Things to Do in Northern California. We Created the Perfect Northern California Road Trip Bucket List

Looking for some things to do in Northern California? Check out this list of road trip ideas that will have you covered from head to toe. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff or foodie, we’ve got you covered.

things to do in northern california

From the Redwood National and State Parks to wine country, there’s something for everyone here. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your adventure today and select the best things to do in Northern California!

Things to Do in Northern California: Visit Lake Tahoe

One of the best things to do in Northern California is visiting Lake Tahoe. It is a popular tourist destination with activities for everyone. From hiking and biking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter, there is always something to do here.

There are many different lodging options available in Lake Tahoe, from camping to hotels and resorts. No matter what your budget is, you can find a place to stay that will suit your needs. There are also a variety of restaurants and bars in the area, so you can find something to eat no matter what your taste buds are craving.

Take a Ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train

Looking for unique things to do in Northern California? Then look no further than the Napa Valley Wine Train! This historic train takes passengers on a 3-hour, 36-mile round-trip journey through the heart of wine country, with stunning views of vineyards, wineries, and mountains along the way.

On board, passengers can enjoy gourmet meals and samples of fine Napa Valley wines. The train also has a variety of entertainment options, from live music to educational wine tastings.

Drive Along the Pacific Coast Highway

One of the most beautiful drives in the world, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) runs along the coast of California for over 650 miles. Start in San Francisco and head north through Marin County, Sonoma County, and Mendocino County before finally reaching Oregon. Along the way, you’ll have stunning views of the Pacific Ocean coastline. Be sure to stop at some incredible beaches, small towns, and state parks.

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Explore the Redwood Forest

The Redwood forest is famous for its tall trees, which can reach heights up to 380 feet. These majestic giants are some of the tallest living organisms on earth and offer a unique habitat for many species of wildlife. There are several state parks that provide visitors with opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural beauty of this forest. Many people visit the Redwood forest to hike, bike, or camp in the park.

As you explore the Redwood National Park, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any wildlife that may call this area home. You might see raccoons, deer, bobcats, and foxes as you hike through these beautiful trees. No matter how you choose to explore this forest, you’re sure to have an amazing time!

Drive Along the Avenue of the Giants

The Avenue of the Giants is a scenic drive through Humboldt Redwoods State Park and one of the most popular things to do in Northern California. The road is lined with towering redwoods, and there are plenty of pull-offs where you can stop to admire the views of the tallest trees on Earth. The drive is about 32 miles long, and it’s best to allow at least an hour or two so that you can enjoy the scenery and the giant trees.

Explore Yosemite National Park

One of the best ways to experience Yosemite National Park is to go on a hike. There are hiking trails for all levels of hikers, from easy to strenuous. A hike is a great way to see the park’s majestic waterfalls, meadows, forests, and granite cliffs up close.

If you’re looking for an adventure, you can go rock climbing or whitewater rafting in Yosemite. There are also plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching. You might see black bears, deer, squirrels, and many other animals during your visit to the park.

No matter what you do, make sure to take some time to just enjoy the beauty of Yosemite. It’s truly a special place.

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Explore Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a beautiful place to visit if you enjoy hiking, exploring hot springs, and geologic wonders. The park has over 150 miles of trails that are perfect for day hikes or even overnight backpacking trips. In addition to the many trails throughout the park with stunning views of the Lassen Peak – an active volcano, there are also many natural attractions to explore. Lassen’s most famous attraction is Bumpass Hell, a geothermal wonderland that consists of boiling springs and steaming fumaroles!

Take a Day Trip to Santa Cruz or San Jose

Santa Cruz is a beautiful beach town located just south of San Francisco. The city sits on the coast of Monterey Bay and offers some spectacular views of the bay area, as well as great hiking spots and opportunities to relax on the beach.

There are many things to do in Santa Cruz, including exploring the natural beauty of Big Basin Redwood State Park or visiting the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, one of the oldest seaside amusement parks in the country.

San Jose is one of the largest and most popular cities in California. It has a rich history, beautiful parks, impressive architecture, and plenty of museums to explore.

Visit Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is one of the most beautiful places in California. It’s a great place to enjoy nature, hike, and take in the incredible views. There are also plenty of activities for families to enjoy, including picnicking, fishing, and exploring the many trails.

Visit Sacramento

Visiting Sacramento is one of the best things to do in Northern California. This city is rich in history and full of great things to see and do. Start your visit at the California State Railroad Museum, where you can learn all about the state’s role in the development of the American West. Then, head to the Old Sacramento Waterfront for a taste of the city’s Gold Rush past. Today, this area is full of shops, restaurants, and museums.

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Be sure to check out the Sacramento Zoo and the California Automobile Museum. And, no visit to Sacramento would be complete without a tour of the State Capitol Building.

Explore the Big Sur

Located just south of San Francisco, the Big Sur region is one of the most beautiful places in California. Explore its dramatic coastline, towering redwood trees and rugged shoreline on an exciting road trip through this scenic area.

Big Sur is well known for its stunning natural scenery, with towering mountains plunging into the ocean to create a dramatic coastline. The scenery is particularly impressive at McWay Falls, where falling water tumbles over a cliff right into the Pacific Ocean below.

Things to Do in Northern California: More Ideas

There are plenty of things to do in Northern California, and if you love the outdoors and unique activities, you won’t be disappointed. Here are some other ideas and places to visit in Northern California:

  • Glass Beach;
  • Golden Gate Park;
  • Lava Beds National Monument;
  • Russian Gulch State Park.

Have you ever explored the California Coast? We hope that our list will help you plan your perfect trip. Thanks for reading!

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