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Northern CA vacation ideas

Northern CA vacation ideas

Old Dec 10, 19, 5:57 am
  #1  
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Northern CA vacation ideas

We have a two day gap in a driving trip this summer, and are looking for some inspiration. We are two active adults and a very active/sporty 10 year old girl who loves horses and the great outdoors. Looking for a great combination of experience, location, activities. Some criteria:
  • Price not really a concern (within reason...)
  • Location - anywhere between Tahoe and the coast, within 3 hours drive of northern SF.
  • Open to glamping, lodges, ranches etc, but not tent camping
  • Possible thoughts would be Redwoods, Dude ranches, wilderness retreats, etc
Would love to hear some ideas or recommendations.
Thanks in advance
Professor Yaffle is offline  
Old Dec 10, 19, 6:08 am
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I'm sure you'll get tons of recommendations on this one!

If I were a CA visitor, I'd probably like to visit the Carmel and Napa areas. There'll be ample choices of lodges, outdoor activities (horseback riding, hiking & golf) and a view of the incredibly scenic and picturesque California coastline or Napa valley mountains.

Personally, the Ritz in Half Moon Bay is one of my favorite getaway places and a short drive over to the Monterey/Carmel area. Oh, for me, this Ritz has one of favorite buffets.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 9:24 am
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I'm suggesting the Sonoma coast.

https://www.sonomacounty.com/article...s-sonoma-coast

No glitz, beautiful countryside, generally uncrowded

Note that in our summer, the coast can be quite cool, windy and foggy at night, and often (but not always) clears up during the day, and is rarely hot. Inland, even a short distance (past the coastal hills), can tend to get very hot (but nights are generally delightful)
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Old Dec 10, 19, 10:26 am
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Going the other direction, I am a big fan of Lassen Volcanic National Park. About 3 hours north of Sacramento and FAR less crowded than the other California national parks.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 3:42 am
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
Going the other direction, I am a big fan of Lassen Volcanic National Park. About 3 hours north of Sacramento and FAR less crowded than the other California national parks.
Interesting, thanks. We came across Drakesbad online and were considering this - any opinions on the accomodation and experiences?
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Old Dec 11, 19, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
... any opinions on the accommodation and experiences?
Not really. I have friends nearby so usually stay with them. Definitely plan to do the loop drive up through the actual volcanic area. It is an experience unlike other mountainous areas in California. The vents and fumaroles are very interesting - and a bit smelly. The forested regions down below are nice for camping and hiking and there are places you can still see the ruts left by covered wagons traveling the Oregon Trail in the early 19th century. There is a very nice visitor center.

https://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvis...torcenters.htm
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Old Dec 22, 19, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
Interesting, thanks. We came across Drakesbad online and were considering this - any opinions on the accomodation and experiences?
Lassen is a really cool park to visit, but can easily be done in a day or two. Lassen Peak itself is a pretty short day hike once the summer trailhead is open. Most of the other sites in the park only take an hour or two. Another area worth looking at could be around Graegle,CA and the Gold Lakes Highway. This is about halfway between Tahoe and Lassen NP. This area has a bit of everything hiking to mountain biking, fishing and horseback riding. The Sierra Buttes are a really cool hike with an amazing view from the fire tower on top. I've only tent camped here but I know there are a few lodges along the highway with rustic cabins and things like that. Gray Eagle Lodge is one I've heard good things about.
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Old Dec 24, 19, 2:34 pm
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When this trip occursmatter...Lassen can still have snow into July.

Lassen combined with trinity just north of Redding and Mt Shasta is a good pkace.

another option is garbersville and avenue of giants thrn go south on 1 to mendocino

the main redwoods area near crescent city is aday trip north one way from the Bay Area.
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Old Dec 29, 19, 7:30 am
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I would suggest the gold rush country along California Hwy 49 (numbered for the "Forty-Niners" who came for the gold.) The road itself is gorgeous, and it traverses numerous picturesque and historic towns along its length. Map - https://goo.gl/maps/yqzd2t2i2qHPCuGm7

Include a visit to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, where the groves of giant sequoia trees will leave you gobsmacked. Murphys is a major center for wines, Columbia is a fabulous "museum" town offering stagecoach rides, and you're surrounded by marvelous sights. Don't know if you've thought about Yosemite, but you could do a day drive into the valley and back (getting accommodation at this stage is probably a non-starter) but even without Yosemite, this is a fab area for family touring.

Mokelumne Hill



Volcano



Columbia (not my picture)



Calaveras Big Trees (also not my picture)

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