Delightful shops offering locally handcrafted merchandise, sports equipment, (kayaks, bikes, etc.) boutiques and restaurants line the Plaza and streets beyond it.
Arcata being a college town, the local bookstores and coffee houses are especially interesting.
Stop in Arcata Artisans at the Plaza.
Do not miss Jacoby's Storehouse. This restored historical building has shops and a delightful central area where you can sit down, have an ice cream or snack and relax. Jaocby's is also home to two fine restaurants, Abruzzi and The Plaza Grill.
Here's a list of some of the "Shops & Stops"