If you’re looking for the perfect blend of nature and history, then head to the West Coast and step back in time to old Northern California. From the world’s oldest trees to a 150-year-old passenger train — where you’re going, you don’t need roads.
Redwood National & State Park
Just north of San Francisco lies a string of protected forests and grasslands along the California coast. It’s filled with marine and land life, coastal mountains, and the tallest, oldest trees in the world — the magnificent Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). The Redwood trees have existed on this land for more than 160 years and are the largest remaining contiguous ancient coast Redwood forest in the world. You’ll also find plenty of flora and fauna, as well as 60km of coastline that’s home to shorebirds, seabirds, marine mammals, and rockfish. And no trip would be complete without sighting a few fan favorites: the sea lions, bald eagles, and the endangered California brown pelican.
Yosemite National Park
The heart of California is home to hanging valleys, waterfalls, lakes, and more, all of which can be found in Yosemite National Park. You’ll come across unique glacial erosion formations that you won’t find anywhere else, as well as soaring cliffs, domes, and a glacier-carved cleft with huge granite walls. Needless to say, you’ll have plenty of photo opportunities, especially when you get to one of the five highest waterfalls in the world.
Over 50 historic structures from the early Gold Rush are preserved in Old Sacramento State Historic Park. Stop by the 1849 Eagle Theater, the 1853 B. F. Hastings Building (once home to the California Supreme Court), and the 1855 Big Four Building. Then head to the Old Sacramento Waterfront and hop aboard a 50-minute round-trip train ride along the Sacramento River hosted by the California State Railroad System, where you’ll experience railroading like it was in the early part of the 20th century. If you’re looking for a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, then choose a first-class ticket to see three upscale train cars while enjoying air conditioning and refreshments — first-class style.
Visit RCI.com to book everything you need for your California getaway.