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El Capitan, the largest granite monolith in the world, Yosemite National Park


Top Destinations ·  Northern California

Northern California Top Destinations

Northern California has many great vacation travel destinations from which to choose. Each destination includes local information, weather, photos, maps and all of it is free.

Some hints for finding just the right Northern California locale for your vacation –
Nature lovers:

Explore Yosemite National Park– hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, photography, rockclimbing and much more. #1 most popular park in Northern California

Explore Tahoe – high alpine forests surround a huge stunningly clear blue lake. In winter, skiers and snowboarders travel here from all over the world.

Birdwatchers should try Gray Lodge Wildlife Area near Gridley (Highway 99) for seasonal viewing of sandhill cranes (winter) and more than 230 other species. Or, other Northern California birdwatching hotspots include the Bolinas Lagoon (on the coast north of San Francisco) or, keep going a bit further north to the wetlands of Point Reyes National Seashore.

Nightlife seekers:

San Francisco and Oakland each have a Yoshi’s Jazz Club for top names in a cozy venue.

Head to South Lake Tahoe and travel across the state line to the Nevada side casinos and resorts.


Check out the trails around the Mammoth Lakes area (near 395, east of Yosemite) for a summer vacation (skiers fill the condos and resorts in the winter).

History buffs:

Drive Highway 49 to see remnants of the Old West in towns like Sutter Creek and Angles Camp.

Take the tour of Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay


San Francisco has endless restaurants of merit – many with unusual themes or ethnic twists.  

Head to wine country towns like Yountville, Healdsburg and Napa for top-notch restaurants in quaint settings.

Beach lovers:

Carmel Beach on the Monterey Peninsula.

Stinson Beach near San Francisco or Ocean Beach in San Francisco

Natural Bridges State Beach near Santa Cruz


Paramount’s Great America theme park (north of San Jose)

Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey

Shasta Lake (houseboating mecca of California)
Wine enthusiasts:

Everyone knows about the 200+ wineries throughout Napa and Sonoma counties north of San Francisco. Stay a day, a weekend or a week and enjoy the ambiance.

Explore the wineries in Mendocino county, along Hwy 101 near the towns of Hopland and Ukiah.

Go west to the Sierra foothills to the towns of Murphys and Plymouth – nearby wineries welcome visitors.


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Spring hiking in Lassen National Forest

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