The treasures of Northern California are buried deep in the rugged landscapes and diverse ecosystems of the west coast. If you dig deep enough, you'll discover countless unexpected sights and things to do. Stretching for almost 600 miles from San Luis Obispo County to Oregon, the region is known for its redwood forests, fertile farmland, and beautiful Pacific coastline. San Francisco is its cultural and financial heart, but the vast national parks system and thriving University towns give this region a broader appeal to tourists. Whether you're looking for luxury shopping, stunning architecture or trying to get lost in nature, Northern California boasts a wealth of unforgettable destinations.

01Unwind on the Mendocino Coast

The beach town of Mendocino is the perfect choice for a quiet getaway. kcbermingham / Getty Images

The peaceful community of Mendocino may be small, but its charming vibe and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean make it a popular Northern California destination. Artists and travelers alike enjoy the downtown district with its galleries, eclectic eateries and cottage-style inns granting unbeatable views. The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens are perfect for birdwatchers and nature lovers, with over 47 acres of rare and beautiful plants. For a unique experience, take a friend to Fort Bragg for a railbike ride through the redwood forest.