Crescent City, California


What? : Crescent City is named for its crescent-shaped stretch of Pacific Coast beachfront. The city is home to the historic Battery Point Lighthouse and it is providing an easy access to the nearby beautiful beaches and the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.


This location is part of my "Redwood Parks at Northern California Coastline" road-trip suggestions and trip planner blog.

Link to the trip planner blog


Where? : The city is located on the Pacific coast on highway 101 in the upper northwestern part of California, about 20 mi south of the Oregon border.

Google Map Link


When? : Year round, The wettest months are from October to March, the city has relatively warm-summer with morning fog.


My thoughts: I really enjoy visiting at Crescent City and spending some time here. The small town has both sandy beach to the south of the bay and rocky section near the town. You can walk along the coastline and watch the sunset over Battery Point Lighthouse, walk the 3,400-foot-long Jetty, enjoy Pebble beach, or try to see St. George Reef Lighthouse, located 6 miles in the ocean. From here I went to the nearby Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.


The visit:

Crescent City is Del Norte County's only incorporated city (it is a small one, total population of 6,676), named for its beautiful crescent-shaped stretch of Pacific Coast beachfront.



Crescent City’s Ocean offshore geography makes it unusually susceptible to tsunamis.

The first and most damaging tsunami to hit was generated by the Alaska 9.2 Richter scale `Earthquake on March 27, 1964. Four hours after major waves came crashing ashore at Crescent City. A dozen people were killed and most of the town's business district was leveled. More recently, the city's harbor suffered extensive damage in March 11, 2011 event.


What to do when visiting Crescent City:

The below list the local attractions ...


Crescent Beach

Crescent Beach is a public beach located just south of the city of Crescent City, offering free visitor parking near Enderts Beach Road and Highway 101. The long sandy beach is a popular spot for surfing, swimming, beach walking.

Battery Point Beach and Lighthouse:

In 1855 Congress authorized the building of a lighthouse at "the battery point", a high tide island just off the shore, which is still functioning as a historical landmark.

The lighthouse starts to operate in 1856, the lighthouse survived the 1964 tsunami.

Today, it is operated and overseen by the Del Norte Historical Society. The lighthouse is open to the public during low tide access, available for public guided tours daily during peak season and on weekends during off-season.

Lighthouse Jetty and B Street Pier:

Construction of a jetty began in the 1920s where it extended 1300 feet out from Battery Point, additional rock and concrete work completed in 1957 and extend the jetty up to his current size, 3,400 feet into the bay.

At 1986 addition of some 700 doloses (42 tonnes reinforced concrete blocks, 20 of them with transmitters to monitor possible movement) where added to the jetty to protect the structure from wave erosion.

Be careful!

Low tide and a calm sea are what you are looking for when walking the jetty, powerful waves unexpectedly crashing over can carry you over the jetty into the bay.

Just near the jetty at the end of B street you can visit the pier.

Originally the 900-foot-long B Street Pier was expected to be a place for folks that would like to fish in in the bay, but unfortunately this is not the case and today it is being used for short hike and birds viewing.

Ocean World Aquarium:

Ocean World is a privately-owned aquarium that was originally opened to the public in 1964. Today, it is home to undersea habitats housed within more than half a million gallons of aquarium space, open daily to the public throughout the morning and afternoon hours. I did not visit here yet.

Del Norte County History Museum:

This public museum operated by the Del Norte County Historical Society, located within Crescent City's. The small museum has been open to the public since 1963, housed within the former County Jail portion of its historic building, with jail cells on the building's second floor serving as exhibit rooms. I did not visit here yet.


Pebble Beach:

Pebble Beach is a series of connected coves located throughout the Crescent City oceanfront. The beach offers several parking areas between Point St. George and Battery Point, with various beach access points offered along North and South Pebble Drives.

St. George Reef Lighthouse:

The St. George Reef Light is an inactive lighthouse built on Northwest Seal Rock, 6 miles off the coast, north west of Crescent City.

The location of the lighthouse deep in the ocean on the tip of the line of "Dragon Rocks", was selected after numerous accidents and the wreck of the overloaded Brother Jonathan on July 30, 1865.

The light was first illuminated on October 20, 1892. It stands 144 feet (44 m) above the waterline.

When the air is clear and there is no fog, you can spot the lighthouse from Point St. George parking lot at the end of Pebble Beach drive near the town airport, here you also have access to the long open beaches north of town.

Tolowa Dunes State Park

Tolowa Dunes State Park is located within Del Norte County, encompassing the Lake Earl, Lake Tolowa, and Yontocket regions of California's northern coastline. The Park is accessible via Highway 101 north of Crescent City. I did not visit here yet.

Howland Hill Road and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park:

Just out of Crescent City to the west, Howland Hill Road, start as a paved and turned into gravel road, will take you into one of the most beautiful redwood drives in northern California. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is the place to explore old redwood groves.

See the link to my Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park visit blog:

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park


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