Arcata, originally Union Town or Union, is a city adjacent to the Arcata Bay (northern) portion of Humboldt Bay in Humboldt County, California. Arcata’s population is 17,231. This college town located 280 miles north of San Francisco is home to Humboldt State University. Arcata is also the location of the Arcata Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Land Management, which is responsible for the administration of natural resources, lands and mineral programs, including the Headwaters Forest, on approximately 200,000 acres of public land in Northwestern California.
Arcata’s climate is dominated by marine influences associated with Humboldt Bay and the Pacific Ocean. On average, Arcata experiences 40 to 50 inches of rain per year, though there is a short but pronounced dry season from June to September. Average temperature is 46.7 degrees.
The heart of Arcata is the Plaza. The Plaza has a green lawn, extensive flower plantings, and at its center a stature of President McKinley by Haig Patigian. The Plaza is surrounded by stores, bars, coffee shops, restaurants and live music venues. The Plaza is also the center of Humboldt County’s largest famer’s market (April-November), and serves as a major venue for local, Fourth of July festivities, The Arcata Main Street Oyster Festival, the start of the Kinetic Sculpture Race, and the North County Fair.
Arcata also features a large number of original Victorian structures, many of which have been restored.