There’s no need to hop on a plane when you live in Northern California. There are many paradises, both large and small, that are within driving distance when you need a break from it all. These peaceful places are usually not crowded and have beautiful scenery. Check out our list of peaceful places!
1. Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve– Antioch
You’ll have tons of space to connect with nature and learn about mining history in this park. The Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve is 8,533 acres of grassy hills, oak trees, and historical mining sites. The park attracts naturalists who enjoy the history of the area as well as the wildlife.
Park hours vary throughout the year, so visit the park’s website before you visit.
5175 Somersville Rd, Antioch, CA 94509, USA
2. Lake Pardee– Ione
Lake Pardee is a reservoir in a lush, green park located in what is known as the “Mother Lode” area of California. The lake is a great place to hike, picnic, boat, and hike. It is also a popular fishing spot for locals. With more than 100 campsites, Lake Pardee is a great place to spend the weekend enjoying nature. The recreation area is closed for most of winter and opens in mid-February.
Pardee Lake Recreation, 4900 Stony Creek Rd, Ione, CA 95640, USA
3. Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge– Tulelake
Located near the Oregon border, this refuge is nearly 40,000 acres. It is part of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge. This wildlife refuge is full of wetlands that are essential for migratory birds. The reserve is also home to deer, coyotes, and bobcats. You’ll want to bring binoculars for this adventure!
Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge, 4009 Hill Rd, Tulelake, CA 96134, USA
4. Medicine Lake– Tulelake
Sitting in the caldera of an ancient volcano, this picturesque Northern California lake and recreation area are a great place to find peace and quiet. Located in Modoc National Forest at more than 6,700 feet, Medicine Lake Recreation Area is a pine covered area for camping, hiking, picnicking, plus a lake for boating and swimming. The four area campgrounds are open May through October.
Medicine Lake, California, USA
5. Stillwater Cove Regional Park– Jenner
This 210-acre preserve right next to the ocean off of Highway 1 has forests, meadows, and beach access. This stunning area is covered in bright green trees, redwoods, and clover groundcover. There are three trails in the preserve, ranging from 1.3 miles to 2.3 miles. If you just want to visit the beach, it is only a short walk from the parking lot to the beach area– no hiking necessary. You can sit on the beach most of the day and hike, and if you want to stay longer there is a small campground in the preserve.
22455 CA-1, Jenner, CA 95450, USA
6. Biscar Wildlife Area– Wendel
The Biscar Wildlife Area in Lassen County is really off-the-beaten-path and a great place to experience peace and solitude. This sagebrush covered land has two reservoirs– Lower Biscar and Upper Biscar. This wildlife area is teeming with life, including pronghorn antelope, deer, bobcats, coyotes, bargers, marmots, and waterfowl. Visitors can view wildlife and hunt. You can read more about the hunting regulations on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
Biscar State Wildlife Area, 728-600 Fish and Game Rd, Wendel, CA 96136, USA
7. Coyote Hills Regional Park– Fremont
This beautiful marshland park located on the San Francisco Bay attracts hikers, nature lovers, and birders. The 1,266 acre park is a great place to feel like you’re a world away while still near a big city. The trails here are pretty flat with views for miles in every direction on a clear day. The park has paved and unpaved trails for hikers, bikers, and horses, as well as hiking only trails.
Coyote Hills Regional Park, 8000 Patterson Ranch Rd, Fremont, CA 94555, USA
8. Drakes Beach
Enjoy the coastal breeze and watch ocean waves on this beach surrounded by limestone cliffs. Drakes Beach in Point Reyes overlooks Drakes Bay, a chilly coastal area with lots of wildlife. Elephant seals are a common sight in the area– they can be seen in colonies on Drakes Beach January through March, and on neighboring beaches from Elephant Seal Overlook. The water in this area is cold and rip currents are common, so Drakes Beach is best for a picnic or scenic resting spot rather than a swim.
Drakes Beach, California 94956, USA
9. The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park– Aptos
This redwood forest rises from the sea cliffs and into the mountains. There are 30 miles of trails in the park on which visitors can hike, jog, or bike. The elevation ranges from sea level to 2,600 feet. The park is partially closed due to the 2023 floods in California. Check the California Parks website to see current conditions).
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, Aptos Creek Rd, Aptos, CA 95003, USA
When you need to get away from it all just know that there are an endless number of peaceful places in Northern California. Maybe your idea of getting away from it all is going to a small Gold Rush town or visiting a
massive estuary near your city. Whatever you want to experience, you can do it in Northern California.
We hope you enjoyed this list of peaceful places in Northern California. What is your go-to peaceful place?
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