery surrounding you and the sweeping views it offers.

Watch the Sunrise or Sunset at Pebble Beach

Rocks at Pebble Beach

Susan Olds /

Located on the west of the city, Pebble Beach is one of the most pristine beaches in California for collecting agates and other semi-precious gems.

The beach also has several connected coves.

It is a perfect place to relax and cool off while meditating or enjoying the ocean and watching the waves crash.

Colony of seaguls at Pebble Beach

Nature’s Charm /

Surfing is also a pretty popular activity on this beach.

Along with surfing, you can go hiking or enjoy fishing.

A man picking pebbles and rock on the shore of the Pebble Beach

Susan Olds /

The beach is located very near Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge, so you can also enjoy birdwatching here.

Don’t forget to catch a sunrise or sunset on this beach to enjoy the glorious beauty of this beach at its highest.

Take a Walk around the Splendid Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Colorful rainbow in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Slparker48 /

Situated only nine miles east of Crescent City, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park preserves old-growth redwoods.

The park is located along the River Smith and is named after the famous explorer Jedediah Smith.

A young woman walking beside gigantic trees at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Nate Hovee /

The state park has a large variety of vast and beautiful redwood trees.

This unspoiled redwood haven is quiet and peaceful.

Long walks in this beautiful luscious green space will give you a calm sense of reverence.

Trail covered with green plants at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Danita Delimont /

Play a Round of Golf at Kings Valley Golf Course

Kings Valley Golf Course is a nine-hole golf course in Crescent City, perfect for beginners.

The golf course is stunning and has a small bar on the premises where you can get a drink after golfing your heart out.

Go Horseback Riding with Crescent Trail Rides

Crescent Trail Rides provides horseback rides in Redwood National and State Park and Tolowa Dunes State Park to experience the gorgeous landscapes beautifully and uniquely.

The trips are supervised by experts who ensure that the rider and horse are safe.

The guides are knowledgeable and helpful.

So don’t worry if you have not ridden a horse; the guides will take care of you.

Make sure to ride a horse and appreciate the nature of this lovely Californian city.

Take a Tour of the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center

The Northcoast Marine Mammal Center is an incredible non-profit organization that rescues and rehabilitates marine animals back to health and releases them back into the ocean, their natural habitat.

The organization aims to educate people about their impact on the lives of these beautiful animals and their homes.

Entry to the center is free; however, you can donate money to save more animals.

The center also has a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs, and the money will go towards the organization’s charitable cause.

Visit this incredible place and do your part by donating money or learning about sustainable practices to save the ocean and its residents.

Go Camping at Florence Keller County Park and Campground

One of Crescent City’s hidden gems, Florence Keller County Park and Campground is a fantastic campsite surrounded by beautiful greenery.

You will see lovely redwood trees and luxurious ferns all around the campground.

There is a vast playground for children as well, along with a picnic area where you and your friends or family can enjoy a picnic while appreciating the beauty of the lush flora and fauna.

Don’t forget to camp at Florence Keller County Park and Campground whenever you visit Crescent City.

See Beautiful Marine Life at Ocean World

Entrance of Ocean World

Victoria Ditkovsky /

Opened in 1964, Ocean World is a popular family attraction offering guided tours of the place.

The highly educated and friendly staff will educate you about all the animals and their lives.

The guided tour offers a one-of-a-kind experience and lasts 45 minutes.

There are unique activities in which you can participate, such as shark petting and shows by adorable sea lions and seals.

There is a gift shop on the premises where you can buy gifts and souvenirs to commemorate your visit.

Enjoy the Tranquility at Stout Grove

An old wood piece at Stout Grove

Wildnerdpix /

Stout Grove is a magnificent trailhead in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and is probably the most scenic place in the world to see ancient redwoods.

Not many people know about this place, so it is never crowded.

Walking trail in Stout Grove

christopher babcock /

Stout Grove does not have the most significant and tallest redwood trees, but the extraordinary beauty of these stunning groves is unbeatable.

The grove has a serene environment with tranquillity to calm your mind, body, and soul.

Sign board at Stout Grove

Danita Delimont /

Take a walk among the splendid grove of redwood trees to appreciate the beauty and power of nature.

Hike the Trails at Tolowa Dunes State Park

Tolowa Dunes State Park covers an area of 5,000 acres and has two distinct sections, North and South of Earl Lake Wildlife Area.

There are hiking trails in the park where you can hike while enjoying the views of the water and greenery.

This state park is secluded and not crowded as it does not have an online presence, so it is not popular among tourists.

Visit this beautiful park to enjoy hiking like the locals.

Go Back in Time at the Del Norte County History Museum

The Del Norte County History Museum showcases the local history and culture of the county of Del Norte, where Crescent City is situated.

The building that houses the museum was constructed in 1926 and was a former jail.

It now has various exhibits and displays that educate people about the county’s history.

Ride the Waves at South Beach

A bird with a fish in its beak at South Beach

Create Opps /

Located south of Crescent City Harbor, South Beach is a beautiful wide sandy beach.

The beach is famous for surfing and beach walking.

It also has picnic tables, driftwood, creek, and surf rentals.

South Beach is also dog-friendly, so you and your pooch can walk on the shore and enjoy the beauty of the beach.

Try All the Best Restaurants in Crescent City

Front view of the Chart Room Restaurant

Daynarama, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Crescent City has a fantastic food scene, with numerous fabulous restaurants and cafes scattered throughout the area.

The city offers a wide variety of cuisines, but it is best known for its seafood as it is located on the Californian coast.

In addition to seafood, various vegetarian and vegan options are also available.

Some of the most famous eateries in the city are SeaQuake Brewing, Chart Room Restaurant, The Good Harvest Cafe, Fisherman’s Restaurant & Lounge, and Marlo’s Restaurant.

Visit these restaurants to enjoy fantastic seafood cooked to perfection.

Grab a Drink at One of the City’s Famous Bars or Breweries

After a long day of exploring the stunning beaches of Crescent City, you can quench your thirst at the bars, clubs, or breweries that the city is famous for.

Some of the famous places to get a drink in the city are Enoteca, Port O’Pints Brewing Co., and SeaQuake Brewing.

Stay at Crescent City’s Top-Rated Hotels

The city has a wide range of hotels, from budget-abiding hotels to luxurious hotels.

Some of the best and most comfortable hotels in the town are Best Western Plus Northwoods Inn, the Lighthouse Inn, the Ocean View Inn, and Curly Redwood Lodge.

These hotels are conveniently located and provide many amenities to make your stay more comfortable.

Try Your Luck at Elk Valley Casino

Crescent City’s Elk Valley Casino is a Native American-run establishment with tens of thousands of square feet of gaming space.

Above 300 slot machines are available, with play prices ranging from cents to dollars.

The casino’s deck area, which has hosted the World Series of Poker satellite events, offers poker tournament games.

Every day at noon, blackjack tables are accessible, along with a complete schedule of regularly scheduled bingo games.

Additionally, you can explore and get tickets to future shows, including comedic readings and live music.

Come take in the magnificent view of the northern shore while dining at Warrior’s Bar and Grill, playing a winning hand in the Poker Room, and enjoying the new, spacious casino.

Sample Delicious Cheeses at Rumiano Cheese Company

Rumiano Cheese Company was founded in 1919 by brothers Fred, John, and Richard Rumiano, three Italian immigrants.

It is the earliest family-run cheese manufacturing business in California.

Eight plants in the Crescent City area grew to become some of the biggest cheese manufacturers in the state by the 1930s.

It is currently run by third-generation Rumiano relatives, who are dedicated to using only organic and certificated kosher ingredients to create the best cheese creations.

The company’s Crescent City factory produces all of its cheese, and a vast selection of cheese items are sold there at the public tourist store.

Grab a Beer at SeaQuake Brewing

SeaQuake Brewing started operations in Crescent City in July 2016.

They went out to discover what they could brew on their own, motivated by their passion for craft beer and the stunning surroundings.

On a half-barrel system, they began in a barn during family picnics and progressed via exploring various recipes.

SeaQuake Brewing, which has a 15-barrel brewhouse created by Global Stainless Systems, aims to create beers that honor the region’s maritime history.

From Tuesday through Saturday, the brewery’s accessible taproom and eatery are available to the public and serve samples of its signature craft beers.

Explore the City with Redwood Sightseeing Tours

Redwood Sightseeing Tours in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park offers the most incredible possibilities in the area to view the magnificent old-growth redwoods.

Former seasonal park rangers with in-depth knowledge of the area and its trees now run the business.

Several morning and afternoon tour possibilities are offered throughout the year.

The duration of tours ranges from three to five hours, and they involve walking through stunning old-growth forests.

You will undoubtedly learn more after the journey thanks to the tour guides’ discussions of history and biology.

Walk around Nature at the Boy Scout Big Tree Trail

Dusty narrow path at Boy Scout Big Tree Trail

JKendall /

The Boy Scout Big Tree Trail is a well-liked trailhead in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

It may be reached via a trailhead parking area on Howland Hill Route, a traveler access path.

Some of the most magnificent old-growth redwoods may be viewed on the out-and-back route, which is fully isolated from contemporary construction and road noise.

It crosses a creek and a steep hillside region that is also home to hazelnut trees, huckleberry shrubs, and grand areas of the old-growth redwood forest.

The best viewing times are in the morning and mid-noon when the sun is shining and the redwoods are completely highlighted.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Catch Amazing Views of Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge

Located a mere 0.5 miles offshore from the city, Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge is a coastal rock that provides a sanctuary to seabirds.

The island is restricted only to wildlife.

You can admire this beautiful haven from the beach.

Final Thoughts

Crescent City is the sole incorporated community in Del Norte County, named after a stunning crescent-shaped section of coastline along the Pacific Ocean.

Visitors won’t run out of places to go and things to do, from entertainment venues to breweries and restaurants to trails and parks.

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