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5 Unforgettable Northern California Attractions

by Guest Author 17 May 2018 09:52

Whether you are a nature lover or looking for thrills in the big city, Northern California has plenty for every taste. Miles of dramatic coastline stretch from Oregon to San Luis Obispo County. The Cascade mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop, while San Francisco has landmarks to impress even the most jaded traveler. Here are 5 attractions among dozens of the region's must-see locations:

San Francisco is a vibrant world hub, renowned for its free-spirited culture and variety. Home of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco offers a wealth of international foods and fusion eateries. Among its several parks, Golden Gate Park boasts a scenic Japanese Tea Garden, live music, and a Victorian Conservatory of Flowers. One of the best ways to experience the city is on foot or rent a bicycle. If you would rather avoid the exercise, tour the main sites riding the famous cable cars. The Embarcadero and Fisherman's Wharf offer a taste of San Francisco's seafaring and marine heritage.

Yosemite National Park was designated a World Heritage Site in 1984. It is most well-known for its granite bluffs, glaciers, giant Sequoias and waterfalls. Most of the park is wilderness, and the dramatic landscape it testament to volcanic and tectonic activity. Ansel Adams documented the park's beauty through his extensive photography. The park offers nature walks, photography, art classes, and stargazing. And if you like excitement, rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and skiing are available too.

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the U.S., and the second deepest. Its shores have been a favorite vacation destination for decades. The area's beauty, with its picturesque towns, blue waters, and pine forests offers a wealth of activities. Skiing is spectacular with the heavy winter snowfall, but summer activities include swimming, windsurfing, and kayaking. Attesting to the lake's location, between California and Nevada, the nightlife is sparkly, with a touch of Vegas. Local dining options are plentiful, as are sampling events.

Redwood National and State Parks are home to the world's tallest trees, reaching 350 ft. The area is a network of parks protecting the coastal redwood ecosystem. Here you can drive through a redwood tree, camp, and explore 40 miles of California's coastline. October through April is the rainy season, and the reason everything is so green. At Klamath River Overlook you can spot gray whales migrating. South of the river is the area where Roosevelt elk are most often seen. To get a good overview of the parks, be sure to start your visit at the Kuchel Visitors Center, where you can also access the beach.

Eureka is a vibrant seaport town nestled in Humboldt Bay. It is the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland. Eureka had a significant role in the West Coast's lumber trade and California's Gold Rush. The Old Town district is rich in historic Victorian homes and mansions, the most famous being Carson Mansion. The Old Town district has been preserved, and now hosts small shops and events. Today Eureka still has a bustling waterfront due to commercial fishing and its deepwater port. The city is also home to Sequoia Park Zoo, California's oldest zoo.

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