Discover the North Coast
Tai Power Seeff

Northern California

Discover the North Coast

9
March
Average (°C)
Mar - May
14°
High
6°
Low
June - Aug
16°
High
10°
Low
Sept - Nov
17°
High
7°
Low
Mar - May
14°
High
6°
Low

Romance finds a home in this idyllic coastal region, where ocean fog rolls in from the ocean into hushed redwood forests and whales spout offshore. Each year, from December to May, look to the sea to witness roughly 15,000 gray whales swimming south for the summer.

"Each year, from December to May, look to the sea to witness roughly 15,000 gray whales swimming south for the summer."

Here, artists set up their easels to paint scenes of crashing surf and whitewashed cottages wrapped in lush flower gardens. It’s also a place where a new generation of farmers and winemakers focuses on preserving the land as well as producing amazing food and wine. Eureka, a former logging town roughly a 4-hour drive north of San Francisco, is the region’s main hub and gateway to breathtaking Redwoods National and State Parks.

Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake within California, is the oldest lake in North America and possibly the world.
SPECIAL FEATURE
From Gold Rush history to 8th wonders of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the...

Must-See State Parks
Amy Meredith/Flickr
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.
John Muir
Spotlight: Mendocino
Kodiak Greenwood

Spotlight: Mendocino

Discover a coastal paradise with ridiculously fresh seafood, amazing wine, and craft beer

With its dramatic ocean-bluff setting overlooking a steel-blue sea, this coastal hamlet is an obvious magnet for artists, romantics and...

Ultimate Northern California
Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing

Trip 8-10 days 10 stops

Ultimate Northern California

Explore the best of Northern California's Great Outdoors
San Francisco

It may measure less than 50 square miles/130 square kilometers, but San Francisco justly ranks as one of the greatest cities in the world. Famous for grand-dame Victorians, classic cable cars, dynamic diversity, a beautiful waterfront, and a soaring crimson bridge, the  “City by the Bay” is the...

Muir Woods National Monument

Tucked into an ocean-facing fold of Mount Tamalpais, the signature peak just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, Muir Woods National Monument protects the last stand of uncut old-growth coast redwoods in the Bay Area, where loggers had all but denuded the region by the late 1800s....

North Coast Wine Country
Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

North Coast Wine Country

Slip away to some of the state’s most peaceful vineyards

From quiet vineyards bounded by lush redwood forests along the Mendocino Coast, to the sun-drenched rolling hills of rugged Lake County, the North...

Clear Lake
County of Lake

Clear Lake

Explore a burgeoning wine scene and cool off with a summery splash in the lake

Take a deep breath the next time you’re in Lake County. That’s some of the cleanest air in the nation, according to the American Lung Association...

Wine & Dine in the North Coast
Tai Power Seeff

Wine & Dine in the North Coast

Sample hyper-local foods from land and sea, plus amazing beers and wines

The North Coast might just be the perfect place to eat. Few other places in the world can offer such a harmonious blend of chefs, farmers,...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Get the inside scoop on California's most celebrated commodity

With more than 3,000 wineries statewide, California lets you sample award-winning wines almost anywhere you go. These classic and up-and-coming...

California's Classic Wine Roads
Temecula Valley by Kodiak Greenwood
SPECIAL FEATURE
Celebrate the seasonal bounty and quirky art-fuelled character of the North Coast

You can learn a lot about a place at its local festivals. Consider the Kinetic Grand Championship, a cosmically silly three-day battle between...

North Coast Festivals
The Humboldt County Fair began in 1896 and is the oldest running county fair in California.
Ferndale
Humboldt County CVB

Ferndale

Visit a Victorian village where time stands still

A fairy story brought to life, this remote village features carefully preserved Victorian-era homes, a visual and architectural feast. On a...

Skunk Train
Skunk Train

Skunk Train

Ride a historic train through soaring coast redwoods

Originally built to transport redwood logs from the rugged back-country to the coast, this 1885 heritage railway now ferries sightseers to and fro...

Eureka
Humboldt County CVB

Eureka

Nature and culture merge in an art-fuelled Victorian seaport

This lively seaport town, the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, has split-personality charm: a sense of history in...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Sample ultra-fresh, hyper-local, and downright amazing

When you come to California, come hungry. This is a state that seriously knows how to cook. Amazing and innovative chefs sprinkled with Michelin...

Dining Hot Spots
George's at the Cove
Fort Bragg
Lucas Himovitz

Fort Bragg

Rough-and-tumble lumber town morphs into a top coastal find

With its original roots as a military garrison and then a gritty lumber town, Fort Bragg skirted under the radar of most visitors. But now—perhaps...

While now a beautiful coastal treasure, Glass Beach initially began in the late 1940s as a place where locals would toss their trash, including glass bottles.
Wild North Coast

Trip 4 days 10 stops

Wild North Coast

Wine, Romance & Sunsets
San Francisco

Start your trip to one of the world’s great cities. For a novel way to explore “the City by the Bay” park your car and explore by foot, bike, and unique public transportation. Pedal bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge and back, then explore the lush Presidio, a former military base that’s now a...

Crescent City

The last stop on this spectacular road trip ends at the very last city in California. Only 20 miles south of Oregon, sea-faring Crescent City is home to the northernmost of California’s lighthouse stations. Overlooking the town’s harbor, the 1856 Battery Point Lighthouse, built with 22-inch/56-...