Unique Trips to Take in Northern California

There’s no question that Northern California is one of the most iconic travel destinations in America. And for good reason — where else can you wander through sweeping forests, climb towering mountains and float across serene lake waters all in one spot? Whether you’ve never stepped foot in the Golden State or you consider yourself a Californian through and through, it’s almost guaranteed that there’s somewhere you haven’t explored yet. Check out our picks for some of the most unique, off-the-beaten-path adventures waiting for you in California’s real North.

Hidden Spots of Serenity

There are few places that offer the same level of sheer wonder when it comes to outdoor scenery. Here, you can allow the noise of everyday life to fade into the background and embrace the feeling of a truly natural world surrounding you. For instance, instead of focusing on email alerts, why not focus on the sound of a cascading waterfall tumbling down right in front of you? In Siskiyou, you’ll find no shortage of stunning natural landmarks, each offering a unique vista to explore.

Nestled in natural beauty, Hedge Creek Falls awaits. Venture out and discover the cave within the falls, offering a unique vantage point to stand behind the falls and admire it’s beauty.Or, take an easy hike along the three McCloud Falls, Upper, Middle and Lower, for breathtaking river and forest views along a calm path. Other popular waterfalls to explore in Siskiyou include:

For more inspiration on planning a magical waterfall adventure, check out our blog.

Siskiyou is also home to a variety of natural landmarks that hold centuries of fascinating history, such as the Lava Beds National Monument. At this historic site, you can explore any of more than 700 ancient caves, formed by flows of lava 65,000 years ago. You’ll also find a wide array of Native American rock art, and you can explore historic battle sites.

As you watch the sun sink below the horizon, you might be tempted to call it a day and head out — but then you’d be missing out on the absolutely gorgeous views that Siskiyou only offers after dark. Because we are so far North, Siskiyou has the privilege of avoiding the light pollution of more populated areas, making stargazing the perfect way to end a day of outdoor adventuring. Check out our favorite stargazing spots here, and make sure to work some time under the night sky’s glittering canopy into your itinerary.

Unique Places to Stay in Northern California

Sure, you could go the traditional hotel route — and there are certainly quite a few beautiful, clean hotels in the Siskiyou area to choose from if you’re so inclined — but Siskiyou also has several more unique lodging options, from renovated train cars to resorts with mountain views practically at your doorstep.

  • Cave Springs Resort, Dunsmuir
    This stylish resort in South Siskiyou gives you a few different options for customizing your stay. You can enjoy a room in their recently renovated hotel, or you can go for a vintage vibe and spend your stay in your very own completely furnished Airstream. If you’re looking for a little more privacy, one of their luxury cabins is the perfect place to spend some alone time with your special someone.

  • Out Livin’, Mount Shasta
    Connect with the great outdoors and experience a completely luxurious stay, all in one spot. At Out Livin’, you can curl up in a fully furnished safari tent, complete with any amenity you might need on your escape. Plus, these glamping spots are dog-friendly, so you won’t have to leave your four-legged friend at home.
  • McCloud Mercantile, McCloud
    This family-owned historic hotel is a true representation of the wonderful, dedicated community you’ll find here in Siskiyou. After purchasing the property in 2000, the Mathis family has poured decades of dedication into creating a welcoming, elegant hotel where every visitor leaves feeling like an old friend. During your stay, you’ll also be able to explore the McCloud Mercantile, the town’s old-fashioned general store, and snag some McCloud-made souvenirs to take home.

  • Railroad Park Resort, Dunsmuir
    How many people can say they spent their vacation sleeping inside a railway car — and not only that, but it was amazingly comfortable? Railroad Park Resort’s Caboose Motel allows you to do exactly that. Immerse yourself in the vintage vibes of Dunsmuir’s own old-fashioned rail park and enjoy a unique lodging experience that transports you back in time. Each caboose has been thoughtfully converted into cozy, one-of-a-kind motel rooms, complete with all the modern comforts while preserving the historic charm of these meticulously restored antiques.
  • Shasta View Lodge, McCloud
    Talk about postcard-perfect views. Spend your escape at Shasta View Lodge, and you might just forget to unpack — you’ll be too distracted by the sight of Mount Shasta’s iconic peaks rising up right in front of you. At this lodge, you’ll have a front-row seat to some of the most stunning natural views in California. If you can avoid the temptation to sleep late (we know, you’re on vacation!) watching the sunrise while enjoying your morning coffee is nothing short of a spiritual experience here.
  • The Summit Lofts, Mount Shasta
    Tucked away in the heart of downtown Mount Shasta, this chic boutique hotel is the ultimate unwinding spot for all your mountain adventures. It’s not just a place to crash — it’s where you come to live it up after a day out in the wild. Recharge from comfortable, modern rooms that offer incredible views of the surrounding area, and explore the town of Mount Shasta easily.

Spiritual Adventures

A restful vacation can be a spiritual experience all on its own. If you’re looking to go the extra mile when it comes to recharging your spiritual energy, Siskiyou has you covered with a wide array of unique adventures that will soothe your chakras and open your third eye.

  • Shasta Vortex Tours
    Long considered a place of spiritual and energetic significance, Mount Shasta is the perfect place to escape to if you’re in need of a grounding, balancing experience. Ahead of your tour, you can connect with your guide and explain any specific desires or goals for the experience, and they will craft your tour around that. Just be sure to go in with an open mind — they’ve been known to turn people away for bad vibes.

  • Crystal Wings
    Whether you believe in the healing power of crystals or not, we can all agree that shiny rocks are fun to look at. Whichever camp you fall into, Crystal Wings is a great place to browse crystals of all kinds. This mystical shop is run by Bill Hurley, who was at one point a personal student of the esteemed occultist and crystal expert, Marcel Vogel. Hurley shapes each crystal wand by hand according to what he learned from his expert tutor, and as a result, you’ll find completely unique pieces here, suited to alleviating your most dire of spiritual needs.

With Mount Shasta as an integral part of our community, it’s no surprise that Siskiyou is home to a deeply spiritual community. Check out this blog to discover all the chakra-cleansing adventures you might want on your next escape.

Food & Drink

In between all the mountain adventuring and soul-searching, you need to keep your energy up. Luckily, in Siskiyou, food is more than just fuel — it’s a culinary experience. Check out these popular spots while you’re here and we guarantee you won’t be leaving hungry.

  • Yaks Shack, Mount Shasta
    Famous for their sticky buns and burgers, Yaks Shack is a must-stop if you’re anywhere in the Mount Shasta area. Yaks is primarily a coffee spot, but you’ll find much more than a caffeine boost here. Stop by any time of the day and enjoy any of their from-scratch dishes, such as salads with homemade dressing, unbelievably good barbecue and much more. Plus, they’ve got 14 beers on tap, perfect for unwinding after a day hiking and enjoying the outdoors.

  • The Wheelhouse, Dunsmuir
    You’d probably be sold if we just said that The Wheelhouse has the largest craft beer selection in Siskiyou and left it at that. But they also have the county’s largest board game selection — which we think makes the deal even sweeter. Enjoy breakfast all day, or dig into any of their more hearty lunch offerings, and spend an afternoon sipping craft brews as you get a little friendly competition going with your group.

  • Tree House Restaurant, Mount Shasta
    Dinner and a view, anyone? Tree House offers some of the best views of Mount Shasta alongside a rotating menu featuring everything from chicken Marsala to biscuits and gravy. When the weather’s nice, the patio ambiance is unbeatable.
  • Seven Suns Coffee & Café, Mount Shasta
    There’s quaint mom-and-pop, and then there’s Seven Suns, a local favorite and longtime coffee staple in Mount Shasta. You can skip the Starbucks trip on your stay here — trust us, the friendly atmosphere, fantastic food and of course, excellent coffee, make Seven Suns the much better option. The baristas here are also unmatched when it comes to their latte art game, so for all of you who live by “the phone eats first,” you’ll have a great opportunity for photos.

  • Pipeline Craft Taps and Kitchen, Mount Shasta
    At Pipeline, you can be sure you’re enjoying food crafted from the best of what Mount Shasta’s own producers have to offer. Offering a seasonal menu with local ingredients as the focus, this spot is the perfect place to snag a beer and a bite after a day exploring Mount Shasta.
  • Dunsmuir Brewery Works, Dunsmuir
    Located in historic downtown Dunsmuir, this locally-ran brewery has been serving up the best craft brews and bites in town since 2009. Enjoy artisanally crafted microbrews out on the dog-friendly patio as you peruse their wide menu of elevated pub fare — and maybe pet a dog or two, too.

Plan Your Epic Northern California Escape

There is so much to explore here in Northern California — you really can’t do it all in a day. Plan your stay today and discover the epic things waiting for you in Siskiyou. We’ll see you soon.

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