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With its world-famous wineries, renowned natural landmarks, and variety of accommodation options, great places to visit in Northern California have never been more popular or plentiful. This diverse region is the perfect balance of cosmopolitan energy and rustic charm, with several urban centers within a few hundred miles of one another. Just outside these cities are expansive natural preserves, scenic ocean highways, and outdoor attractions you’ll love to explore!


California’s capital city has gone from a hidden gem to a leading vacation destination. With unique dining options, a thriving wine and brewery scene, plus a range of modern accommodation options, Sacramento is ideal for families big and small or couples seeking a romantic getaway.

Kids can explore the region’s Gold Rush history at the Sacramento History Museum. Spend an afternoon learning all about America’s Wild West and the unique individuals that defined it. After the museum, your little ones can enjoy the best of California’s great outdoors at the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge Complex where they can learn about over 300 species of native and non-native mammals and birds such as the American bald eagle.

Adults will enjoy Sacramento for its fine dining and exclusive nightlife options where locally sourced food and beverages are always on the menu. Nearby Stockton, California is home to a Stockton Arena, where world-class performances and sporting events are held.

Santa Cruz

Would it surprise you to discover that there is a place where visitors can explore ancient Redwood forests, visit a protected marine reserve, and experience the thrill of an amusement park, all in a single day? That place is the city of Santa Cruz and it’s home to surfable ocean waves, breathtaking sunsets, and scenic cliffside drives.

Stroll the famed Santa Cruz Boardwalk with a scoop of hand-churched ice cream before hitting California’s oldest amusement park, the Santa Cruz Wharf! Enjoy a ride on the rollercoaster before dining on locally-sourced fish and chips. If you prefer slower speeds, the boardwalk has plenty of options including mini golf and an arcade. Complete the evening with a beverage from the beer garden and watch the sunset over the water from atop the Ferris wheel!

San Jose

Situated between renowned natural attractions Yosemite National Park and Big Sur is the heart of the thriving Silicon Valley, San Jose. As you might expect, this mix of natural wonders and hyper-modern attractions makes San Jose an amazing escape for solo travelers and couples. Great for a long weekend or extended stay, San Jose has a little something for everyone with outdoor attractions, professional sports, and leisure activities all nearby.

Downtown San Jose has a delightful collection of cafes and shops that make for the perfect interlude between major attractions. Don’t be surprised to see popup art exhibits, food trucks, and live performers in clean public spaces while enjoying a quick bite or stop.

Tech heads will love the nearby Tech Museum of Innovation, also known as The Tech Interactive, where visitors learn about solving the world’s toughest challenges with technologies geared toward living more sustainability, improving health, and exploring worlds beyond our own.


Sonoma is the namesake city of the fertile California valley region known for its award-winning wines and unrivaled rustic charm. There’s more to Sonoma than wine but there are few places that do wine quite like Sonoma. Its 60,000 acres of vineyards and over 400 wineries offer the perfect setting for events, group vacations, romantic getaways, or that solo trip you’ve always wanted to take. Enjoy several wineries in a single afternoon with tours that offer experiences ranging from casual to elegant.

Sonoma’s farmland isn’t just cultivated for the finest wines, it’s also the source of exquisite produce and proteins—some of which reach restaurant tables mere hours after harvesting. Head to local farmers’ markets the following morning to get a full sampling of the region’s plentiful agricultural offerings. Take some items home and wow your friends and family with a meal rivaling that of one of Sonoma’s three Michelin-star awarded restaurants.

Plan Your Escape

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