Some popular things to do in Northern California include wine tasting, whale watching, hiking and sightseeing at some of the popular historic sites such as the California National Historic Trail and Bodie, the latter of which is a ghost town. Due to the Gold Rushes in the 1800s, many ghost towns, once thriving cities, dot the area.
Outdoor enthusiasts can explore a number of national and state parks such as World Heritage Site Yosemite National Park, Santa Cruz's Natural Bridges State Beach, Shasta Lake and Lake Tahoe. Partially located along the rugged Sierra Mountain range, Yosemite National Park encompasses 1,200 square miles and a variety of terrains from peaks to valleys and meadows. Ancient giant sequoias or California redwoods thrive here. Visitors can also hike the giant granite Half Dome or camp in the park.
Visitors who want to explore California's northern beaches can stop at Natural Bridges State Beach. Every year, millions of monarchs make their way through this area, giving visitors a colorful display. Visitors can also view some wildlife, such as whales migrating through the area, seals and otters.
There are also plenty of things to do in the metropolitan areas of Napa Valley, San Francisco and Sacramento. Sacramento boasts a historic Old Town District, while San Francisco has the famous Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf.