What Makes Northern California so Special for so Many People?
We Can Give it to You in One Word:
The northern half of the state of California has more variety than anywhere else in the world! Travel anywhere in NorCal, from the highest tip of the Sierra Nevada Mountains; to California's Wine Country; to its cities and towns; to California's Central Valley; to the rocky shores and sandy beaches of the NorCal coast; - where ever you go, you're sure to find something YOU love!
This is your one-stop, online Travel Guide for tips on where to go, what to see, and what you can do in the North State. Whether you're planning to visit us here in NorCal or you're a long-time resident, there's always something new to discover! Join us in exploring our little corner of the world!
Do you have a favorite
From a family visit from years ago to something
you discovered last weekend,
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Travel Tips to Help You Discover Your
Favorite Northern California Sights and Sites!
Take a drive along State Highway 1 - hugging the California coastline most of the way - and you'll discover
isolated coves and beaches, the dramatic rocky headlands of Mendocino Village
with sheer drops to the restless Pacific Ocean
below; the fascinating off-shore rock formations called Sea Stacks; giant
coastal Redwoods, and the most incredible whale watching. It's one
of my favorite drives!
Discover the Northern California Wine Country!
It seems new wineries and appellations crop up every day and they're growing wine grapes where only raisins grew before!
Some Northern California wine regions are rediscovering their area's ability to produce premium wines after a hiatus; others are finding ways to grow quality wine grapes where none grew before.
Just to name a few:
Discover Hundreds of Northern California Cities:
San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, Santa Cruz...
NorCal cities are incredibly diverse.
Some are fun and playful; others are elegant and sophisticated.
Many have grown up out of their agricultural roots; while others seem to have popped up out of nowhere.
What they have in common is personality!
San Francisco is elegant and sophisticated with a European flair. Berkely embraces each counter-culture movement that comes along. Monterey has had its Steinbeck moments. And then there's hippie-dippy Santa Cruz, just to name a few of my favorites!
The Bay Area
The Bay Area is an obvious place to start
when visiting Northern
California cities as there are so many, so close together. Explore the many and exciting opportunities for theater, opera, musicals, ballet; art, cultural, natural history museums; fine dining, five-star hotels; and shopping, shopping, shopping till you're dropping, dropping, dropping. Everything you would expect from city life!
Outside the Bay Area
But don't overlook Sacramento,
California's State Capital. Sacramento rose out of the California Gold
Rush and it shows. Later it had a long-lived reputation as a cowtown. And
Sacramentans take a slightly guilty pleasure in promoting both these
reputations. But Sacramento
has come into its own as a destination city in its own right. In fact, we've even heard Sacramento referred to as a Little San Francisco!
Many other NorCal cities will surprise you
with their offerings as well, like the city of Chico
- our AHT (Adopted
Or Santa Rosa,
at one time home to famed horticulturalist Luther Burbank, and cartoonist
Charles M. Schultz, creator of the Peanuts cartoon. Or Salinas,
agricultural community and surprisingly, the County Seat of Monterey County (most people think Monterey is the county Seat).
Come along while we explore them all!
Discover Northern California as
the Land of Winter Sports
One of the things we love most about Northern California is not only the variety of scenery, but the variety of weather too!
On the same day, within a couple of hundred miles of each other, visitors and residents alike can be enjoying a balmy day at the beach or an exhilarating day of down-hill skiing!
Head out for the Sierra Nevadas or the Cascades. You can snow ski - downhill or cross-country - build a snowman family or make snow angels, ice skate, snowboard, or simply curl up in front of an enormous fireplace in a beautiful lodge - wearing your best resort après-ski togs - and sip hot toddies.
But did you know Yosemite National Park is stunning - and accessible - in the Winter as well? Get your Winter sports fix throughout the park (cross-country skiing and snowshoeing; ice skating), or at Badger Pass ski area (downhill skiing and snowboarding). Most people aren't aware of this option because they only visit during the Summer.
And Alpine County - affectionately nicknamed the California Alps - combines snow sports with hot springs. We can't imagine a better combination than that!
Discover the Outdoors Like You've Never Seen it Before
You won't find more diversification of nature and wildlife than you'll encounter in the wilds of Northern California, and in many cases, you don't have to go far to find it!
Travel the North State and you'll discover Redwood forests teeming with wildlife; wetlands along the Pacific Flyway, which are used by millions of migratory waterfowl as they migrate South in the Winter; and several species of whale unique whale watching experiences.
Find rolling hills covered in mustard in the Spring, undulating oat grass in the Summer, and California Live Oaks year-round; Table Mountain near Oroville, with its Spring carpet of blue, yellow, white, red, orange, and multicolored wildflowers; and mountain ranges big - the Sierra Nevadas, the Cascades, the Trinity Alps, the California Alps - and small - Sutter Buttes - each with its own series of ecosystems!
There are rivers, streams, and lakes; rain forests and deserts; bears, mountain lions, elk, and deer; snow-covered granite peaks and long flat valleys; sports fishing and hunting; sandy beaches and rocky shores; literally something for everyone!
Whether you want a Sunday Drive in the country or a full-on isolationist backpacking trip into the Trinity Alps, you'll find it all here in Northern California!
But What if You're a History Buff?
Nothing says history like the California Gold Rush. There’s hardly a square inch of Northern California that wasn’t involved in one way or another.
A major jumping-off point: San Francisco;
And these major players: the Great Central Valley - where crops and cattle were raised to feed the miners; The Sierra Nevadas, the Cascades, and the Trinity Alps, where the gold was found; the California Alps in Alpine County, which played such an important part in getting gold seekers to California.
Names like Placerville, Hangtown, Coloma, Fiddletown, Drytown (named for the dry gold mines, not the lack of saloons), Mokelumne Hill, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Auburn, Angels Camp - all evoke images of panning for color, Long Toms, hydraulic mining, and dredging.
But NorCal's history began long before the Gold Rush. When Mexico ruled, it was an era of pueblos, haciendas, and huge grants of land where cattle were raised and life was good for the landlords.
And prior to that came the Spaniards with their missions. The most northerly of these (although actually built under Mexican rule) is Sonoma Mission, which was erected in the town of Sonoma as an outpost against the Russians (a perceived threat which never actually materialized).
But even before the Spanish, the Russians, the Mexicans -
thousands of years before - a dense population of Native Americans called Northern California home and lived off the land in varying degrees of peace and war.
And we value our California history, so you'll find much of the natural and man-made remnants of our history preserved and/or restored for the benefit of the Student of History within us all.
There's something for everyone in Northern California! Whether
you're coming for a visit or you live here, DiscoverNorthernCalifornia.com - your one-stop, on-line Travel Guide and Go-To Place for your NorCal travel tips - will help you find what you're looking for.
Together we'll explore the well-know and popular tourist attractions,
of course. But we'll also unearth the hidden and secret places as well -
the types of things only the locals know. To tell you the truth, I've
lived in Northern California most of my life and my husband and I are still discovering
new things to see and places to go. Join us!
Would you like to do what I'm doing? I never thought I could be a webmaster and create my own website, but look at me now - and you can do it too! Find out how you, too, can have the website of your dreams!
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