Architectural Tours of Arcata

HSSA is proud to present to you
three downloadable walking (and online interactive) tours of Arcata's Architecture. We divided our City into three sections:

Susie Van Kirk, well-known Arcata historian, has searched deeds, old newspapers, and local histories to bring together this information about Arcata's historical sites. Whether you are a visitor, a newcomer or a long-time resident, we hope you will enjoy learning more about Arcata's architecture.

Don't forget to first read the digest of Arcata's history: Historic Arcata. Then pick any tour and begin. Touring North Arcata and Touring Central Arcata are walking tours. Touring East Arcata can be also walked, but you might choose to travel it by automobile. Read about each building/site as you discover for yourself what's gone on in the past and what might happen in the future. What an easy way to get to know Arcata.

Interactive Maps from the City of Arcata

The City of Arcata Geographic Information System (GIS) provides analysis and mapping services to City staff, the public, and other jurisdictions and features public access to maps and data, including these maps that tell stories of Arcata's past:

  • Arcata Historical Highlights: This map is an interactive telling of Arcata's history. This tour will take you through historical highlights from 1850 to 1970. Use your space bar to advance through the Story Map.
  • 75 Years of Landscape Change in Arcata: One way to better understand how Arcata's landscape has changed through the years is to view early aerial photographs. Use this interactive map to compare aerial imagery from 1941 and 2016. To use the map, drag the slider from left to right.


Arcata Walks

The “Citizens Working to Beautify Arcata” started Arcata Walks. Humboldt State University sculpture students created the first sculptures for the Arcata Walk in 2005. In competition, the participating students were juried by HSU with each student receiving a stipend for materials such as bronze and steel. The people of Arcata honored the students’ work in mid-May before graduation by walking the tour of all the downtown sculptures. Arcata Foundation, local businesses, City of Arcata participated in funding this project.