15 Slow-Paced Small Towns in Northern California Where Life Is Still Simple

Aside from the natural beauty, Northern California’s greatest asset is the people and communities that make it tick. You can find the charm and authenticity of small-town America here in this region, and whether you prefer farming communities, coastal towns, or the Sierra foothills, here are some of our favorite places in the entire region. Here are some slow-paced small towns in Northern California where life is still nice and quiet:

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

Did your favorite small town make the list? What are your favorite slow-paced small towns in Northern California? Share your ideas and stories with us on Facebook, and if you are interested in reading more about NoCal culture, check out The 11 Charming River Towns in Northern California To Visit This Spring.

The OIYS Visitor Center

Slow-Paced Small Towns in Northern California

September 23, 2021

What are some fun day trips in Northern California to take? 

Northern California is a breathtakingly beautiful place. We are incredibly lucky to live somewhere with such an astonishing amount of natural beauty all around us. NorCal is great for day trips, especially if you’re a fan of scenic drives and state parks. In this section of the state alone, there are 21 state parks, two national parks, 10 national wildlife refuges, and so much more. Each and every one of those things would make for a fabulous day trip, if you ask us! You could also go on any number of amazing hikes, check out any of our awesome and totally-rad theme and amusement parks, or kill a whole afternoon at a winery. You could check out a list of ghost towns, hop from ice cream shop to ice cream shop and sample them all, or anything else your heart desires – it just depends on how much time and gas you feel like putting forth for it! Click here for a great list of NorCal day trip ideas – one for every month of the year.  

What are some amazing places to visit in Northern California? 

Goodness, where to begin! Northern California is, as we said above, ridiculously beautiful. It’s filled with adventure and amazing, must-see places, like Sequoia National Park, for example. See trees that are truly larger than life (and thousands of years old) and learn their amazing histories. Make sure to add hiking Half Dome to your list, too, as it’s a once-in-a-lifetime hike with amazing views you’ll never forget. You should also definitely check out McArthur-Barney Falls, which has been called the “8th Wonder of the World” by President Teddy Roosevelt once upon a time. Napa – and all of California’s wine country – is also a must-see for anyone who’s never been before. You’re going to love it, so get out and explore! There’s almost TOO much to do.