Whether you’re planning a road trip to Redwood National and State Parks or you’re a lighthouse lover planning a trip to visit the Battery Point Lighthouse, there is only one place to stay: the quaint coastal town of Crescent City.
Sitting on the Pacific coast 20 miles south of the Oregon border, Crescent City is the only incorporated city in Del Norte County, California. The city was incorporated in 1854 and was named for the crescent-shaped stretch of white sand beach just south of the city.
We stayed at the Oceanfront Lodge just down the street from the lighthouse. It definitely isn’t the nicest place we’ve stayed, as it’s old and a little run-down. The complimentary breakfast also wasn’t very appealing&hellip But the staff was friendly so we didn’t care all that much! When road tripping through tiny towns, lodging is always a gamble. Plus, we don’t spend much time at the hotels — they’re just a place to sleep and shower between our days of adventuring.
If we go back to Crescent City would we stay there again? Yep. Totally. Relaxing on the third-floor balcony of our room with a cold beverage while the sun set was amazing.
Sitting just south of Crescent City, Crescent Beach is a white sand beach that stretches 3.0 miles down the Pacific coast. It’s one of the longest sandy beaches in Northern California and because it is fairly flat, it is a popular destination for families who want to have a picnic, fly a kite, search for seashells and sand dollars, and even build a driftwood fort!
The back of the beach is lined with driftwood washed ashore during winter storms. Giant logs make perfect benches in the summer and the small driftwood pieces become the perfect pirate fort building materials. We enjoyed walking through the surf, listening to the waves crash peacefully on the shore, and hunting for sea shells.
Crescent Beach Overlook
At the very end of Enderts Beach Road, to the right of the main parking area, is the Crescent Beach Overlook. It provides a spectacular view of the entire length of Crescent Beach. Several picnic tables make it a fantastic place to have a picnic lunch or dinner.
Crescent Beach Overlook is also where you’ll find the trailhead for the Last Chance section of the California Coastal Trail. The trail, a short 0.5 mile hike, leads to the more secluded and rocky Enderts Beach. With white sand, tidepools, a sea arch, and lots of driftwood, it is one of Redwood National Park’s most scenic beaches.
Visiting Again In 2020
With the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders in place and our 2020 vacation plans all cancelled, we decided to take a road trip to the northern California and Southern Oregon coasts. The plan was to relax and hit a few spots and activities we missed during our stop in Crescent City in 2017.
After hiking to Endert’s Beach — an amazing, practically deserted beach with a stunning sea arch — we decided to stop at the Crescent Beach Overlook again and then go for a walk along the surf at Crescent Beach. Even though it was foggy and overcast, the views and beach were still beautiful! Plus, it felt great to beat the 100 degree weather back home!
Know Before You Go
- Crescent City is located on California’s beautiful northern pacific coast 20 miles south of Brookings and 60 miles north of Arcata, Eureka, and the Humboldt Bay. It is accessed by Highway 101 and Highway 199.
- The coastal city is also the site of the Redwood National And State Parks headquarters.
- Crescent City Harbor is a commercial fishing port, home to multiple fishing and non-fishing related businesses, and a destination for boaters.
- There are several pull outs along Highway 101 that provide free parking and quick access to Crescent Beach. Some local trails also provide access.
- The main Crescent Beach parking lot is close to the center of the beach on Enderts Beach Road off Highway 101. The Crescent Beach Overlook parking area is at the end of Enderts Beach Road. Parking is free in both spots.
- The main beach parking lot and the southern portion of Crescent Beach is part of Redwood National Park.
- Restrooms can be found at the south end of the beach.
- Dogs are allowed on the beach but must be kept on leash
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