McKinleyville, California is home to the second female-owned brewery in the entire state. They call themselves the Brew With the View thanks to their unparalleled North Coast vistas.
The area was originally home to the Wiyot and Yurok people. The two culturally similar tribes were among the last native Californians to encounter European settlers since the Spanish missions fell hundreds of miles short of this northern edge of California. The Native Americans here were likely saved from the devastation of the fur trade thanks to their coastline not being a sea otter habitat. Eventually, however, even their way of life was ultimately utterly changed by the arrival of settlers in the mid-1800s who arrived in search of gold, to farm the land, and build great ranches throughout the latter portion of the 19th century. An infamous massacre of Wiyot occurred in 1860, news of which spread all the way to New York, thanks to the writer Bret Harte's detailed news accounts. Today, the remaining Wiyot have established the Table Bluff Reservation and are in the process of reviving their native language.
Moving to Town
Today, McKinleyville is an area comprised of other, smaller settlements and towns, amounting to about 21 square miles and home to just over 15,000 residents, at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census. McKinleyville was called Calville until President McKinley's assassination in 1901, at which point it changed its name in his honor. Dow's Prairie, the original settlement in the area, maintains its original name to this day.
Modern McKinleyville is mostly a bedroom community. Major services are found in neighboring Arcata and Eureka. It's a 5-hour drive to San Francisco and a 3-hour drive to Medford, Oregon (challenging drives, at that). This is a great place to relocate to if you're tired of having family drop in unannounced.
Get to Know McKinleyville
McKinleyville is served by the regional Arcata-Eureka Airport. Put on your brave pants: this airport was originally constructed as an experimental field to practice landing during heavy fog conditions (which should give you some insight into the local weather). For those who'd rather skip the small craft arrival into McKinleyville, your main roadway will be the fabled U.S. 101, which spans California all the way down to Los Angeles. It's no small drive to get here, and make sure during stormy winter months to check the roads feeding into 101 that connect this area to eastern California -- they can frequently close.
As this city is comprised of several areas, here are few places you might want to explore during your search for your next rental home in McKinleyville:
Clam Beach: In the north of the area, Clam Beach covers the airport area and offers a mix of housing options like one and two bedroom apartments and rental houses with three or more bedrooms. Most houses here were built in the 1970s to 1990s, though some date back to the 1940s. As the name suggests, you might get a place with a beachfront view if you find your next apartment for rent here.
Town Center: A denser part of town, you'll find yourself close to the McKinleyville amenities here. Studio apartments are available, as are three or four bedroom rental homes. Lots of nice restaurants and shops line Central Avenue in this area. Check out Carmela's Mexican Restaurant and Luzmila's Mexican Restaurant, and join the local argument over which can claim the crown for local Mexican fare.
Fisher: You'll find primarily smaller detached homes here -- think 1 and 2 bedroom options. Its proximity to Arcata makes it desirable since it's closer to some of the larger town amenities and cuts down on commute times (though only a bit). You'll have a bit of coastal life here, with views of both the Pacific and the Mad River, which hugs the edge of this part of town as it heads for the deep blue sea.
Living in McKinleyville
There's plenty of outdoor living to be done in McKinleyville. Grab your bike, horse, or running shoes and hit the Hammond Trail -- 5 miles of trails linking McKinleyville, Arcata, and surrounding communities along historic railroad grades. It's part of the larger California Coastal Trail and the Pacific Coast Bike Route, so maybe pack a snack if you decide to keep exploring the state once you've had a taste.
After your trail time, slake your thirst at the Six Rivers Brewery, a local restaurant with eleven house-made beers on offer. Fun fact: it's the second female-owned brewery in California.
Runners will want to mark their calendars for the annual Trinidad-Clam Beach Run which takes them from Trinidad -- a former whaling village, the smallest incorporated city in the state, and located in the heart of the Redwood Coast -- down to Clam Beach. Runners have the option of several distances. The exact date of the run each year is dependent on the height of the tides since runners cross the mouth of the Little River at Moonstone Beach.
For over 40 years, McKinleyville has been home to Pony Express Days, a 5-day event featuring a cook off, firemen games, a dance, a parade, and a horseshoe tournament and festival at Pierson Park. The event culminates with a Gymkhana, a series of horseback contests.
You'll have enough McKinleyville shopping to get you what you need, but for more unique items or more options, head south into Arcata and Eureka where you'll find much larger retail centers.