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Top 10 Best Weekend Getaways from Sacramento

Bathed by the waters of the Pacific, located in the very heart of California, this picturesque area has always attracted the attention of tourists. Favored by the pleasing climate and convenient location, the capital of the state truly deserved the reputation of one of the most attractive places for literally all kinds of tourists.

It doesn’t matter how you travel – alone, with a spouse or children, or simply looking for an exile from the hustle and bustle of modern life – Sacramento and its surroundings have a lot to offer even to the most fastidious traveler. Needless to say, there are plenty of places to see and experiences to try out. Today we are going to save you much time in searching for information and present the list of the most breathtaking places. Let’s roll!

1. Old Faithful Geyser of California

Haven’t you heard there is no need to go to Iceland if you want to see an active geyser? Could you even imagine this in such a climate? The answer to both questions is “yes.” This wonder of nature is living proof of that. Located by a couple of hours’ drive from Sacramento, it shoots every forty-five minutes. The height of a stream reaches seventy feet. If you happen to visit Napa Valley, don’t miss this sight!

2. Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is perhaps the best-known sight in California, located by the Sierra Mountains. Tourists come here all year round. It is a large source of fresh water and a home for various sports. For example, you can rent a kayak here. But what is most significant about Tahoe is its unforgettable scenery, which once inspired Kate Bush for writing the self-titled song. To enjoy the full range of winter sports, opt for Valley Alpine Meadows.

You should also consider visiting Tahoe National Park, which is perfect for nature lovers and hikers. Even an under-experienced sportsperson can find paths for their level. Additionally, it is a great spot to go for a family picnic.

3. Monterey

This small town situated by Monterey Bay boasts lots of attractions. Try visiting Monterey Bay Aquarium, which has just opened after a year of pandemic. It is an award-winning huge public aquarium that clearly displays the marine life of the state. Besides the aquarium itself, there are lots of both temporary and permanent exhibitions. If you buy a ticket there, not only will you see the full picture of sea animals, but also support this great museum which is still in great peril!

Go to Fisherman Wharf to see loads of historic places. You can also watch the whales and sea lions here. Plus, this is a great area to dine and do some shopping. Check out the Monterey Museum of Art and Monterey Youth Museum. Should you need some help in discovering new sights, there are many tourist agencies to help you out and offer some fresh ideas.

4. Lodi Wine Country

As you may have guessed from the title, it is the most celebrated wine region in the state. It can boast around eighty wineries! The history of Lodi wine-making dates back to the nineteenth century. These days, approximately 20 percent of all Californian wine is produced there. The region, situated in Northern California, is also famous for its broad range of beers,family-made products, and fresh fruit.

Lodi is especially famous for the sort of black-skinned grapes called Zinfandel. However, prices for wine tasting are more than affordable, starting from only ten dollars. The region is also famous for its agricultural traditions and kindhearted people. All this makes the atmosphere absolutely unforgettable.

Here is a list of wineries you should never skip:

  1. Heritage Oak Winery
  2. Fields Family Wines
  3. Mettler Family Vineyards
  4. M2 Wines
  5. Apple Hill Orchards

This is another major family destination near Sacramento. This is also known as the Apple Capital of California. Apple Hill is famed for a great kids attraction called Kids.Inc, which represents a maze for children where they should navigate in order to leave the place. At the exit, kids find themselves on the real farm, where they can walk among animals such as goats and sheep and touch them. They will really feel one with nature and apart from excitement, will get indispensable knowledge about country life.

It is very important to mention Apple Orchards themselves. Here you can find literally everything made of apples: doughnuts, caramel apples, pies, and, of course, cider and cider sauce. You can also find a couple of decent home vineries on the hill. The best time to visit the area is in autumn, as this is when the majority of festivals take place, say Harvest Run November and Jonny Appleseed’s birthday in September.

6. El Dorado National Forest

California is rich with national parks and forests, and El Dorado is one of them. It plays a major role in the well-being of inhabitants of the State, thanks to its proximity to both San Francisco and Sacramento. Downhill skiing, camping, cross-country, fishing, hiking, and camping are available for visitors to this great area.

7. California Academy of Sciences

The Academy is located in Golden Gate Park and is an absolute must-see for everyone visiting the Golden State! It includes the Morrison planetarium, the largest of its kind, with a huge screen. The shows displayed there are extremely popular, so don’t forget to get your pass in advance!

Monterey Aquarium isn’t the only place that demonstrates sea species. The Academy’s website claims Steinhart Aquarium to be ‘one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth.’ You can see the white albino alligator there!

The Kimball Natural History Museum is dedicated to the history of evolution and contains millions of species in its collection. You can see large vivid installations of different world regions. Tourists can find the one-of-the-kind four-storeyed rainforest with artificial rain and more than one thousand unique species, including birds and butterflies. It is a unique experience for all ages. The Museum represents a spiraled construction, covered by a glass dome.

The Naturalist Center specializes in discovering new information for those interested in natural history. The Academy staff members are open for consultation and are ready to answer all kinds of questions.

8. A Trip Along the Russian River

Town Guerneville, located by the Russian River, gained the reputation of the hippie town. It has a sign at the entrance, saying that it is a hate-free community. Modern society is getting more and more progressive, and this slogan might seem the result of such a tendency. It is impossible to meet an intolerant person, but you can meet real old hippies from the Summer of Love era and gay families. It is exactly the atmosphere that draws so many people here. If you are part of the LGBT community, you are especially welcome!

You can rest in hotels situated nearby, enjoy spa procedures and massage and enjoy kayaking and canoeing down the Russian River.

9. Half Moon Bay

One more picturesque area within a two-hour ride from Sacramento. It is a land of sandy beaches and aquatic sports. If peace and quiet are all you need, then this site might be a perfect option. The Seahorse Ranch nearby allows you to go horseriding. Sam’s Chowder House offers a broad array of seafood dishes.

10. Mount Shasta

It is quite a long way to go from Sacramento (220 miles), but the experience you will get is well worth such a long ride. Apart from the magnificent view from the mountain, there are unique opportunities for hikers: Castle Crags Dome Hike (available both in summertime and wintertime) and Burstarse Fall Hike – you can guess what awaits you at the destination! You can see many lakes around, as well as the Mount Shasta Museum.

Conclusion

At the present time, it might be a little difficult to recreate and take your mind off your troubles, especially if you have small children. However, Sacramento and adjacent areas fit literally every taste. Sports fans, gourmands, and those who have a thirst for knowledge will definitely find what they need. Welcome to the Sunny State! No one will leave unsatisfied.

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