This page is part of our A to Z index of California weekend getaway destinations.
Some people treat me like a heretic for saying it, but I like Sequoia National Park and adjacent Kings Canyon better than Yosemite. It's less visited, has bigger trees and features a glacier-carved granite valley that's more beautiful to my eyes than the Yosemite Valley.
Sequoia National Park is Popular For: Family outings, outdoor recreation, driving tours and hiking. Less crowded than Yosemite, it's also a good place to get away from it all.
Sequoia National Park is within 200 miles of Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento and San Bernardino.
At Sequoia High Sierra Camp, you can enjoy all the pleasure of camping in the wilderness with none of the inconvenience.
Sequoia High Sierra Camp is Popular For: campers, hikers, nature lovers and photographers. It's a good place to get away from it all and relax.
Sequoia High Sierra Camp is within 200 miles of Bakersfield, Fresno, Lake Tahoe/Reno, Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, San Bernardino and San Jose.
Northern California's Shasta and Sikyou Counties could well be called Shasta Country. Here you'll find Mount Shasta, Lake Shasta and some small, historic towns to putter around in. This area also affords good fishing, water sports and boating, as well as mountaineering and a nice ski and snowboard area open in winter.
Shasta Country is Popular For: Family outings, outdoor recreation, driving tours, hiking, fishing and boating.
Shasta Country is within 200 miles of Sacramento and Reno/Tahoe. It's a within 250 miles of San Francisco and San Jose.
Sonoma is less crowded than Napa Valley, with the wineries more spread out, friendlier and on the whole, less pretentious. The Sonoma countryside lacks the well-defined "valley" feel you'll get in the county next door, but it doesn't want for beautiful scenery.
Sonoma Valley is Popular For: wine tasting, fresh-grown produce and beautiful scenery. You'll find lots of historic landmarks in Sonoma, too.
Sonoma Valley is within 200 miles of Sacramento, Reno/Tahoe, San Jose, Fresno and San Francisco.