Recently I had the pleasure of visiting friends in the far-north reaches of California. While the southern portion of the state is well known for its beaches and metropolitan attractions, northern California holds some notable destinations for travelers who venture north. Here are five attractions I had the pleasure of visiting recently.
1. Mount Shasta: A beautiful mountain town nestled between Redding and the Oregon border in the southern Cascade range. The town is situated at an elevation of 3,600 feet above sea level under the shadow of Mount Shasta with hiking, museums, art galleries and good cuisine.
2. Sundial bridge: Designed by famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and constructed in 2004, this is the only functioning sundial bridge within the United States. It’s located in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Spanning the Sacramento River the bridge sports a glass walkway where you can see salmon in the river beneath you. Also a great variety of walking trails and a museum. It’s a great stop if driving up to Vancouver and it’s also dog-friendly.
3. Pluto’s caves: Discovered in 1863 by a rancher looking for stray cattle these caves are not marked nor will you find them in any travel guide. We were tipped off by a local and had an outstanding hike inside of them. Bring sturdy hiking boots, water and a spirit of adventure.
4. Whiskeytown Lake: Stunning views and turquoise colored waters attract thousands of visitors to this lake. It’s a reservoir located west of Redding in Shasta County and is a favorite for locals. Kayaking and all motorized boating are permitted. Various levels of restaurants are available in the vicinity.
5. In and Out Burger: My favorite burger chain. Family owned restaurants who unfortunately have stated they will not expand to the east coast. Going west? Better grab one of these fantastic burgers and a tee shirt to make your east coast friends jealous.