We found out with lots of driving in a short span of time that Northern California covers huge tracts of land and diverse geographical regions. Our recent trip provided us with only four days to explore the Northern part of the state and with a little time here are some of the awesome wonders that we saw, with a car and some driving stamina, you can enjoy all this too.
Our first destination was this massive alpine lake. In the summer time the traffic is a bit lighter and the availability of places to stay is easier to come by. We enjoyed the posh Ritz Carlton and Northstar resorts which are connected to wonderful biking and mountain hiking trails.
We explored all along the Western shore of Lake Tahoe as well and found a pristine wonder in the Emerald Bay National Park. There’s a refreshing waterfall, beautiful boulders to scale and the water is the prettiest in the entire lake.
Around two hours from Lake Tahoe to the West, Sacramento proved to be the best stop for a break and to see a lovely city. The large river makes the flatlands here green and the city has a very enjoyable vibe to it. The downtown is clean, cosmopolitan and it enjoys all the richness of the surrounding farmland where almost anything you can imagine is grown within a 150 miles radius. There are many trails, bike paths and festivals that celebrate the outdoors life in this city.
Once we passed through Sacramento we arrived after around and hour and a half to Napa. The city itself is quaint and has all sorts of specialty shops surrounding wine and everything that goes with it. We drove along route 29 and Silverado to be wowed by some of the biggest names in American wine.
Sadly most Napa wineries are no longer allowing the tradition of bring your own picnic lunch to enjoy with their wines. We did find a great spot at Beringer Vineyards, it was a glorious mansion and on a weekday it is easy to get a spot in the shade.
Just an hour away from Napa, imagine our delight as the highway we took suddenly began ascending steep cliffs which gave way to views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Its best to make the drive sometime before the daily rush hours because traffic can be intolerable. From the Northern side of the bridge turn off at the old Battery station for the most well known panorama in all of California.