Skip to main content

Exploring California's Best Northern Cities

Exploring California's Best Northern Cities

The beautiful wilderness and easy living make Northern California such a great place to live. Team


2 min read

February 06, 2024

California, a state renowned for its diverse landscapes and vibrant culture, extends far beyond the iconic southern beaches and the bustling Bay Area. Northern California, especially the regions closer to the Oregon border, holds some of the state's best-kept secrets. This article takes you on a journey through the best Northern Californian cities, offering a blend of natural beauty, history, and unique local culture.

Eureka: A Gateway to the Redwoods

Eureka, nestled along the picturesque coastline of Humboldt Bay, is the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. This historic city is the heart of the Redwood Empire, where ancient forests reach skyward just a short drive from the city center. Eureka's Old Town district is a testament to its rich history, with well-preserved Victorian buildings that house galleries, shops, and eateries. The city is also a gateway to Redwood National and State Parks, offering endless opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, and immersing oneself in the serene beauty of the giant redwoods.

Eureka is a standout coastal city within Northern California.

Arcata: A College Town with a Green Heart

Arcata, home to Humboldt State University, is known for its progressive, environmentally conscious community. The city's vibrant downtown is filled with local boutiques, bookshops, and farmers' markets that reflect its commitment to sustainability. The Arcata Community Forest, a unique city-owned forest, offers miles of trails amidst towering redwoods, providing a perfect blend of urban and natural spaces. Arcata's innovative approach to environmental stewardship, combined with its lively cultural scene, makes it a must-visit destination.

Redding: The Jewel of the North State

Redding, located at the northern end of the Sacramento Valley, is often referred to as the "Jewel of the North State." The city serves as a base for exploring the region's natural wonders, including the breathtaking Shasta Lake and the majestic Mount Shasta. The Sundial Bridge, a stunning piece of functional art and one of the world's largest working sundials, spans the Sacramento River and is a testament to Redding's blend of natural beauty and modern innovation. With its extensive trail system, Redding is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities from biking and hiking to fishing and kayaking.

Redding is gorgeous and is absolutely worth visiting or living in.

Chico: A Blend of Culture and Nature

Chico, known for its vibrant arts scene and lively downtown, is home to Bidwell Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. The park's expansive green spaces, swimming holes, and hiking trails offer a natural escape within the city limits. Chico State University adds to the city's energetic atmosphere, with cultural events, educational opportunities, and a youthful spirit. The city's commitment to preserving its natural and historical resources, combined with its dynamic community, makes Chico a unique blend of culture and nature.

Mount Shasta: A Spiritual and Recreational Haven

The city of Mount Shasta, named after the imposing peak that towers over it, is a haven for spiritual seekers and outdoor adventurers alike. The mountain is considered sacred by many and attracts those looking for spiritual renewal. The city itself offers a quaint downtown area with local shops and restaurants. The surrounding area is a playground for outdoor activities, from hiking and mountain biking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter.

Mount Shasta is one of the state's most awesome natural features.

Yreka: A Glimpse into California's Gold Rush Era

Yreka, the county seat of Siskiyou County, offers a glimpse into California's Gold Rush era. The historic downtown features well-preserved buildings, antique shops, and museums that tell the story of the city's gold mining past. Yreka's Greenhorn Park provides outdoor recreation, with trails for hiking and mountain biking, and scenic spots for picnicking and fishing.

Northern California's cities, each with its unique charm, offer a diverse array of experiences that go beyond the conventional tourist paths. From the awe-inspiring redwoods of Eureka and Arcata to the outdoor adventures awaiting in Redding, Chico, Mount Shasta, and Yreka, this region invites travelers to explore its natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant local cultures. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat in the great outdoors or a deep dive into California's historical roots, Northern California's cities north of the Bay Area promise unforgettable experiences.

Need help with a home improvement project? Get a free quote today!

Enter Your Zip Code

Enter Your Zip Code

RELATED Articles

Discover More

fueled by the power of California love
We're committed to helping you discover the places, people and businesses that make our state Golden. Our online publication, updated daily, brings you all the content you need to live your California dreams. And that's just the beginning…
Purpose section
Purpose section