The Definitive Guide To Uncovering Northern California’s Best Attractions — Small Towns, Gorgeous Parks, Museums, And More!
There’s definitely not a shortage of things to see and do in Northern California. From charming small towns to museums, wineries, shops, and natural attractions, there’s truly never a dull moment to be had when you live in the Golden State. Whether you prefer the quiet nature of small towns or the hustle and bustle of large cities, there’s something for everybody here in NorCal. For that reason, we compiled a list of some of the top attractions that should be on every Californian’s bucket list. Consider it the ultimate guide to the must-see destinations in Northern California!
The Best Small Towns In Northern California
Yes, Northern California is home to some amazing cities, but small-town life is where it's at in our region of the Golden State. From old mining settlements to oceanfront communities, exploring our small towns always makes for an excellent adventure. It's often the quietest, smallest towns that boast the largest personalities, and you never know what you may uncover! Among some of our favorite small towns are Lakeport, St. Helena, Eureka, Dunsmuir, and Sausalito, but the list could go on and on.
Are you ready to start exploring Northern California's best small towns?
The Must Visit General Store In Northern California
Hiding out in the charming community of Knights Ferry is what's considered the oldest operating general store in all of California. Knight's Ferry General Store, Saloon, & Grill first opened its doors way back in 1852, just a couple of years after California became a state. Boasting an old-timey vibe that'll transport you to the 19th century, this store is well worth a visit when exploring the area. Not only does it exude local history, it's also just a great place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy some good company.
Stop by the oldest general store in California for a shopping trip to remember.
The Unique Park In Northern California
It's not very often that you come across a park that looks like it could be the setting of a fairytale, but that's just what you'll find when you visit Fairytale Town in Sacramento. Around for decades, this park has become a staple in the community as a source of endless amusement for families in the area. Boasting a ton of charming attractions like Cinderella's pumpkin coach, the Old Woman Who Lives In A Shoe, and Mother Goose herself, your little ones will be delighted from the moment they step into this enchanting park. Although primarily intended for kids, adults will find themselves just as charmed by this unique destination!
Plan a family outing to Fairytale Town in Northern California for a fun-filled afternoon.
The One Of A Kind Boat Ride In Northern California
All aboard! Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful destinations in Northern California and nothing beats riding across its bright blue waters. The M.S. Dixie II is an old-fashioned paddlewheeler boat that makes for a fantastic way to experience this idyllic alpine lake. Boasting daytime, sunset, and dinner cruises, you can enjoy Tahoe's world-famous scenery like never before with this one-of-a-kind boat ride.
Enjoy your cruise on this stunning vessel across Northern California's brilliant Lake Tahoe.
The Most Charming Roadside Market In Northern California
When you find yourself driving along Interstate 80 near Auburn, you must
stop for a slice of pie from Ikeda's. This roadside market is famously home to some of the finest pie in all of Northern California. Baked fresh every day, Ikeda's serves up just about every flavor imaginable - in both sweet and savory varieties! On top of serving up delicious pies, Ikeda's is also a marketplace that contains a wide selection of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. It's well worth a stop at this charming market for the pie alone, but there's something at Ikeda's for everyone.
Are you ready to plan a road trip?
The Magical Train Ride In Northern California
The railroad industry has played a vital role in Northern California's history. Although we may not depend on trains so much for transporting goods, they still make for a great way to explore NorCal's majestic scenery. The Skunk Train is a favorite among railroad enthusiasts and for good reason. This historic railroad has been chugging along for over 130 years and they show no signs of slowing down. Offering a variety of scenic rides through backcountry canyons and redwood forests, a day on the Skunk train is always a day well spent.
Are you ready to ride the rails on this magical train ride?
The Tallest Bridge In Northern California
Northern California is home to some iconic bridges. The Golden Gate Bridge, Sundial Bridge, Bixby Creek Bridge - the list could go on. However, towering over them all (literally) is the Foresthill Bridge in Placer County. At a whopping 730-feet-tall, it's considered the tallest bridge in Northern California and it is an impressive sight to see. Although open to vehicle traffic, the bridge is considered pedestrian-friendly and is a popular spot for BASE and bungee jumpers. The view from the top of this bridge is something to behold,
so plan to cross the tallest bridge in Northern California soon!
One Of The Most Unique Museums In Northern California
When you think of a typical museum, visions of stuffy exhibits that put you to sleep may be what first comes to mind. However, that's far from what you'll experience at this unique museum in Northern California! The Bigfoot Discovery Museum is dedicated to showcasing the bizarre legends, theories, and facts behind this mysterious creature that's believed to roam the forests. Whether you're obsessed with all things Bigfoot or simply have a casual interest in mythological creatures, you'll find plenty of things to keep your interest.
You never know what you'll find at this at this quirky roadside attraction in Northern California!