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Northern California Beaches - By City
- Bodega Bay
- Corte Madera
- Crescent City
- Fort Bragg
- Point Arena
- San Francisco
- Sea Ranch
From San Francisco north to Crescent City, traveling the Northern California coast is an adventure. This stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), also called the Shoreline Highway in this area, is known for it’s scenic, rugged coastline, as well as the coastal forest of Redwood National Park.
San Francisco boasts some of America’s most famous restaurants and a cross-section of nightlife. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County, you’ll see the Headlands (one of the best views of The City), county buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Point Reyes National Seashore.
From there, some of the world’s premier wine regions are found in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Above Fort Bragg, PCH turns inland taking you away from the sea, joining the 101 freeway through to Eureka. This gives you an excellent chance to visit the famous Drive-Thru Tree in Leggett.
Humboldt county was originally founded on logging of the magnificent redwood trees and, finally, Del Norte county—the northernmost county in California and where you’ll find the Six Rivers National Forest, no doubt a result of the highest rainfall in the state.
As with most California beach restaurants, these are best visited during the day to view local fishing boats bringing in the day’s catch, or perhaps a pod of whales.
The historic Cliff House in San Francisco, on the western most edge of Golden Gate Park, boasts views of the Farallon Islands and Seal Rock.
Nick’s Cove in Marshall near Bodega Bay, is fine dining brought to you by busy San Francisco restaurateurs, Pat Kuleto and Mark Franz.
One of the best views of the setting sun can be found where the Russian River meets the Pacific at River’s End in Jenner.
For shopping with a view, check out Sausalito, just across the bay from San Francisco.
Antique and collectible shops are scattered throughout this region, reflecting its military, nautical, mining and 19th century past.
There are many art colonies and districts. Art galleries and studios abound in smaller towns and cities like Gualala and Tiburon.
A vacation isn’t complete without wine, bread, cheese and…oysters. Try some Pinot Noir wine from Mendocino and San Francisco sourdough bread from the Boudin Bakery. Artisan cheeses from Pt. Reyes and fresh oysters from Tomales Bay are both near Bodega Bay.
Many visitors holiday on California’s north coast to relax and enjoy the natural beauty. Birdwatching in the diverse marine and forest climates and whale watching are popular activities. This coast has many working harbors where you can purchase fresh fish or go on a fishing excursion.
But if you’re more active, try
Aleutian Goose Festival in Crescent City
Redwood Coast Jazz Festival in Eureka
Oyster Festival in Arcata
Whale & Jazz Festival inMendocino
Fisherman’s Festival in Bodega Bay
Winesong! in Mendocino
Abalone Festival Cook-off in Fort Bragg
Noll Longboard Surf Classic in Crescent City
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco