A safe harbor in Northern California is nestled where the giant redwoods meet the rugged coast.
Crescent City is the most northern city on the coast of California, just south of the Oregon border, where Elk Creek flows into the Pacific Ocean. A Mediterranean climate delivers mild weather for most of the year — not too hot in the summer and not too cold in the winter — and outdoor recreational activities draw adventurers of all kinds, including boat owners. Crescent Harbor is in the heart of this small town, and boaters who love nature should definitely make this a stop.
Where to Moor
Crescent Harbor is the gateway for boaters who want to explore some of California’s most beautiful forests. The harbor offers many amenities, including free Wi-Fi throughout. Guest boaters will find moorage on both sides of H dock and may side-tie anywhere along that dock, though not to other vessels, which is prohibited due to the dock’s proximity to the channel. Fuel is available on the north side of Citizens Dock — the pier with the large blue building on the end — and restrooms, showers and laundry facilities are available to guest boaters. Call (707) 464-6174 during business hours or (797) 954-8341 after hours for access to the shower facilities.
North Coast Grill offers fresh seafood meals, which is no surprise, but it’s also a place where visitors can rent surfboards, wetsuits and bicycles. Visitors can book surf lessons and paddle tours at the café, for a one-stop-shop day of fun and food. The Chart Room is in the harbor in a converted marine shop. It offers locally sourced traditional seafood in a casual waterfront dining atmosphere. For a hearty Mexican meal, boaters should head over the highway to Los Compadres Mexican Food, where they can order a giant burrito or nachos when hunger strikes.
Folks who are pressed for time can visit the Aztec Grill, a newcomer to the area near the harbor, which is a grab-n-go spot — think Chipotle — inside the Redwood Market. For a quick and tasty (mostly fried) seafood meal, boaters need not walk far. Fisherman’s Restaurant and Lounge is a nautically themed fast-casual eatery right in the harbor. Or, for a to-go seafood experience, Crescent Seafood is right in the inner harbor.
So Many Things To See
Two famous lighthouses are set among the rocks outside Crescent Harbor. Battery Point Light 8 is just outside the harbor entrance and was one of the first lighthouses on the California coast. The Del Norte Historical Society operates the lighthouse and museum, which is open to the public when low tide permits. Hours are typically daily from April through September, with tours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. From October through March, the lighthouse is only open for tours on weekends.
On North West Seal Rock, the Saint George Reef Lighthouse stands proudly. It is built on a collection of exposed rocks about eight miles northwest of Crescent City. Boaters coming from the north should keep an eye out while en route to the harbor.
Just beyond the harbor, the Redwood National and State Park is a mere eight miles away. The park, a lush forest that surrounds Crescent City, is an alluring attraction for locals and visitors, partially thanks to the many available hiking trails that allow beginners and experts to enjoy the redwood forests.
A local attraction since 1964, Ocean World Aquarium 9 has been delighting visitors with more than half a million gallons of tanks. Attractions that are sure to please visitors of all ages include shark petting, a tide pool, a high-flying sea lion performance and elaborate aquatic tanks. The aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
A humble memorial monument west of Ocean World honors a local community activist, William Boone, who died in 1957. Boone was one of the reasons for the great Independence Day Celebration in Crescent City.