7 Epic Things You Never Thought Of Doing In Northern California, But Should
Northern California has so many outdoor activities and fun attractions. Even if you’re a weekend warrior, we bet there are some epic things you never thought of doing in this part of the state. We encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try one of these unforgettable activities that are available in Northern California.
1. Kite surfing in San Francisco Bay
If you visit San Francisco on a sunny day, you’ll likely see kite surfers in the water. While this sport takes skill and can’t be mastered in one lesson, you can get up on your board with the kite during your first lesson.
Kite The Bay
has lessons for beginners. The first lesson is 3 hours and covers getting up on the board and mastering using the kite. The cost is $495 for weekdays and $545 for weekends. Lessons are more economical if you bring another person and split the cost– adding an extra person to your first lesson costs $185.
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
2. Explore caves in Northern California
Northern California has many caves to explore. Check out some of the incredible caves in the northernmost part of the state. Pluto’s Cave is a partially collapsed lava tube located in Klamath National Forest. Visitors can hike 1,200 feet into the cave, but there are no tours– it’s up to you to explore and be safe. A two-hour drive to the east is the Jot Dean Ice Cave. This chilly cave has icicles hanging from the ceiling. The cave is open to the public, but visitors are asked to use caution. From there, take a short drive north to find six more caves to explore– Mushpot Cave, Golden Dome Cave, Blue Grotto Cave, Sunshine Cave, Merrill Cave, and Big Painted Cave.
Mushpot Cave, Visitor Center Trail, Tulelake, CA 96134, USA
3. Windsurf on the Sacramento Delta
The Sacramento Delta is more than just a waterway to admire from the shore– you can do watersports, like windsurfing on this underrated waterway.
Delta Windsurf & Watersports
, located in Sherman, offers lessons and rentals. Beginner windsurfing lessons for 2 people cost $190. The lesson lasts 1.5 hours and includes all gear. Lessons take place in the spring and summer months.
Sherman Island, California 94571, USA
4. Take a boat to the Farallon Islands
These islands are familiar to many Bay Area residents as a great white shark hunting ground. While it’s unlikely you’ll see sharks surface, to know that hundreds maybe swimming beneath your boat is pretty amazing. The Whale Watching tours to these islands, located 28 miles off of San Francisco, are a great place to spot seals, seabirds, and whales.
Farallon Islands, San Francisco, CA, USA
5. Climb Mount Shasta
This is not the type of hike you just do on a whim. Climbing Mount Shasta requires knowledge and experience mountaineering. You should train before climbing this mountain, too, and be prepared for the elevation gain. With that said, Mount Shasta is a “beginners mountain” for people new-ish to mountaineering. To get the most out of your climb and ensure safety, hire a guide.
Shasta Mountain Guides
offers various treks up to the summit. With proper preparation and physical fitness, you can hike Mount Shasta with just a group of friends.
Mount Shasta, Mt Shasta, CA 96067, USA
6. Learn to fly
California’s central valley has several flight schools. It makes sense since many farmers use small planes to apply pesticides and fertilizers to their crops. Learning to fly sounds like the ultimate hobby. This is no small to-do item. Flight school can take a minimum of 80 hours but if you’re looking for a fulfilling hobby, learning to operate a plane might be for you.
7. Go hang gliding
In the Central Valley, outside of Sacramento, is a hang gliding school. Anyone can learn to hang glide with a few lessons.
Sacramento Hang Gliding
has been giving lessons since 1992. An introductory lesson is four hours long. You’ll learn about flight theory and get to try a flight simulator before taking to the air. Students fly about 5-6 feet during this first lesson. The beginner training program is five lessons, in which participants can fly off of an 80-foot hill.
Sacramento Hang Gliding, Sloughhouse, CA 95683, USA
If you’re not interested in pursuing an adrenaline rush, there are some fun yet easier activities to do in Northern California, like this
mountain coaster and this oh-so-fun zipline.
Which of the above activities appeals to you the most? Tell us in the comments.
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