Hidden Gems in Northern California

September 21st, 2018 by

Beautiful young couple bonding to each other and leaning at their pick-up truck while making selfie

While places like Sacramento and San Francisco get plenty of press, and we couldn’t fault you for dreaming of a trip to Yosemite in your shiny new Jeep, those destinations are just a tiny part of what Northern California has to offer the adventurous tourist. Check out our list of hidden gems in Northern California and see if you don’t agree – Disney has nothing on us!

College Cove Beach

Located three hours west of Anderson along CA-299 W, the warm, welcoming beach at College Cove in the Trinidad State Beach area offers visitors a quiet, secluded expanse to search the tidal pools and possibly even catch sight of a seal sunning themselves on the rocky shore waiting for the tide, and the fish, to come in.

Fort Bragg

If a scenic drive is on your list of things to do (and why wouldn’t it be?) Take I-5 to Hwy 20 from Corning and head west to Fort Bragg. The former army garrison heralds back to the days of the Civil War and makes an interesting stop all on its own, but the real showstopper could be Glass Beach. Once a dumping ground for used glass, the power of the waves has turned the refuse into sparkling sea glass – perhaps the only beach of its kind in the world.

Lava Beds Wilderness

North of Chico in the Modoc National Forest is a vast lava field with dozens of caves to explore and the largest collection of lava tubes in the United States. The monument also features miles of hiking trails for the energetic explorer who relishes the opportunity to view a changing desert landscape and interact with migratory wildlife.

Empire Mine State Historic Park

Travel down CA-99 S for a couple of hours, and you’ll be treated to a real piece of history at Grass Valley. The Empire Mine State Historic Park, nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, allows visitors to explore the buildings, take a tour of the original mine structures, and learn about the history of America’s richest gold mining district. Just be sure to check your oil first, the change in altitude could be tough on your car.

What Are Your Favorite Spots in Northern California?

These are just some of the divinely-inspired places you can visit when you leave the tourists behind you at Shasta Lake City and venture out to explore the hidden gems of Northern California. Let us know how our picks compare to yours in the comments below, we’d love to hear what you think!

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