Vacations in Northern California give visitors a chance to admire some of the tallest trees in North America, including the 275-foot-tall, 36-foot-wide General Sherman, the oldest living sequoia. Northern California encompasses the counties that extend from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Oregon border. It contains diverse landscapes of Pacific coastlines, dense forests, mountain peaks and small towns tucked away from the main highway. Visitors explore large areas protected by the US National Park System.
Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Shasta Cascade Region
The Shasta Cascade Region consists of eight counties that boast backcountry roads, six scenic rivers, seven national forests and eight national and state parks. Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, one of 37 All-American Roads in the United States, runs from Lassen Volcanic National Park to southern Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park.
All-American roads have features not found in other parts of the United States. This byway boasts geological formations formed by volcanic activity, such as steaming mud pots, lava tube caves and obsidian glass flows. It also runs through a mix of landscapes, from dense forests to wetlands.
Shasta State Historic Park in Shasta has a restored 1861 courthouse and Gold Rush-era brick buildings and cottages. The old courthouse, now the Courthouse Museum, operates as a visitor center and displays artworks and historic relics from the late 1800s.
Bridge Bay Resort on Lake Shasta offers houseboat accommodations on the lake, each with full kitchen, bathroom with shower, barbecue pit and television with DVD player. The Grand Sierra EX house boat has a water slide.
Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association
1699 Highway 273
Anderson, CA 96007
The Sierra Nevada area features snow-capped mountains, Yosemite Valley, Mount Whitney and Sequoia National Park, where visitors see the largest trees on Earth. As visitors drive through this area, they get scenic views of the Pacific coastline, ancient redwood trees and bristlecone pines.
Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes sits 7,560 feet above sea level west of the Sierra Nevada crests. The site features Rainbow Falls, which drop 101 feet over a ridge into the San Joaquin River and boasts numerous rainbow appearances through the mist on summer days. The trail leading to the falls is a 2.5-mile hike from the ranger station.
The El Dorado County Historical Museum in Placerville tells stories of Native Americans, the Gold Rush, the railroads, agriculture and logging. Exhibit items include woven baskets, farming equipment, stagecoaches, photos and gold prospecting instruments.
Sierra Lodge in Three Rivers, only three miles from Sequoia National Park, provides year-round accommodations and features views of giant sequoias. Its rooms and suites offer kitchen areas, wood-burning fireplaces and private balconies.
Sierra Business Council
P.O. Box 2428
Truckee, CA 96160
California’s North Coast, called the Redwood Empire, has dense redwood forests, narrow river valleys and canyons and Pacific Ocean coastlines with rugged cliffs. A self-guided tour of California’s Redwood Highway features lighthouses; six state and national parks; Point Reyes National Seashore; and three “Drive-Through” Trees in Leggett, Klamath and Myers Flat.
Leggett’s Chandelier Drive-Through Tree sits on a 250-acre wilderness with picnic areas by a pond and hiking trails. Point Reyes National Seashore in Point Reyes Station features rocky headlands, sandy beaches and forested ridges, and is home to more than 1,000 animal and plant species.
The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa contains indoor and outdoor “Peanuts”-inspired exhibits, a 100-seat theater playing animated specials and documentaries about Charles M. Schulz and a re-creation of Schulz’s studio.
The Inn at Schoolhouse Creek in Mendocino offers cliff-side cottages with ocean views, fireplace, hot tub, living area and full kitchen. On-site amenities include a hot breakfast, spa services and pet activities. The inn will also arrange winery tours for guests.
North Coast Tourism Council
525 S. Main St.
Ukiah, CA 95482
- Lassen Volcanic Park image by Bysted from Fotolia.com