Strikingly beautiful nature (without the car jams of Big Sur) surround this enlighted, tolerant forward-living community. Arcata is about 300 miles from any city (Portand OR to the north and San Fran south) so it is the community center for all the surrounding old growth forest communities. This feels like the epicenter of environmental health. Humboldt State University is in the forefront of Environmentalism and the people who are drawn here are natural born stewards of environmental leadership. I find it like a mini european village full of tolerance and quality of life connected to nature. The weather in Arcata is mild and a bit cool and foggy year round but 10 minutes inland towards the amazing Trinity Alps you get warm sunny summers and snowy winters. Town square has everything a traditional college town would have including two cinemas, co-op groceries, pubs, shops, park, vegetarian options are plentiful. Up the road 20 minutes is College Cove Beach where lush ferns under a canopy of towering redwoods on waterfall cliffs meet the Pacific ocean. Slugs are big and yellow, clothing is optional, hair is plentiful and drums accompany the waves. Activities abound in and near Arcata: River camping on the mad river, watching the salmon at the hatchery, seeing theater at the University, visiting Victorian village of Ferndale, having a lumberjack meal at the Samoa Cookhouse, "city stuff" in Eureka, watching the Kinetic Sculpture race, dubbed the "Triathlon of the Art World." where homemade machines tackle mud, sand, water, gravel and pavement to the finish line, and my favorite affordable retreat in a private outdoor wooden hottub in a finnish forest atmosphere at the Finnish Country Sauna & Tubs. This is a lush paradise for people who love living in a tolerant community of nature lovers. Peace!