Top 10 Things To Do In Northern California a Nature Playground

Northern California is a nature playground packed with varieties of adventures for everyone. The destination with one of the most diverse ecosystems throughout the United States is filled with interesting things that cannot possibly be enjoyed thoroughly in a single trip.

So, for a fun-filled, exciting adventure in North California, keeping in mind that you won’t miss out on the most significant landmarks and exciting adventures, we have created a list of the top 10 things to do in Northern California.

1. Explore Yosemite National Park

As one of the most popular national parks in the USA, Yosemite, famous for the Half Dome rock formation, waterfalls, towering granite monoliths, ancient giant sequoias, and deep valleys. Enlisted as the national park of the US on October 1, 1980, Yosemite offers a lot of hiking and camping opportunities in its vast area with 95% designated wilderness. 

Yosemite National Park photo by Lucy Schultz Photography Top 10 Things To Do In Northern California
Yosemite National Park photo by Lucy Schultz Photography

At an elevation of 2,425 feet, the national park is home to some of the tallest waterfalls in the world, the Yosemite Falls that is made up of three separate falls, Upper Yosemite Falls, Cascades Falls in the middle and Lower Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest falls in the planet. The park’s diverse landscape supports more than 400 species of animals, from amphibians to mammals.

Yosemite is also the only national park to bid to host the Winter Olympics, although, in the end, Lake Placid won the bid for the 1932 Winter Olympics; Yosemite that well-prepared itself with toboggan runs, ice-skating rinks, sky jump and roads for sledding and skijoring still hosts winter sports at its premises.

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Visitors can enjoy different outdoor activities like rock climbing, horseback adventures, ziplining, fishing, rafting, biking, including different adventurous activities like day trips &  excursions, group orientation tours & multi-day extended tours, with sightseeing and sporting events choices.

2. Water Sports In Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe has been a popular tourist hub for both the summer and winter seasons; the destination offers varieties of watersports during its high seasons. The massive lake with an area of 150.7km3 and a depth of 1,645 is the largest lake in North America and ranks 2nd when in the list of deepest lakes countrywide. The Squaw Valley Resort, located in Tahoe even home to the 1960 Winter Olympics Games. 

Lake Tahoe Photo by homewood Top 10 Things To Do In Northern California
Lake Tahoe Photo by homewood

The travelers with vacation plans in Northern California cannot simply miss the fun adventures offered at Lake Tahoe. The famous travel station offers arities of water and adventure sports to travelers during both high seasons, winter and summer. During the summer days, the visitors can enjoy the warm summer days relishing different water sports like jet-skiing, paddle-boarding, kayaking, including sailing cruises, helicopter tours, paddleboard tours, guided kayak tours, self-driving audio tours, and many more. Similarly, during. Similarly, during winters, visitors can enjoy fun-filled adventures skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, skydiving, sleigh riding, dog sledding, including tubing and birdwatching. 

3. Walking Across the Golden Gate Bridge

San Franciso, the famous city of Northern California, is always tagged along with the massive modern-day architecture of humans, the Golden Gate Bridge. Built in 1937, the massive bridge became a sensation has been featured in hundreds of movies and shows across the world for its captivating infrastructure ever since. The 1.7 miles long bridge connects the San Franciso’s Bay area with California; when it was built, Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world. 

Top 10 Things To Do In Northern California , Golden gate Bridge San Francisco, California. Photo by Toby Harriman
Golden gate Bridge San Francisco, California. Photo by Toby Harriman

Travelers can explore the gigantic architecture from the touristy Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center, including vantage points like Crissy Field and Land’s End, and other methods to admire its beauty. The visitors can simply take a walk around, sail under the bridge alongside San Francisco’s waterfall, taking, around Alcatraz island and additional exploration option of ferry and cycling tour, peddling across the bridge around Sausalito. Also, the Cavallo Point, Golden Gate Recreational Areas, and audio-guided bike tours are other significant parts of the Golden Gate bridge exploration.

4. Enjoy Scenic Beauty From Twin Peaks

The Twin peaks are the elevated point that provides the best view of the city. Although the spot might still be a secret for many tourists and natives, the peaks that are elevated 925ft above sea level and 660 ft apart from each other are an essential stop for any travel plans related to San Francisco.

Twin Peaks, California,
Twin Peaks, California

The Twin peaks give an amazing view of popular travel destinations like Golden Gate, Angel Island, with an overall view of San Francisco’s Financial District from Embarcaderoto all day down to Market streets and Alcatraz prison. On a clear day, the visitors can even get a clear view of Berkeley and Oakland cities across Mt Diablo. Besides giving the complete mesmerizing view of San Francisco and cities across the water, the high elevation destination is an ideal location for picnics, hiking, or even a bike ride. The tourists can also enjoy the customized tour packages around Twin Peaks like San Fransico city tours, grand city tours, luxury vans, or tram tours, including elite flight tours including several cruise packages.

5. Historical Tours In Angel Island

With its colorful history, Angel Island is one of the largest islands in the whole of California. The beautiful island served as an army base for the United States from 1863 to 1946. The island overshadowed by its notorious neighbor, Alcatraz Island, which was home to some of the most notorious criminals in the history of the United States, is one of the most underrated travel destinations in the Francisco Bay Area.

Top 10 Things To Do In Northern California
Angel Island

We acquired the island in 1841, and by 1863 it was turned into an army base to support the government. The island was later an immigration office from 1910, which also later got nicknamed ‘The Ellis Island of the West’ because the island held immigrants from different nations across the world,k primarily from Asia and prisoners from World War II. The immigrants had to wait on the island before they were permitted entry into the US.

Besides enjoying the rich historical tour of the island, travelers can also enjoy the 360° view of the entire bay from the top of Mt Livermore. Different tram or ferry packages are available for travelers who are seeking an easy-going adventure. 

6. Expedition of Muir Woods National State Monument

The Muir Woods State was a private property donated in 1908 to the government to turn it into a National Monument. The Muir National Monument is home to Sequoia redwoods; although the redwoods in the Muir are not the tallest redwood in the world, they are some of the oldest redwoods on the planet. The redwoods inside Muir National State Monument are part of an old-growth forest with the tree’s age averaging between 400-800, the oldest redwood trees being at least 1,200 years old. 

Muir Woods National Monument photo by visitmarin.org

The travelers can enjoy walking through these magnificent redwood trees, camp on the grounds of Monument, or even be part of ‘Tree Talk,’ a program organized by the rangers for the visitors wishing to learn more about the origins of the trees.

7. Hike Along The Coastline of Mendocino Headlands State Park

Mendocino State park, widespread across 347 acres surrounding Mendocino, offers gorgeous cliffs dropping into the Pacific Ocean. The undeveloped seaside bluffs and islets surrounding the Mendocino running across the Big River Beach, Portuguese Beach, and the Big River, offers some of the most scenic hiking opportunities in Northern California.

Mendocino Headlands State Park photo from wikimedia

Besides the hiking and climbing adventures, the travelers can also learn more about the park in its headquarter museum that has the model of the town in the 19th Century. For even older historical information,  the Ford House Visitor Center offers the details of the park dating back to 1890, including the biology of the Mendocino, the town’s boom during the logging era, the migration of the gray whales, and even a scale model in the city exactly as it was back in 1890.

The travelers can also rent a canoe or kayak for further exploration of the majestic coastline beauty of the Pacific region.

8. Surfing Across the Glass Beach- Fort Bragg

Glass beach is one of the most popular destinations in northern California, the picturesque beach along the California coast has a unique presence on the coastline. There are three Glass Beaches in Fort Braggs that were created due to the mistake of the previous generation; the beach was used as a dumpsite by the residents of the area between 1906-1967. The residents dumped jars, bottles, and canisters made of glass into the ocean that were tumbled back by the ocean waves covering the beach with different colored and shaped sea glasses. 

Sea glass art an owl and flower at Glass Beach

The popular beach destination has been ideal for a peaceful walk, creating a vibrant environment from the colorful reflection of the glasses mixed with the blues of the pacific ocean and sunlight.  Travelers looking for a night out can camp at the grounds of MacKerricher State Park located at the adjacent side of Glass Beach. 

9. Adventure At Lassen Volcanic National Park

The Lassen Volcanic National Park is another major tourist hub that has got interesting volcanic activities ranging from bubbling mud pots to hot springs and sulfur-scented thermal vents. The dominant volcano of the park last erupted in 1914, and the rumbling didn’t stop until 1917, finally being dormant in 1921.

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Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to four different volcanoes, although they have remained dormant for 50 years. The hydrothermal activities in the park give an insight into how the volcano actually works; besides the geothermal activities, the visitors can also climb Lassen Peak for the magnificent view of Mt Shasta within the park. The travelers can also adventure through the Bumpass Hell Trail or explore the volcanic terrain from guarded horseback rides.

10. Nature Walk At Mono Lake

The salt soda lakes formed more than 7,60,000 years ago are one of the major attractions of Noether California. The unique landscape of the desert lake located in the middle of the Mono Basin National Scenic Area is particularly well known for its alkaline lake and limestone tufa towers.

Thousands of phalaropes flock around Mono Lake’s tufa towers. In articles Top 10 Things To Do In Northern California

The tributary streams from the salt soda lake provide water to Los Angeles and is home to the myriads of fish and brine shrimps. Mono Lakes is the perfect hub to enjoy quiet time. The visitors can attend the outdoor field seminar at the park or enjoy a luxury walk around the study birds. Mono Lake’s nature walks led by the local guides are available throughout the year. And, during the summers, tourists also get additional activities with kayak and canoe adventures.

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