Crescent City is home to California’s northernmost lighthouse stations. The 1856 Battery Point Lighthouse sits on a tiny island only reachable at low tide, when visitors can walk across the causeway, climb to the lamp room for a spectacular 360-degree view. A few miles away is the lighthouse at St. George Reef, 6 miles/9.6 kilometers offshore, built after the 1865 shipwreck of the Brother Jonathan, rumored to hold 1.5 tons/1,361 kilograms of gold coins and bullion, much of which was never recovered. The lighthouse’s original Fresnel lens can be viewed at the Del Norte County Main Museum.
In town, wander the Crescent City waterfront. At Ocean World, sea lions balance balls and play catch with visitors, while at the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center, injured elephant seals and sea lions get some TLC before being released back to the wild. And Pebble Beach, on the west end of town, is a great place to search for semi-precious gemstones.