Northern California is one of America’s most popular fall vacay spots. There’s a lot to see and do in the Golden State’s northern 48 counties from August to early November. Which destinations will you choose? Get some great ideas from this short guide. You’ll also learn a little about biking in NorCal – plus some recommended comfort bicycles for sale if you plan to ride.
Visiting Northern California in the Fall
While there are differing opinions on where the state divides into north and south, “Northern California” usually means its northern 48 counties. Most of the region boasts a Mediterranean-style climate, so autumn usually brings warm temperatures and sunshine without the unbearable heat. While rain and chillier temperatures are possible, you can still enjoy yourself at NorCal’s indoor and outdoor destinations.
The San Francisco Bay area offers a wealth of things to enjoy, but there’s also Fresno, Napa, Sacramento and other metro areas. Country music fans should head to Bakersfield and take in its Downtown Arts District plus key destinations such as Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace.
Best Activities To Do During Fall
With so many attractions in NorCal, you may have trouble choosing which ones to visit in a single trip. Many of these feature the region’s famous outdoor spots. There’s Yosemite’s Half Dome hike, not to mention the McArthur-Burney Falls – a grand waterfall that splits into multiple streams tumbling into Lake Britton. The legendary redwoods of Sequoia National Park remain a prime attraction, especially the 275-foot-tall General Sherman. Lake Tahoe offers kayaking, while the American River is a whitewater rafter’s dream.
While you’re in NorCal, you’ll definitely want to check out the Big Sur bike trails. Big Sur lies along California’s Highway 1, which runs north-south near the state’s coastline. The region’s natural beauty is unrivaled: enormous waves breaking on the beach, rolling sand dunes, lush vineyards and majestic oceanside cliffs. And with such scenic riches, it’s no wonder why Big Sur’s trails are among the most sought-after in the United States. Top choices include The Old Coast Road, Creamery Meadow Loop, Trail Camp/Cooper Canyon, Garrapata State Park and, of course, Highway 1 itself.
Fall is also time for “the crush” – grape harvesting season, that is. Napa Valley offers sublime weather in October, perfect for winery tours and the area’s breathtaking scenery. It also boasts a rich art and culture scene with plenty of hot spots: Napa’s Uptown Theatre, St. Helena’s Cameo Cinema and the Jarvis Conservatory, to name a few.
Traveling Locally in NorCal
Big Sur’s trails aren’t the only places to take your men electric bike, two-wheeler, adult three-wheeler or your other preferred ride of choice. There’s also the Kern River Parkway Trail in Bakersfield, Fresno’s Clovis Old Town Trail, the Napa Valley Vine Trail, the Golden Gate Park Loop and much, much more. With so many bucket list-worthy attractions and a wealth of places to bike, you could book dozens of trips and still never see them all.