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Eureka, California

Eureka is the largest protected deep water port between San Francisco and Puget Sound and lies in the heart of stunning forests renowned for their magnificent coastal redwoods.

Gold prospectors, many of whom were lumbermen, came to the area in the late 1800s and soon recognised the potential for the timber industry on the bay. The best place to go to see what it would have been like there is the Samoa Cafe, still preserved in the same way it always has been the now half restaurant half library serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The town prospered and literally grew out of the two forests, its wealthy inhabitants building grand wooden homes, many of which still survive. Today Eureka has one of the nation's best preserved Victorian districts and is renowned for being a centre for the arts, the Carter Mansion and its antique shops. It is a delight to stroll through the historic old town streets, exploring the buildings, shops and galleries at your own pace.

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