Here are 12 of the Most Beautiful, Charming Small Towns in Northern California

When you think of Northern California, do you think of really, really adorable small towns? If you don’t, you should! The upper half of our state is dotted with dozens of towns that by population alone may not be considered small, but by charm and beauty, they’ve kept the magic by feeling quaint and reminding us of times gone by. There’s nothing more romantic than taking the hand of someone you love and strolling down Main Street. Here are 12 charming small towns in Northern California that you need to visit ASAP:

During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.

When you think of small-town charm, which Northern California spot comes to mind? What charming small towns in Northern California are your favorites? Share which towns you’ve visited here and give us your advice on a few we may have missed! Need more inspiration? Check out this epic Northern California road trip! 

Address: Eureka, CA, USA
Address: Lakeport, CA 95453, USA
Address: St. Helena, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
Address: Sutter Creek, CA, USA
Address: Murphys, CA, USA
Address: Mendocino, CA, USA
Address: Jackson, CA 95642, USA
Address: Tiburon, CA, USA
Address: Fortuna, CA, USA
Address: Dunsmuir, CA, USA
Address: Volcano, CA 95689, USA
Address: Sausalito, CA 94965, USA
The OIYS Visitor Center

Charming Small Towns in Northern California

August 02, 2021

What are the best small towns in Northern California? 

Being as large as it is, the state of California has literally hundreds of small towns; Northern California is home to some of the most amazing ones you’ll ever see. Although there are too many to mention, some of our favorite small towns in Northern California include Carmel By The Sea, which looks like something out of a romantic fairy tale. We also really love Sausalito, and you can’t go wrong by visiting Yountville, nestled in Napa Valley. Petaluna is also a small town with big heart and huge natural beauty. For more of our favorite small towns in NorCal, take a look at this list!  

Where are some places to visit in Northern California?  

There are hundreds of amazing places in Northern California that we feel everyone should visit at least once in their lives. The incredible Redwood Forest is one of those places; there, you’ll see the largest trees in the entire world. Some of them are so gargantuan that you could drive a car right through them (and there’s even some where you can actually do that). The coastline – all of it – is breathtaking and well worth a visit. Speaking of coasts, Big Sur is one of those places that don’t even look real. Yosemite National Park is another big one we consider a must-see, and you can’t forget about the beautiful Mendocino National Forest. Honestly, we could keep going all day. Northern California is incredible!  

Where can I go for day trips in Northern California? 

You can make a day trip out of so many things in NorCal! Spend the entire day in beautiful Napa Valley, which is filled to the brim with green rolling hills and world-famous vineyards as far as the eye can see. Anderson Valley is also Northern California wine country, and Calaveras Trees State Park is seriously to die for. Another great idea is to check out any one of NorCal’s hundreds of small towns, like Folsom (yes, the Folsom from the famous Johnny Cash song) and Jenner.  

Address: Eureka, CA, USA
Address: Lakeport, CA 95453, USA
Address: St. Helena, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
Address: Sutter Creek, CA, USA
Address: Murphys, CA, USA
Address: Mendocino, CA, USA
Address: Jackson, CA 95642, USA
Address: Tiburon, CA, USA
Address: Fortuna, CA, USA
Address: Dunsmuir, CA, USA
Address: Volcano, CA 95689, USA
Address: Sausalito, CA 94965, USA