Northern California is an amazing place to live and to visit. Some people live here their entire lives and never see just one of the items that will be on this list. It’s easy to get caught up in things around the house and just want a break from the work week when you have a day off, but this list is here to show you what you are missing out on if you just stay home. You are more likely to regret the things you’ve never done rather than the things that you did do, so fill up the tank with gas, hop in the car, and go!
21. Yuba River
A tributary of the Feather River in the Sierra Nevada that runs in Nevada County, this pristine water will delight you. Practice swift water safety at all times, however!
20. Sierra Buttes
This 8,587-foot tall peak is located in Tahoe National Forest in Sierra County near Sierra City. Climb all the way to the top and soak in the sights from an old watch tower, or appreciate them from the valleys below.
19. Point Reyes National Seashore
This incredible coastline in Marin County is a sight to behold. You will be impressed by the dramatic coastal features as well as the persevered wild lands.
18. Castle Crags
It's hard not to be impressed by this rocky outcrop visible from I-5. Elevations range from 2,000 feet along the Sacramento River near the base of the crags, to over 6,500 feet at the summit of the tallest crag.
17. The Lost Coast
This remote stretch of coastline is hard to see by car. You have to get out and hike it to really appreciate its rugged beauty.
16. Lava Beds National Monument
Have you ever walked through a hollow lava tube? It's incredible that there are caves right here in Northern California that are safe to explore without a guide.
15. American River
The site where gold was discovered in 1848, the American river is a staple of the Motherlode. You have to check it out for yourself.
14. Shasta Lake
This man made reservoir is a mecca for outdoor recreation. The best way to see it is from the water. So rent a kayak or even a houseboat when you visit.
13. Roosevelt Elk
Northern California has tons of really cool wildlife, and one of the creatures that we love to spot up near the north coast is the Roosevelt Elk.
12. Lassen Volcanic National Park
You don't need to travel the world to see volcanic activity, there's some right here in this Northern California national park. It doesn't see half the crowds of Yosemite or Yellowstone, however.
11. Russian River
Mendocino County is a beautiful place where the forest meets the ocean, and there's no better place to enjoy it than along the banks of the scenic Russian River.
10. Donner Summit
Large granite boulders, windswept trees, fresh mountain air... Donner Summit is a beautiful place to hike, play in the snow, or just enjoy the views.
9. Northern California's Starry Skies
When was the last time you were able to see the stars with no influence from light pollution? If you get to soak in this view frequently, then go ahead and count those lucky stars! If not, it's time to travel out into the country and maybe even camp out for the night.
8. King Range National Conservation Area
This Humboldt County protected land is incredible. It's one of those rare places where the mountains drop right into the sea. It's breathtaking.
7. Battery Point Lighthouse
This historic and possibly even haunted lighthouse is built out on a peninsula that turns into an island when the tide comes in. On top of that, it's simply stunning.
6. Burney Falls
There's nothing quite as iconic here in Northern California as Burney Falls! Once called the 8th wonder of the world, you will be amazed by this scenic hotspot.
5. Gold Country/ the Motherlode
This photo, taken in Penn Valley, showcases gold country at it's finest. Rolling hills, oak trees, and the most beautiful golden lighting at dusk are all characteristics of this region.
4. Lake Tahoe
How could you have a list of Northern California scenic wonders without this amazing lake? Sure, it may be crowded, but most Northern Californians can't get enough of this place, and for good reason!
3. Tunnel of Trees, Point Reyes
You might not know about this tunnel of Cyprus trees, but it is even more stunning in person. Go see it for yourself!
2. Redwood State and National Parks
This photo taken from Redwood Creek showcases the Redwoods at their finest. The mist moving through the trees is beautiful whether you are looking down on them or standing amongst them.
1. Mount Shasta
Mount Shasta, the 2nd largest peak in the cascades, rounds out this list. It's absolutely a must see.
That’s a pretty good list for a start! Don’t you think so? It never ceases to amaze us how much beauty we have throughout our state. Did we miss something that should be on this list? Please, let us know in the comments below. We can never have too many places to see and things to do. Or too many memories to make.