Welcome to Crescent City
Crescent City is California’s last big town north of Arcata. Founded as a thriving seaport and supply center for inland gold mines in the mid-19th century, the town’s history was quite literally washed away in 1964, when half the town was swallowed by a tsunami. Of course, it was rebuilt (though mostly with the utilitarian ugliness of ticky-tacky buildings), but its marina was devastated by effects of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, when the city was evacuated. The economy depends heavily on shrimp and crab fishing, hotel tax and on Pelican Bay maximum-security prison, just north of town, which adds tension to the air and lots of cops to the streets.
Hwy 101 splits into two parallel one-way streets, with the southbound traffic on L St, northbound on M St. To see the major sights, turn west on Front St toward the lighthouse. Downtown is along 3rd St.