Eureka hugs the shores of Humboldt Bay, the state’s largest bay north of San Francisco. As you drive into the town along Hwy 101, Eureka’s suburban strip is unimpressive. But venture into Old Town, a couple of blocks away, and there are colorful Victorians, impressive museums and a refurbished waterfront. There are lots of artists here: you’ll see photographs, paintings and sculpture in restaurants, bars and public spaces. Unfortunately, it’s an early-to-bed town; sidewalks roll up by 9pm.