Travel Planning
Northern California
Travel Planning
Northern California

Northern California at a Glance

Northern California contains Sacramento, the state's capital. Further inland, the area turns agricultural and then mountainous once it hits the Sierra Nevadas. In the far north, the California Cascades connect to a chain of mountains that traverse Oregon and Washington as well.

Visitors head to Northern California for its outdoor opportunities. During the winter, catch California's best skiing in the Sierra Nevadas. Summertime brings opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, rafting, camping and other fun. 

Redwood National and State Parks showcase California's signature giant redwood trees. Find old-growth sequoia trees as well as canyons and waterfalls at Yosemite National Park. 

If you're a water bug, enormous Lake Tahoe is your scene. Waterski, lounge on a boat deck or get some shopping in. During the winter, you'll want to check out the ski slopes. 

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Popular Places
  • Sacramento Sacramento
  • Santa Rosa Santa Rosa
  • Yosemite National Park Yosemite National Park
  • Mendocino Mendocino
  • Redwood National and State Parks Redwood National and State Parks
  • Lake Tahoe Lake Tahoe
  • Mammoth Lakes Mammoth Lakes
Getting There
Major Airports

Passport / Visa Requirements

All travelers to the United States are required to hold a valid passport; the passport should be valid for six months beyond your departure from the U.S. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of 37 participating countries to travel within the United States without a visa for 90 days; travelers must have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel, return travel tickets and a passport with a photo and an electronic chip. Visitors not eligible for VWP must apply for a non-immigrant visa. For more information, visit the U.S. State Department's travel website.

Need to Know

Severe Weather Northern California falls under a blanket of fog, especially during the winter. Further inland, temperatures remain mild and the weather is drier. Be careful when driving in winter in the northern, mountainous area. 

Safety Concerns Northern California's crime rates vary from city to city and region to region. Use common precautions to protect yourself from crime.

Health Concerns Northern California has safe water and does not threaten visitors with unusual disease. Prevent illness by washing hands and using good hygiene.

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